Attribution Does Not Pay Your Electric Bill: Creative Commons Licensing

I wanted to take some time to talk about Creative Commons licensing and how it effects artists. There are many opinions about it, but as a musician, I am painfully aware of one thing. You can't pay your bills with attribution.

To do music full time you have to earn enough money to pay your expenses. If you have $1000 worth of bills a month, you have to make a minimum of $1000 dollars. It's pretty much that simple. There's a lot of different ways to do that, but Creative Commons licensing isn't really one of them.

The idea behind this license is music can be used freely for use as long as a set of conditions are met. There are thousands if not millions of artistic projects that need music. Being able to share your music for that purpose is it's own reward. Art and knowledge are gifts which should be shared. The problem is sometimes people with commercial ambitions try to take advantage of this system.

Commercial uses are projects with a goal of making money. Allowing your music to be used for free in these applications is a mistake. I don't care how much "exposure" they dangle in front of you. If your music is good enough to be exposed, it's good enough to be paid for.

Think about it, they are trying to make money and your music will help them do that. It's a bullshit deal for you to get nothing and them to make money. Licensing music for commercial projects is a great revenue stream and is how a lot of musicians right now are making money, including myself.

Giving away your music for some attribution and exposure is poison. That is not how you get your name out there. Make great music. Be yourself. Connect with people. That's how you get your name out there. Don't get lost in American Idol thinking. Commercial success does not define artistic success.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share, like and comment below.

No comments:

Post a Comment