Audio has been conspicuously absent from my VR productions, with a few exceptions. But since I started video, audio is an integral part of it and I have to deal with it all the times. Initially I got away with the background sound, but for my last video production I’d rather call it loud background noise. So I lowered the volume of the original soundtrack and looked for an embellishment.
I do have some basic notions of music (as in: I play Beatles songs on my guitar and my cats run to hide), but I have no music of my own and performing somebody’s else music requires a license.
So I started to look for a source of music that I can legally use in my movies. Back in the last millennium there was royalty-free music: buy a CD and use it according to license. The business model is still present on the internet, and I was willing to shell out a reasonable amount of money, but all I found was a cheap cacophony with complicated licenses.
Licenses? a light went on! Creative Commons. I googled for creative common music and bumped into Jamendo. Free and legal music downloads of good quality and many styles. The style is a matter of taste. I liked this particular song, and the whole album. The license a matter of use and Creative Commons’ modularity makes it easy to choose a work with a license compatible to your intended use.
In my case, of the four limitations (or freedoms, depending on whether you look at it from a licensee’s or licensor’s perspective) there were two which did not make a difference to me, one that I needed and one that I wanted to avoid:
Attribution (BY) does not make a difference. Giving credit to the artist is the least I can do. In this case, I went to his myspace page (no login required, f**kbook) and donated some money, and of course, you’ll see proper attribution in the movie’s credits.
Non-Commercial (NC) does not make a difference either. My movie is not commercial. If you have a commercial project, make sure you use work with a license that does not include the NC condition.
I needed the freedom to make derivatives. So I had to avoid content with the No-Derivatives (ND) condition. The ND condition is a roadblock to the remix culture, but there are sometimes good reasons to use it, like on this site.
I wanted to avoid Share-Alike (SA) because the content of the movie is very personal and I prefer not to license it under the same terms. I retain an “all rights reserved” – you can watch it here, in the context and form I choose to make it available.
Copyright, complemented with Creative Commons, is a fantastic enabler of creativity.