The folks at Creative Commons might want to send someone down to Jamaica. Salon is running an article looking at the sudden success (in the marketing sense) of Jamaican dancehall music - a form of music that's been popular for decades in Jamaica. What's most interesting, though, is how the various Jamaican dancehall artists make their songs. First, there's a producer who comes up with a "riddim." If the riddim is popular and catchy all sorts of musicians will try to make a song based on that riddim. Off of a single riddim, different musicians create many different songs - many of which can become popular. Read through the article, though, and try to find worries about copyrights or licensing or intellectual property. They don't exist. This is Creative Commons' vision of a "remix culture" at work. Musicians want to work with the best riddims to help get themselves more popularity, and riddim writers want to get the best musicians to record over their riddim. Out of this, comes a variety of creative songs - all quite different. Even with all of this, there's commercial success, as well, as the best songs appear on albums and the best artists have marketability. While it must seem like chaos for those in the established recording industry, it certainly seems a lot more vibrant and creative than the local recording industry.
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