CBC Stops Using Creative Commons Music Over Concerns About Commercial vs. Non-Commercial Use
from the clear-as-mud dept
A whole bunch of you have been sending in variations on the story, first highlighted by Michael Geist that the CBC (Canada’s public broadcasting offering) has stopped using Creative Commons music in its podcasts. That was first revealed in the comments to a recent show, when someone asked why there were no links to Creative Commons music (something the show had apparently done before). In response, Dan Misener wrote:
There’s simply no Creative Commons music used in this episode. By management decree, CBC podcasts are no longer permitted to use CC music. Instead, we’re using the APM Music library (http://www.apmmusic.com/), which is copyright cleared and fully licensed by the CBC.
People quickly (and rightly) started complaining that this was ridiculous, and then Lily Mills from the CBC tried to provide more info, saying:
It turned out that our use of Creative Commons licensed music was going against some of the details in collective agreements we hold with certain talent agencies. As such, we had to discontinue our use of it.
Of course, that doesn’t make much sense. What sort of agreement would forbid you from using Creative Commons music? Later on, Lily tried to clarify, and said that APM was just more cost effective:
I asked around and it sounds like APM was the most cost effective choice for production music. We’re actually simply piggy-backing off the use license acquired from CBC Television (a license that can be used for the entire network).
Again, this makes no sense. The Creative Commons music is free to use, so, how could that not be cost effective?
Eventually, Chris Boyce, the Programming Director for CBC radio chimed in to explain, that it’s really about problems with “commercial use” restrictions on some CC music:
The issue with our use of Creative Commons music is that a lot of our content is readily available on a multitude of platforms, some of which are deemed to be “commercial” in nature (e.g. streaming with pre-roll ads, or pay for download on iTunes) and currently the vast majority of the music available under a Creative Commons license prohibits commercial use.
In order to ensure that we continue to be in line with current Canadian copyright laws, and given the lack of a wide range of music that has a Creative Commons license allowing for commercial use, we made a decision to use music from our production library in our podcasts as this music has the proper usage rights attached.
Now, that makes a lot more sense. The early responses didn’t make much sense. And this is perfect timing as we’ve just been having some discussions on this very topic, explaining why commercial use restrictions might not be such a good idea, and even noting that I’m often hesitant to use CC content that has a commercial use restriction because almost anything could be seen as commercial use at times. While it’s unfortunate that the CBC won’t be using CC content in certain areas any more, perhaps this will give more people reasons to rethink the value of commercial-use restrictions.