Musician Wonders What It Would Take To Become An Open Source Musician
from the going-beyond-creative-commons dept
According to Wikipedia, "Open Source" is a philosophy that promotes free redistribution and access to a project's design and implementation details. The end user who edits the program is then allowed to send his/her input to the author for possible inclusion in the project.Of course, many folks in the "free culture" world would point to Creative Commons as the artistic equivalent of an open source offering. However, two interesting things strike me. First, as of the time I'm writing this post, no one in the dozens of comments posted to that story mentions CC at all. Second, the request actually goes a bit further than CC. It's not just about making the works free to distribute or use... but the second part: sending it back to the original creator for possible inclusion in the project. Now, again, we have seen some examples of this with various remix projects. In particular, I'm reminded of the experiment by K-OS, where rather than having fans remix an album, he pre-released all the stems, and let fans create their own original mixes, and then took the best for each song and released a combo album: one of his own mixes, and a second of the best fan mixes. In the hip-hop world, releasing instrumentals or acapellas for fans and other artists to remix (and building contests or other promotions around that) is fairly common—but only a few artists have gone further and offered up the individual bits and pieces. Perhaps that's along the lines of what The Polish Ambassador is looking for.
If an artist like The Polish Ambassador were to become an open sourced project what might that look like? Is there room/possibility for art/music/brands to become open source? Is it already happening? Could this ideology serve some purpose? Maybe a way to get other people's ideas out there? A way to collaborate? A way to merge efforts of like minded folks? A way to create art from art? A way to generate $ for end users/charities? It seems to me the possibilities are endless. We all use open sourced software every day. Linux, Firefox, etc, but I haven't heard of many artists that when I think of their name, I also think, "O yea, she/he's that open source artist." Maybe there's a reason for this, maybe not. With Twitter/Facebook and the web in general, technologically speaking, we have never been more connected. Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Could "open source artists" be an evolutionary step for art?
Either way, this has me wondering if there isn't something Creative Commons could include in their offerings, or if if this goes beyond that. It is an interesting point however. One of the thrills people get in working on open source software isn't the fact that they can do what they want with it, but that they can collaborate to make the project better. Open source developers feel well-earned pride when a contribution gets included in a larger project. Imagine the same situation with musicians. What if your favorite band released your remix of their song? That is, what if they effectively worked with you and said your version was one they really liked -- such that you got the official stamp of approval that had the work more widely distributed? Again, it appears that some artists are doing this on the margins, but it seems like the kind of thing that could be more clearly formalized and promoted as a cool way for artists to connect with fans and for fans to gain some form of validation for their own help with certain projects.
Oh, and in the meantime, it appears that The Polish Ambassador is currently offering up its entire discography for free -- 7 hours worth of music, all in FLAC format.