Just had an e-mail with some pretty spiffy news that I can't share yet.


I am pretty sure that someone has misunderstood/ignored some aspect of a Creative Commons license.


I suspect the easiest way for me to not shoot myself in the foot over this is going to be to join the PRS/MSPS, both of which I have avoided like the plague because I think they're a stupid way to organise paying artists and also small independent artists tend to get missed out.

I'm worried that if I do join the PRS/MCPS they'll basically go after people who are legitimately using my music for free under a Creative Commons license. Which. No, not cool.

@artsyhonker CC and collecting societies should kinda be compatible. can you ask the UK CC chapter? afaik collecting society should try to collect money for you just for works that you register with them, not everything?

@luka Thanks for this! I think... they don't really understand what CC is at all. Like, they're assuming a non-commercial license, but that's not what CC by-SA is.

However it does mean that I could switch to CC by-NC and it would be compatible with PRS stuff. Sortof.

@luka The problem with this, is that a lot of non-commercial use is "churches use these hymns, they have a CCLI license (adminstered by PPL/PRS), it's a flat-rate fee for the whole year and it doesn't cost them anything extra to list my music if it's PRS licensed". And, like, it wouldn't be terrible to get royalties for that.

@luka The whole thing is silly, I want to define the license by how the music is used and propagated, not by whether money changes hands. And if people won't/can't comply with CC by-SA, *then* I want to be paid.

@luka But the assumption is that what I care about is whether I make money, and that I'm willing to allow non-commercial use for free because nobody else is making money either.

I really don't care whether people make money from my music. I care whether they assert rights that prevent other people copying it.

@luka And I don't want to register some pieces with PRS and put some online for free. I want all my music to be available freely under CC by-SA to anyone who fancies downloading it, or for a fee for people who won't/can't meet the conditions of CC by-SA.

@luka There are a *bunch* of situations where people find CC by-SA onerous: cathedral choirs with contracts with their singers that say "if someone records this you get paid £50 extra" routinely put "NO RECORDING ALLOWED" in their orders of service. That breaks CC by-SA.

@luka A choir that records a piece of mine with a major label is probably not going to put the CC by-SA bit in the liner notes unless they have a *very* progressive legal department. They're... more likely to just drop the piece, if I bring it up. But under CC by-SA they have to make the share-alike bit clear.

@luka Essentially, if I put my scores online under CC by-SA, people *assume* they have the same rights they would if they bought the score, only without buying it. This is not, in fact, the case.

I can't seem to make people understand that, and if I go on about it they just won't sing my stuff... but I *could* potentially make it easier for people who are paying for performance/mechanical rights anyway to pay me some royalties.

@luka Only I probably can't, because the PRS doesn't even fucking understand what a Creative Commons license is, and presumably doesn't want to check whether people who claim they're fulfilling the conditions of said license are actually doing so.

@luka Sorry for the rant, I know you get all this stuff. But it's super frustrating, and has been for years.

@artsyhonker I totally understand your case and it should be given that ak author can decide what's happening with their work freely. also, i would be surprised if a case with CC wasn't tried in uk court yet.

@artsyhonker @luka This sums up my frustration with modern copyright admin so well, I want to quote it in my thesis.

good luck

(aren't all the music business people just creeps who just love themselves (+ money)?)

and, please don't take this the wrong way, but isn't the money (and hence lawsuits) outside of religious music?

or maybe this is another area in which i have no clue ... ?

@js0000 Composing and performing religious music is still work. Church musicians still need to be paid, and the vast majority of us do not receive a stipend from the church. Even when we do, it's usually insufficient for subsistence and part of a wider "portfolio career".

Additionally, sacred choral music is frequently performed in secular contexts.

@js0000 It is true that the PRS is on record as saying they "usually will not pursue" a lawsuit against a church that messes up their licensing. I think this more because they know the churches can't cough up than anything else, though.

yes of course

but church musicians are not the only musicians that struggle to make a living

making a living off your work as a creative artist is something antithetical to capitalism in my view (causing endless misery by blurring monetary value and aesthetic value and personal value) ...

did not mean to slight church musicians- meant to slight music industry that eats up music/musicians to excrete profits (for themselves)

sorry for any misunderstanding[s]

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