A Creative Commons Christmas Carol
By Maria Popova
We’ve examined the absurdities of copyright law on multiple occasions. But hardly anywhere are these more apparent than when it comes to music licensing. (Did you know that every time “Happy Birthday,” the world’s most popular song, is sung in a film, TV show or commercial, someone paid a fee and the song brings AOL Time Warner about $2 million in royalties annually?)
When trying to find holiday songs for their upcoming web series, Scotty Iseri and Matthew Latkiewicz got a first-hand taste for said absurdities. So, to illustrate how copyright law is nipping at the holiday spirit, they rallied some of remix culture‘s greatest advocates — CreativeCommons founder Lawrence Lessig, netcaster Leo Laporte, copyright liberalization crusader Cory Doctorow, Dick DeBartolo (known as Mad‘s maddest writer), Rocketboom’s Zadi Diaz, Wired founder Kevin Kelly, and Mark Frauenfelder of MAKE and BoingBoing fame — to write and record a CreativeCommons Christmas Carol. And it’s just as priceless as you’d expect:
For more on copyright law and remix culture, don’t miss Walking on Eggshells: Borrowing Culture in the Remix Age — the wonderful free documentary from Yale Law & Technology. Meanwhile, please consider putting CreativeCommons on your holiday giving list and support one of the most important movements of our time with a donation.
Published December 7, 2010