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CBC Bans Use of Creative Commons Music On Podcasts 148

Posted by timothy
from the but-that's-un-canadian dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The producers of the popular CBC radio show Spark have revealed (see the comments) that the public broadcaster has banned programs from using Creative Commons licenced music on podcasts. The decision is apparently the result of restrictions in collective agreements the CBC has with some talent agencies. In other words, groups are actively working to block the use of Creative Commons licenced alternatives in their contractual language. It is enormously problematic to learn that our public broadcaster is blocked from using music alternatives that the creators want to make readily available. The CBC obviously isn't required to use Creative Commons licenced music, but this highlights an instance where at least one of its programs wants to use it and groups that purport to support artists' right to choose the rights associated with their work is trying to stop them from doing so."
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CBC Bans Use of Creative Commons Music On Podcasts

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  • Is this legal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:58PM (#33842210) Journal

    One has to ask if this is legal. Can you collectively bargain to exclude another group? In the USA, I know that it would likely not be. For instance, Company ABC can require a distributor only sell products from Company ABC in order to be a distributor, but it is flatly ILLEGAL for them to say "You can sell any product you want, as long as it is not from Company XZY". We have seen these lawsuits in my industry. You can require EXCLUSIVITY, but you can't exclude a singular company. I would have to imagine that the same would hold true for music under a single license. The key is whether or not someone will try it in court. And no, it doesn't matter what the contract says, it is illegal here. Then again, Canada is like a whole other country.

  • Workaround? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by funkatron (912521) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:04PM (#33842270)
    If they cant use the CC music under a CC license, cant they just ask whoever made it for an old style license? Probably only needs to be an email asking for permission to use the music and an affirmative reply.
  • Re:Workaround? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:12PM (#33842318) Journal
    So are they barred from playing public domain music as well then? What about classical?
  • by dyfet (154716) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:28PM (#33842436) Homepage

    Some see it as anti-trust and related to things like the U.S. Sherman anti-trust act. If I were a musician I would see it as a very basic restraint of trade.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday October 08, 2010 @10:47PM (#33843062) Journal

    I would respectfully disagree. Unions are formed for worker protection, and you can still hire the same worker, they just are forced to be a part of a collective bargaining group: the union. This is different than excluding an entire class of musicians for reasons not related to monetary considerations. This is more like a company saying they will hire workers from one union, but not willing to hire workers from another union, even at the same pay or less. The Sherman Act actually has some teeth and is used rather frequently in the USA, often in surprisingly small cases. It might take 4 to 6 years to run through the system, but I am willing to bet it would come out on the side of the CC.

    On the flip side, it is very possible to say you are ONLY going to use CC music, as that is a grant of exclusivity, and otherwise justified monetarily. Part of what gives the Sherman Act teeth is the exchange of money, so you could likely also say you are only going to use music that is "free as in beer" and be within the law. It is when one group is compensated and another group is excluded in a singular fashion, or when the source has a monopoly, that the Sherman Act seems to be applicable. And of course, IANAL, but I would be willing to bet next weeks lunch money on it.

  • by geekd (14774) on Friday October 08, 2010 @11:05PM (#33843132) Homepage

    You can start by supporting my band, all our stuff is CC licensed. Take a listen, rock / punk : http://theexperiments.com/ [theexperiments.com]

    Thanks, and enjoy!

  • by Arker (91948) on Friday October 08, 2010 @11:35PM (#33843224) Homepage

    Unfortunately this doesnt seem very credible. There is no explanation for why several employees previously, unanimously, and clearly attributed the ban to a union contract in the first place. The rationale given is contrafactual as well, as much CC-licensed content *is* available for commercial use, and it is trivial to filter the works which do or do not allow commercial use. In light of that, the suspicion arises that this statement is merely a spur of the moment fabrication in response to the justified outrage the original explanation sparked.

  • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @03:46AM (#33843926) Homepage

    The CBC is union managed and controlled, so focus your ire on the NDP and not the Conservatives.

    Ummmm...the conservative government actually has quite a bit of control at the CBC. They appoint the leaders who set the direction of the network. In the last few years, the CBC has taken a subtle but definite shift to the right. One can see it in the way they frame certain news stories. And they have introduced programs with a very right wing slant, such as a Crossfire-like show called The Lang & O'Leary Exchange.

    Finally, I'm seeing a lot of ant-Harper spam on Slashdot as of late, seems those poor anarchists and jackboot radicals are still smarting from their bad press after the Toronto G20 summit debacle.

    I think that Harper is a dangerous single minded ideologue who has run a minority government as a majority government, and has snubbed his nose at Parliament many times. If this is the way he acts in a minority government, I shudder to think about what he will do with an absolute majority. And I can assure you that I am not an anarchist or a jackbooted radical. If anything, your blanket characterization of those who oppose Harper as extremists is a type of action that is itself in the mould of a jackbooted radical.

  • by zotz (3951) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @07:57AM (#33844428) Homepage Journal

    Try one of cc's Free licenses and I would love to. If you need to use NC though I will pass on that.

    all the best,

    drew
    http://freemusicpush.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

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