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CBC Bans Use of Creative Commons Music On Podcasts 148

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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  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:07PM (#33842286)

    Electoral death to Harper!

    You are a bloody moron. Harper did not invent the CBC. It is run by out of touch bureaucrats. If you want to be pissed off any anybody, send your torches and pitch forks at those talent agencies.

  • Re:Workaround? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:16PM (#33842346)

    It's a protection racket.

    The copyright dogs don't care what you actually play, if you play *anything* they will sue.

  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:24PM (#33842412)
    It's not someone saying you can't do this, it's saying if you do this, we won't sell you our product anymore. It's a way to use the control you have over your own product to your advantage. Of course this is about IP, so it's debatable whether it can really be owned. But let's just imagine it was someone who rented pickup trucks and stated that if you ever rented from anyone else, we wouldn't rent to you anymore.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:38PM (#33842498)

    Because this isn't a single company being targeted. This is similar to union laws in non-"right to work" states. In those places, if there is a union that represents you in a given job, membership to that union in mandatory. You must be a member and pay dues so long as you work in that position, no choice. Also the unions can and do negotiate union-only contracts with companies. The companies will hire only union shops for work, no non-union contractors may bid. This is all legal.

    Now that isn't everywhere, other states don't allow that, but a number of them do.

  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sqlrob ( 173498 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @09:07PM (#33842652)

    Huh? Considering CC is based on copyright, they still have the copyright to their own shows. It's no different than if they licensed boy band of the day and put it on the show.

  • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @09:18PM (#33842706) Homepage
    Seriously? I've released some of my music with a CC license. While I did elect to use the CC-NC-SA license (non-commercial, share alike), that information was clearly displayed everywhere my music was posted. I haven't conducted a random sample to see how much CC-licensed commercial-allowed music is out there, but at least IME, it was easy to tell if it was NC or not.
  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by multisync ( 218450 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @10:09PM (#33842888) Journal

    Microsoft worded things that way but still got nailed with anti trust big time, amongst other things.

    Microsoft got nailed for bundling a web browser with their operating system (which was stupid, in a lot of people's opinions).

    They should have been nailed for the reasons you suggest, but were not, or the likes of Dell wouldn't be able to put "Dell recommends Windows 7" on every page of their site.

    Microsoft continues to use their dominance in the "PC" market to influence downstream vendors and prevent real competition from taking place.

  • Re:Workaround? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @10:40PM (#33843004) Journal

    After we paid once, ASCAP came sniffing around for more money. They assume they are underbilling and you're guilty of underpaying.

    "And that is called paying the Dane-geld; but we've proved it again and again, that if once you have paid him the Dane-geld you never get rid of the Dane. " -- Rudyard Kipling

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @10:41PM (#33843022)

    This is one of the reasons I hate the Creative Commons license suite, as it is so easy to overgeneralize what a "Creative Commons" license really means when in fact it is like a Swiss Army Knife: There are so many different license options that almost any sort of licensing regime is possible. About the only kind of license I can't make up from the various CC options is something like the Microsoft EULA.

    Basically unless you very explicitly clarify what license you are talking about (and get the ire of the purists if you screw up on even a minor part like CC-by and CC-by-SA and CC-SA as three separate licenses) you can't really talk intelligently about what exactly it is that you are talking about regarding the terms of the license. I keep seeing new variants of the license all of the time that I have never heard about before which really sort of scratches my head.

    The wide range of licenses can tax even the most ardent supporter of free content, so somebody new to the concept and still not sure about licensing is likely to look at the whole mess and simply see a "DANGER WILL ROBINSON" type light flash in their head and advise people to stay away from it like the plague. I don't necessarily blame those lawyers with that attitude either all things considered.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @10:47PM (#33843056) Journal

    I'm not questioning that it happens, but it seems more likely to be

    1) legitimate claims where BMI-licensed music was played in a place without a license, and they legitimately need to pay (according to law, not me)
    2) a number of anecdotes of intimidation without any actual legal action, where either nothing happens or the owner gives up

    Businesses shut themselves down out of ignorance. BMI and ASCAP are some shady bastards who need to be beaten with pillows until bruised at the very least, but business does this to itself.

    If you put a gun to someone's head and tell them they can jump off a building or you'll shoot them in the head, and they jump and are injured, they have not done it to themselves.

  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @01:59AM (#33843652) Homepage

    In this case there is the CBCs own mandate "actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression" [] and nothing does that more than the creative commons which does it freely.

    In relation to Canadian law there is also this "(ii) encourage the development of Canadian expression by providing a wide range of programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity, by displaying Canadian talent in entertainment programming and by offering information and analysis concerning Canada and other countries from a Canadian point of view," []. In one fell swoop they have excluded all Canadians who make use of and contribute to the creative commons and they have effectively barred CBC from contributing to the creative commons in contravention to the law that governs the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

    In this case not only should the illegal contract get overturned but the criminals that signed it should be fired.

  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @05:00AM (#33844094)

    there are endless variations of limitations on CC licensing

    Every commercial track has a different separate license. CC is much simpler since there are only a few main variants with version numbers. You can simply say "CC-SA and CC-BY-SA are allowed CC-NC is not". Your claim is fairly simple FUD.

    and it would be a nightmare for the CBC to track down and clarify the status of every single piece of CC music they wanted to use.

    Wherever you download it from normally has the status. If it doesn't, that version isn't CC licensed and you don't have anything to track down.

    It seems like you are making very weak excuses for some reason. Why?

    As for of the claims by some uninformed people that a simple search on the internetz would provide unencumbered music, well, citation needed.

    Would you bet your job on those results?

    Guess what; there have been lots of cases where it was decided, after long court cases, that proprietary songs were copied from other proprietary songs without license. Would you bet your job on that? No, because you don't have to. If you had a good reason to believe the song was okay, for example the CC license attached to it, then you will not likely have a problem and if you do have a problem, the license the song claims to be under will not make any difference.

    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.

    Ahh. maybe we have the explanation; American style "two team" politics is creeping into Canada. This is not a "football" thing. You do not have to believe something just because it might be convenient to your team. Most of us on slashdot have barely heard of your "Harper" whatever he/she/it is and we do not form our views according to what might be most likely to damage "Harper".

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak