Charity Chan

Alternative Copyright and Distribution in Experimental Music
Email Address:

Department of Music, Musicology

Charity Chan's research focuses on the innate possibilities for music distribution that Creative Commons offers to artists involved in marginal music practices, particularly when combined with other alternative distribution resources (such as CD Baby). The latitude available to artists through Creative Commons licenses lends itself well to alternative forms of distribution, particularly with methods that would otherwise be considered illegal (i.e., P2P, CD burning, Internet sources). In the case of experimental music (and arguably for all marginal art practices), these advantages are significant because Creative Commons allows artists to choose the degree of control they maintain over the use of their work, and the possibilities for the proliferation and dissemination of their work are much greater than with conventional copyright licenses. While the benefits of Creative Commons for the larger creative good have been well documented, the advantages these licenses have to offer for distribution is not as widely known. This paper discusses the benefits as well as the drawbacks encountered by artists who have released music under Creative Commons licenses or who have used online distribution resources such as CD Baby or IODA. For the purposes of this study, experimental music is limited to improvised and avant-garde noise musics. (2009)