Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, November 04, 2021

This month’s issue of Wired Magazine has a special gimmick attached to it: A 16-song CD featuring songs from the Beastie Boys, Danger Mouse and others. You can listen to a stream of all the disc’s tracks here, courtesy of Tian. (Or just plunk down the four bucks and buy the issue.)

The purpose of the disc is to popularize the Creative Commons modified copyright system for creative works. Creative Commons has found favor in the online realm, especially among blogs and other web properties. I myself used one on my old blog.

I don’t use Creative Commons protection for this blog. Was I just too lazy to transfer it over? No, I just realized that, hipness factor aside, traditional copyright law automatically covers the original content being created here. So why reinvent the wheel?

Which leads to my impressions of the Wired CD: Nice idea, but good examples of just why Creative Commons isn’t going to inspire artists very much.

The most established acts on the disc are the Beastie Boys and David Byrne (I’d include Chuck D and Paul Westerberg too, but it’s not like either of them have produced much in recent years). The tracks from these two headliners leave something to be desired, considering their past output. The Beasties’ “Now Get Busy” is decent, but obviously an unfinished throwaway, probably leftover from their latest album. Byrne’s “My Fair Lady” is, at best, an experimental number. These two songs open the disc, and give it a definite b-side feel.

The rest of the disc ranges from slightly intriguing to mostly mediocre, with Danger Mouse’s “What U Sittin’ On?” flat-out sucking (I’d be suprised if he spent more than half an hour putting it together — another throwaway). The majority of the artists are largely unknown, at least to me.

Why such a lackluster offering? It is a freebie, so you can’t expect a polished album. But to me, the makeup of the disc is a perfect example of the marginal support the Creative Commons scheme can expect to receive. Major acts like the Beasties can afford to lend their support, because they’ve already made their money from their years of work in the “old” music business. Obscure and unsigned acts latch on strictly as a way to gain wider exposure and dissemination of their work.

Yet as a showcase, the Wired CD doesn’t show much. Tracks that wouldn’t make the final cut on moneymaker albums? It gives Creative Commons a poor image.

Those two extremes in the music biz, as represented on the Wired CD, represent the fringes of the industry. What about those in between, the effective “middle class”? They’ve got their production deals with the labels, they’re building their cred and working to get to the point in their careers when they can exert some significant control over their work. It’s hard to see why they’d chuck that for a different set of rules that wouldn’t advance them any further.

All in all, I’m not convinced about the viability of applying the Creative Commons tag toward any serious collection of works. Flexible rights protection seems to be fine for works you don’t care much about, but it doesn’t seem to merit serious consideration for more valuable stuff.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/04/2021 11:57pm
Category: Business, Creative, Media
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Earlier today, I spied a mini-SUV driving down the street. Its exterior was covered with a lot of text-based advertising for something called “Natural Facelift”.

Just an aside: I’m very dubious about car-based ads. To me, they’re a sign of a strictly small-time operation, most likely a home-based business. Overall, a tacky look.

Anyway, one of the ad lines on the Natural Facelift vehicle boldly stated, “FREE DEMOS”.

It made me wonder: Just what kind of a demo can you get in the area of facelifts? Do they smooth out a little wrinkle on the cheek or something? It seems like an unlikely service through which you could give out free samples.

Then I thought: It’s supposedly “natural”, meaning no surgery or chemicals, presumably. So I tried to envision what the resultant alternative was. The best I could come up with: Some pseudo-masseuse using her meaty paws to manually pull old ladies’ loose skin back, and holding it that way for a couple of hours straight. That would explain the ability to give demonstrations — give prospective clients a few minutes’ taste of that treatment.

Yeah, I know — probably not. The natural facelift is more likely along these lines. But my notion is funnier.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/04/2021 10:52pm
Category: Society
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If you’ve got ten bucks, and feel like hobnobbin’ with Tampa Bay’s funky-fly advertising and marketing wonks, you may want to drop in on AdBash Category 5, tonight starting at 7 at Hyde Park Cafe.

Gotta love the gallows humor of using the hurricane motif in this, the mother of all hurricane seasons for Florida.

HPC is, of course, within the jurisdiction of Rachel* at SohoTampa. Unfortunately, she won’t be there to get the part pumpin’.

Neither will I, for that matter. I’d have gone, but I’m neck-deep in it right now, and expect to be here in the office well into the evening. Maybe I’ll catch Category 6: AdBash’s Revenge.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/04/2021 09:51am
Category: Advert./Mktg., Florida Livin'
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