Benefits of Creative Commons VS APRA


accc = Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
APRA =Australian Performing Rights Association

The organization of APRA was set up by publishers/artists to protect works owned by publishers. In 1926 the only art that could yield any financial reward was most likely owned by a publisher. Things are different now; yet APRA is still the same. The internet has created the opportunity for anyone to create and publish. Your your own media station. With an internet connection and a computer anyone has the ability to publish whatever she or he is able to manifest. If you use the creative commons licensing system, your art has the ability to find a natural place within our culture. It does not have to be at the mercy of the corporation to be a part of regular culture anymore.

Copyright has again and again been extended. The way I see copyright is this: Copyright is a fire wall around my art and the collection society is another fire wall around that wall. The collection "society" distributes works in the interest of the corporation. This extension of copyright not only has an impact on all forms art, yet also has an impacts on the scientific community. My friend works as sociologist in Prague, (a transforming eastern block country) the institute just paid 2000 euros for gender journals for their library. What hope do organizations in the very underdeveloped countries have of being able to use this material ? The only way that people are able to access this information legally in these developing nations is through the charity of the developed world. How does that make the people in these developing countries feel ? What is the cultural cost of the extension of copyright in these developing countries ?

The same could be said for the self published artist that has registered her or his works with a collection society and is not using any form of creative commons licensing. The rights to your performance are now controlled by an organization that represents the interests of a corporation. Look at the board of APRA. Ask yourself this question; as you look through the list of those on the board of APRA. Do any of these people care for my art ? the chairman of the board is head of the largest independent publisher in Australia, yet they do not listen to demos that are sent in from the artist. Someone within the business of music has to present your music to that organization. So by the time it does get to the publisher, its already partly lost its independence. Or your out of pocket with the expense of this publicity to a publisher. Does the publisher of ACDC's catalog of music have an interest in you being able to license your works to the local radio station at no cost ? (to give your tunes some hope of competing with the publishing giant) The answer is most likely no. If the publisher did she or he would loose their job. The publisher of ACDC's music is on the board of APRA. Its an even longer way to the top, thanks ACDC.

If you cancel your membership with APRA and license your works using a creative commons style license, people are going to feel more comfortable to use that material. As an artist your able to choose how you would like your content to be used. Commercial or Non-commercial, its upto you. When you sign with APRA you give APRA the rights to your musical conversation. This means that where ever you go, APRA is with you (until you cancel) My conclusion of APRA is that it represents the interest of small and large publishers. APRA's role is to collect the maximum royalty possible; extending and maintaining this structure is APRA's mission. The ACCC is not doing any research into how much self published material is being used. Why is this ? Did you set out on your journey to collect a royalty or to have your tunes become a part of the culture you live in. The artists of now and the future have to reflect on the current situation. Being attributed for your work may be the only way to get the credibility you deserve. With creative commons your art can be appreciated and find a flow; creative commons is only going to grow as a system of licensing. Last year over 3000 artists joined APRA, none of these artists were advised by APRA to get legal advice prior to joining. The reason that APRA give for these artists not having to get legal advice is that APRA have the support of the ACCC.

Possible conclusion: As a member of a collecting society your participating in the cultural decimation of developing nations.

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