I agree with Marco that it’s good to “be brave and experiment”. I think that the BY license is a grand thing, although I’m not inclined to insist that everyone must, as am ideology, use BY or PD in every instance. I do think that the future is going to focus on this “sharing culture” idea, in which technology makes music creators of people who previously were technologically unable to create workable material.

Some fear that Creative Commons music threatens the vocational musician, but I don’t really share that fear. Even given the old saw consumer expectation that “anything I get from the internet should be free”, the reality is that some music creators will be able to do things that catch the eye of consumers, and will achieve an economic return in one form or another. I personally think that music which supports advertising content indirectly through attracting users on a youtube, yahoo or even google model is the most likely revenue model, but time will tell.

I’m not as interested, though, in whether Creative Commons music can be used as a new can opener to sell more CDs. I’m more interested in this notion of a truly sharing culture.

I buy CDs from time to time. Although I believe that the traditional record industry are dinosaurs, I’m not so doctrinaire as to insist that my (non-Apple) mp3 player must consist solely of netlabel releases. Yet, I find that most of my listening these days is to Creative Commons netlabel artists who work from home studios. These folks “be brave” by releasing to the public for free, usually BY NC.

In this vein, I will resist the temptation to say “you must use only BY” or “only BY NC” or “SA”, because, really, the whole point is flexibility. Although I expressed a technical reservation about the clarity of the SA, I agree with Lucas that it’s rather a luxury to choose the license that, as of today, makes the most sense to one’s own notion of one’s music.

My suspicion is that one can “be brave” with BY licenses and still use BY music as a way to promote one’s professional aspirations. As one who has no professional aspirations, as my day job is in another field, it’s all rather beside the point to me (though I do apply an NC from time to time on a whim anyway). If someone releases a cool BY song and someone who “needs” content hears it, this is about as effective a viral marketing device for selling future content as I can imagine.

Yet to me, this whole paradigm of “how will it impact my ability to make money”, which neither Lucas nor Marco focused upon, but which is the focus of so many folks discussing BY, is a bit beside the point. We know for sure, of course, that the changes in technology will change all the economic models for professional musicians.

The thing that interests me, though, is not this fairly standard if dynamic evolution of a particular market in light of more abundant availability of product and marketing (rather like setting up 100 railroads to get cattle to Chicago).

What interests me is the potential to create a culture of shared music, poetry, film, art, and literature which, through a consensual conspiracy among its creators, eschews most or all traditional copyright bars through use of Creative Commons licenses. The potential for creation of a truly new information culture is exciting, and a laboratory as worthy of our efforts as any physics experiment.