Peter Bjuhr Composer

Peter Bjuhr Composer

First an important note before I go into more details of the creative commons licenses: authors, artists, composers and creators and originators in different fields are learning more about how to share their creations and the creative commons licenses are providing them the means for legally doing so. Please do advocate that more should go in this direction, if you like. But don’t be impatient, do respect the decisions of the creators and most importantly don’t encourage unauthorized sharing! But now let’s learn some more about creative commons. Let’s start with this introductory video:

Creative Commons Kiwi by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY) license. The video was made with support from InternetNZ and is a project of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Produced by Mohawk Media.
More videos can be found at I know that this involves some legal stuff which may be difficult to grasp. So let’s go through this from the basics. One important thing to understand is that the licenses are non-exclusive, that means that even if you are distributing something for free through one of these licences you can still sell it for money elsewhere. But if you are selling through a dealer who for their part wants exclusiveness, this can't be done because of the CC license. And it can of course be difficult to sell something you at some level are giving away for free. This feature of non-exclusiveness is actually quite important when it comes to deciding which license to choose. If you still want the possibility to make money on the creation even though you are sharing it with a CC license, you should choose a license which restricts the commercial use. This may seem counter-intuitive, to choose a non-commercial license if you want the possibility to be commercial. But what you are actually doing is saying that you can use my stuff freely as long as you don’t do it commercially, in that department I would still like to keep some possibilities. I like to think of it this way, put simply (a view which is also implied by the video): When you create something which is under the ordinary copyrights law you automatically get certain rights from these laws (remember that the copyright laws can be different in different countries). You keep these rights a long while, hopefully at least as long as you live. But after a certain time the rights is withdrawn from you or your surviving relatives and you creation enters public domain and is free for everyone to use. An obvious example of this is the compositions of Mozart. When describing the creative commons licenses I want to start in that end; through a CC license you can give up your rights and let your work be as free as if it were in public domain. You can’t give up the right to be attributed though when the creation is shared, showed, performed or else way used. And as I understand it works in the public domain surprisingly doesn’t have this right, perhaps because it would be legally impossible to distribute and follow up on these rights. But morally and in common practise these rights exists. You wouldn’t play a piece of Mozart without saying that it was by him. You also have the right to be attributed when the creation is remixed or adapted, and here perhaps we have a difference compared with the works in public domain even in practise. If you don’t like to give up on all of the rights except attribution but would like to keep some, you would like to restrict the CC license. So, what we have is a scale which starts with the public domain with no rights and free use, next is the basic CC license with only the right to be attributed, then follows the other CC licenses which retains more rights and at the other end we have ordinary copyright with all rights reserved. Lets look at this different alternatives in more detail, ranging from totally free to all rights reserved. All quotes taken from licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. 1. Public Domain: “When a work is in the public domain, it is free for use by anyone for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. Public domain is the purest form of open/free, since no one owns or controls the material in any way.” 2. Attribution CC BY, what I call a basic cc license “This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.” 3. Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA, the creation can be adapted but the adaptation must have the same license “This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.” 4. Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND, the right to not have the work altered is retained “This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.” 5. Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC, can’t be used commercially without ordinary permits “This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.” 6. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA “This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.” 7. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND “This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.” 8. Normal copyright all rights reserved As always, if you think I’m wrong or want to respond in an other way please comment!

Peter Bjuhr

Peter Bjuhr Composer

Here I publish information of the music I've written. I also blog about my projects and thoughts about music in general.

I am a contemporary classical composer and compose music for classical musicians, but as you can see from my worklist I've also done other things - including live electronics, electroacoustic music (eam) and music for other types of ensembles (e.g. a jazz trio).

My works have been performed globally, including Europe, Asia and North America.

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