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The Indie Band Survival Guide, new book on how to succeed on your own
Monday, August 11 2008 @ 06:11 PM EDT

Groklaw member ExcludedMiddle tells us:

Hey folks. I just thought that you'd like to know that I have become a new author of a book published by St. Martin's Press/Macmillan. I've been on here since the beginning, and I just wanted to share, partially because the book is probably of interest to you guys. Lawrence Lessig was an inspiration for the book, and after sending him a copy, he liked it so much that he wrote a blurb for it. It was also covered by the Creative Commons in a recent blog entry.

The book is the Indie Band Survival Guide, and is available at Amazon, and all of the major bookstores. It tells musicians exactly how to succeed on their own, entirely without music labels.

In the book, I advocate the use of Creative Commons licenses, argue that file sharing is an excellent way to get your music heard, and talk about the balance between copyright and commerce, which I know are topics dear to Groklaw denizens.

In case you're curious, Professor Lessig said the following about the book:

"The Internet is an extraordinary opportunity for musicians to make and profit from their music. This clearly written and comprehensive book shows exactly how. A perfect balance between the mess of the law and the promise of the technology, it should be read by anyone who wants to take their talent and share it—for the love of sharing, or for the profit."

~Lawrence Lessig, author of Code, professor at Stanford Law School, founder of the Center for the Internet and Society, and CEO of the Creative Commons project

Among other things, we cover how music copyright works in detail within a section written by my co-author, an attorney.

But possibly the most interesting thing about the book is that it could not have existed without the Creative Commons. We gave away the original version from our website as a PDF, under a CC license that let people share it freely, non-commercial. Without this sharing, we would never have been noticed by Billboard magazine, who wrote an article about the PDF. This was followed by the Associated Press. And, next thing we knew, a publisher was interested.

We are a living counter-example to the misguided concept that the Creative Commons destroys the commercial viability of whatever is licensed by it. We would not have a publisher if we hadn't. We're doing everything we can to make this book a success after being available for free. (And if you want to help us do this, just pick up a copy which is around $10 discounted. Especially if you're a musician or interested in music copyright.)

Thanks everyone! I'll keep you informed of how it goes with us, and how our relations with the publisher go with the Creative Commons angle. I hope to pave the way for other authors.


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