One week of living mostly Creative Commons: Day 6 and conclusion

I'm going to recap yesterday and today's Creative Commons living, and recap the experiment as a whole, but first a little tangent:

It's fitting that today's excursion at the Salvation Army netted me The Pet Shop Boys singles anthology. The Pet Shop Boys are one of my guilty pleasures as I like their music but haven't delved too deeply into their back-catalogue. I hadn't charged my phone up the night before so instead of using my phone to listen to CC music we listened to WRCJ's classical music, and on the way home I popped in The Pet Shop Boys. Track 5 of the anthology is the classic Pet Shop Boys song "It's a Sin" which talks about Neil Tennant's Catholic upbringing. There's a Latin passage near the end of the song. From Wikipedia:

The Latin passage near the end translates as, "I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, act, and omission, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault".

Unless something has radically changed in Classical and New-Wave music to make most classical and Pet Shop Boys music Creative Commons Licensed, then I have a confession to make.

Much like the dieter sitting slumped against the refrigerator sobbing into a half-devoured ice cream container, I too have found myself wanting to listen to my non-CC music, and read my non-CC books.

There's no rational reason for it. Putting a CC-license on the material doesn't change the quality of the underlying material any more than dieting changing the flavor of the ice cream. It's still the same excellent material regardless of licensing.

But the main difference; the tipping point if you will is telling myself I shouldn't listen to, or read, or otherwise consume something that isn't CC-licensed. It's that point where I tell myself "you can't have it" that flips a little bit in my brain that makes me resent the initial decision. I can't just hit "random album" on my Squeezebox because I might come across a non-CC-licensed album. I can't read The Healthy Programmer because it's not CC-licensed (even though it's been firmly on my mind). I shouldn't be watching Youtube videos of bands that aren't CC-licensed, but because it's verboten I quietly turn off the tracking and hope nobody is paying attention.

In short, denial can make even the most noble cause turn into resentment, and can bring out the late-night ghoul in all of us.

I'm fortunate to be living in a world with the Creative Commons License providing the balance between artistic intentions and corporate desires. I thoroughly enjoy every second of the music I've listened to on Last.fm.But I think it would be impossible for me to live 100% in a Creative Commons world, and I'm grateful for choice. Sure I wish more artists would release their music under a Creative Commons license - ideally all media would fit under a CC-license. But there is much work to be done to get there, and though I enjoyed my diet of consuming mostly Creative Commons material, I'm looking forward to Sunday where I can just enjoy what I'm listening to and not worry about it's license purity. I'll continue to highlight and encourage artists who release under a Creative Commons license. And I will prefer to spend my money and my time with Creative Commons material as much as possible. But living an exclusionary life because the material doesn't meet my ideological choices for licensing is going a bit far (that said I'll work to make sure I don't actively support those who are hostile to Creative Commons, but that' s another matter).

It just turned midnight, and the experiment is complete. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have, and will continue reading as I highlight some of the gems of the Creative Commons world.


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