Even as the recording and movie industries sue hundreds of college students for illegally swapping files, popular musicians such as David Byrne, the Beastie Boys, and Chuck D. and Fine Arts Militia are encouraging the very behavior the industry is trying to stop: sampling, copying, remixing and circulating their songs online for free. Under a novel licensing scheme called Creative Commons (CC), developed by Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, artists can publish their work under middle-ground protection as "some rights reserved" instead of "all rights reserved." That way, others can listen to or remix the work--usually for noncommercial purposes. "Technology gives...
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