'Crystal Castles @ Wrongbar' by blogTO flickr pooler Sam-bot

Crystal Castles' Creative Commons Controversy


Are local chip-pop darlings Crystal Castles a couple of common crooks? If you ask Belgian producer Lo-bat, the answer could surprise you.

It would appear that local duo have raised hackles within the Creative Commons community, who allege that the Toronto musicians violated Lo-bat's rights when they sampled his song "My Little Droid Needs a Hand" outside the provisions of Creative Commons licensing.

The song in question, "Insecticon," is currently listed on the band's label's MySpace page as CC vs. Lo-Bat, but that wasn't the case when the track first surfaced, and to many this doesn't go far enough.

For those requiring a little bit of background information, a Creative Commons license is a legal means for artists to distribute their wares in a rather unique manner; they make their art available free of charge, and allow anyone to make derivative works provided that it's for non-commercial use, the original source is attributed, and the resulting product is also released under a Creative Commons license.

Judge for yourself: here is Lo-Bat's tune and here is Crystal Castles' apparent rip-off. The Crystal Castles tune is not for sale, but the chip-tunes community is quick to point out that it's being used to promote other material that is for sale, which violates the spirit of Creative Commons.

There are some who would say that Creative Commons is a farce - a means for bedroom producers who aren't likely to make any money in the first place to feel like they have some sort of copyright over their product - but it's actually an idea that's coming more and more into the mainstream. Just this week, for example, Nine Inch Nails released their latest album, The Slip, free of charge under a Creative Commons license a full two months before the obligatory CD release/world tour.

So what do you think? Are Crystal Castles violating Lo-bat's rights? Does Creative Commons have a future? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

Thanks to blogTO reader Greg for the tip.

Photo "Crystal Castles @ Wrongbar" by blogTO flickr pooler Sam-bot


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