Yoko Ono Embraces Creative Commons? O Yes!


When a rep for Yoko Ono pinged me last week about a new crowdsourced remix project the legendary artist was launching, my first question was, "Will the resulting fan-remixes be made available under a Creative Commons license? And if not, would you consider talking to the CC folks to learn more about why that's a good idea?"

Well, I am very excited to share that after some good conversations between Ms. Ono's camp and the Creative Commons folks (specifically Creative Director Eric Steuer), the answer is YES.

This is so awesome! Brava to Ms. Ono for introducing her work into the realm of "open culture," this is a brave and significant step. It makes me very happy to see this kind of dialogue and risk-taking happen with artists whose legacies and cultural influence are as broad as hers. I also think the remix project in question sounds like a lot of fun, and I encourage you to go check it out -- and participate! Here's the announcement from her team:

yopob.jpg Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band - The Sun Is Down (remix) competition.

We're very pleased to announce that thanks to the helpful advice of Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing and Eric Steuer at Creative Commons, the audio elements for Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band - The Sun Is Down (remix) are now being released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License. We firmly believe that releasing the elements under a CC license embodies the true spirit of the competition.

In light of this, we have extended the competition deadline to 12 December 2009 to allow time for those who may now wish to contribute under the revised terms. In addition, artists interested in permissions beyond the scope of the CC license can email us at remix@yopob.com.

Long live the remix. Here's a post about this cool news on the Creative Commons blog.


  1. Yoko is well known AND LOVED within the bootleg taper circles. She has sent many unreleased tapes of John’s music to traders over the years…because John himself was an avid collector of Beatles music!

  2. I’ve come to appreciate Yoko the artist, from her films to her word paintings. She is definitely much more than simply “John’s woman”… but her music remains terrible! There’s a difference between minimalism and simply not having any good musical ideas… she’s so hung up on conceptual art, she has no idea how to do anything interesting, musically speaking. Letting the world take a crack at improving her stuff makes plenty of sense to me. She has everything to gain and nothing to lose…

    1. Das, you obviously have never heard or appreciated Plastic Ono Band, without which punk rock couldn’t have existed.

  3. This is awesome news, Xeni! Good job. This AND the Rachel Maddow Show within the same week? Somebody’s on a roll!

  4. This is great news, but it doesn’t surprise me. Yoko Ono has been on the outer fringes of art for a long time, and has always given new things a shot. It makes me happy to see someone with such public visibility endorse CC.

  5. I love Yoko. I love “We’re All Water” and I love a lot of other compositions and performances. Yoko is profoundly unique and I think much braver than all who waste light and breath as detractors.

  6. That’s great news indeed!
    Now if only that “Download” link could actually work, I would be able to get my grubby hands on those samples and start working on this thing…
    Anyone actually managed to download the samples?

  7. I assume the CC agreement take precedence over the EULA that accompanies the package?

    The legalese that still accompanies the thing is:


    This Audio Track end user agreement (“EULA”) is a legal agreement between you and Chimera Records, LLC. 

    Read it carefully before downloading and using the audio tracks.  This agreement grants you a license to use the audio tracks and contains warranty information and liability disclaimers.

    By downloading and using the audio tracks, you are confirming your acceptance of the terms of this agreement:

    1. The master recording and composition made available on this site hereafter referred to as the “Audio Tracks” remain the property and copyright of Chimera Music, LLC, its licensors and/or the relevant music publishers at all times.

    2. The Audio Tracks are made available to you for personal use only.

    3. You may download the Audio Tracks and use them for personal entertainment and enjoyment. Your remixes/creations shall be termed “Derivative Works” for the purposes of this agreement. The copyright in these Derivative Works shall remain the copyright of Chimera Music, LLC.

    4. No rights are granted to make the Audio Tracks or the proceeds of the Audio Tracks available to the general public either for general use or for commercial purposes.

    5. You hereby warrant that you will not make the Derivative Works available to the public except for emailing your remixes to remix@yopob.com, which is permitted under the terms of this license.

    6. You agree to indemnify Chimera Music, LLC against any third party costs paid by Chimera Music, LLC pursuant to a third party claim which arises as a direct result of a breach by you of the foregoing warranties or representations.

    7. Subject only to rights herein above granted to you, all rights of every kind and nature in said Audio Tracks are reserved to Chimera Music, LLC together with all rights of use thereof.

    8. You warrant that you will not make any defamatory use of the Audio Tracks.

    9. You warrant that you will not infringe anyone’s intellectual property rights in creating your Derivative Works.

    10. You warrant that you have contractual capacity and are not precluded from entering into this agreement.

    11. Chimera Music, LLC and/or its affiliates, agents or licensees shall be entitled to distribute your Derivative Works for non-commercial purposes in any format whether now known or hereafter invented throughout the world in perpetuity.

    12. In the event that Chimera Music, LLC at their discretion wish to commercially exploit your Derivative Works then you hereby agree to enter into good faith negotiations with Chimera Music, LLC.

    13. Nothing herein shall constitute or be deemed to constitute a partnership or co-authorship or co-ownership between you and any of the copyright holders either in and/or to the master rights or the publishers/composers rights.

    14. We may from time to time vary any of these terms and conditions for any valid reason. We will notify members of any variation in writing by placing a notice on the website seven (7) days prior to the variation being effective.

    15. By downloading and using the Audio Tracks you hereby accept the terms of this agreement.

    16. This agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of New York State, the courts of which (Federal and State) in New York County shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

    17. We reserve the right to refuse or remove mixes, files, comments, content of any kind in our sole discretion.

  8. Rumours Of Whores are pleased to announce their Photosphere Mix of Yoko’s amazing song. Kudos to Yoko for embracing the Creative Commons license – we hope more follow. This isn’t an advertisement – you can find ROW tracks using Google, if you’re interested, but the main point of this post is to congratulate Yoko on doing the right thing.

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