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Last October, Creative Commons, a San Francisco nonprofit at the forefront of the copyleft movement, announced on its website that it had found the right entity to take its ccMixter to the next level: ArtisTech Media in San Diego.

ccMixter.org is a community-accessible music site aimed at remix culture. One can sample, mash-up, remix, or upload songs without fear of criminalization. The site’s remixes and samples are licensed under Creative Commons, agreements that for the most part allow for noncommercial file-sharing but prohibit commercial use.

Former MP3tunes president Emily Richards is cofounder and CEO of ArtisTech Media, which bills itself as “the Next Gen Label for Next Gen Artists.”

“We’re a startup,” she says. “We’re still in the prefunding stage. We have 11 volunteers working full time and a team of editors and administrators.”

Richards fancies that ArtisTech Media one day will become established as an online community and collaborative toolset for source-track management, at the heart of which now lies ccMixter.org.

“We’re trying to share this with the bands here that are beginning to realize that their futures are not going to be with a [record] label,” she says. One such band is Rodeo Drive, she says, their first local group. “Some of the members are from Tijuana, and the others live in San Diego.”

Of ArtisTech Media, guitarist and director of artist and business development Jason Brock says, “It’s completely changing music.”

“I’ll post an a cappella track,” says Richards, “or Jason will post a guitar track, and we’ll get back 50 different songs.” She and Brock call it an example of crowd-sourcing in music. And from the record-label purview of ArtisTech Media, Richards says that ccMixter allows artists to be developed by listeners.

“The future of music is happening,” says Brock. “It’s just happening in places where people aren’t looking.”

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