Creative Commons: Not perfect but it works

Thought I'd give a little teaser on our upcoming podcast interview with independent musician Jonathan Coulton, known by millions of geeks as the guy who wrote the song Still Alive for the award-winning console game Portal. Jonathan Coulton

Coulton will be featured in Technology in the Arts Podcast episode 38 (to be published Friday, March 14) talking about how he's used Creative Commons and other online practices to build a rabid and connected fan base.

Creative Commons, Coulton explains, allows an artist to apply a standard copyright and then scale back the restrictions. While many musicians and record executives are trying to find ways to lock down their songs, Coulton has found a way to make money giving his music away for free.*

Coulton, and others like him, understand that once you establish a fan community hundreds of thousands strong who are deeply connected to your work, you'll have no problem paying your bills. And Coulton certainly likes people to pay if they can... After all, he has a family to support.

Check out our upcoming podcast for the full Coulton interview, and check out Coulton's songs here.

So what do you think? Can free work for musicians? Should musicians run their own careers?

*Free is fine, but you can also support Coulton's work. Find out how.