I still say that the bottom dropping out of advertising revenues at the end of the dot-com ‘bubble’ was the best thing to ever happen to Wired Magazine. It gave them a kick up the ass and forced them to go back to producing material that was both relevant and interesting to their readers.
For example, before christmas they gave away a CD with every copy of their magazine. The CD was filled with tracks from artists like David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Le Tigre. Nothing unusual there – magazines give away CDs of music all the time. The major difference being that this was all music licensed under a [Creative Commons](http://www.creativecommons.org) license. Titled “**The Wired CD — Rip. Mix. Sample. Mash. Share.**”, they (the artists and Wired) not only allowed people to do whatever they wanted with these tunes, they positively encouraged it. As part of this encouragement, Wired ran a competition where people would send in their mixes of the songs on this CD and the best ones would be put on *another* Wired cover CD, which they are going to title “**The Wired CD — Ripped. Mixed. Sampled. Mashed. Shared.**” (which is such a fantastic idea, it actually sends shivers down my spine).
Well, the [winners were announced](http://ccmixter.org/contests/wired/winners), and some of them are really good. I’ve got the original CD in my pc in work (although it barely touched, what with the amount of Philip Glass I end up playing during work) and it’s impressive to listen to the amount of variation, epsecially when you consider that they’re all coming from the same set of source tracks.
A remarkable response to the “sampling is not *creating*” argument.