- The license allows fans to legally download, copy and share the song as many times as they want, as long as they don’t sell or alter it.
For artists, “it’s a way to facilitate and improve self-distribution,” said Neeru Paharia, assistant director of Creative Commons. Many musicians put their music on their personal websites and grant permission to users to download their songs, but fans may hesitate because of the current copyright climate. Nearly 3,000 music sharers have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for violating copyright.
“There’s not a clear agreement between the artist and fan,” Paharia said. “The music-sharing license is really meant to clarify that. You don’t have to assume that every piece of music is illegal (to share).”
GarageBand.com — which also licenses its name to Apple Computer for the company’s music-creation software — is the largest site for legal MP3s on the Internet. Since it launched in 1999, 14 of its bands have signed with major music labels. The site is also in the process of transferring songs from the old MP3.com archive into GarageBand.com, which will bring its library up to 300,000 bands with 1.8 million songs.
The music-sharing license is an option for any band that uploads a song to the site. [Wired News]
GarageBand.com also has a program welcoming former MP3.com artists to their site for free (for the first three songs).