Free Music License?

MJ Ray mjr at
Sun Aug 14 11:11:39 UTC 2005

Ben Finney <ben at> wrote:
> On 14-Aug-2005, Roland H=E4der wrote:
> > [...] But you cannot compare music with software nor
> > documentation. Music is different to them.
> It's not different under copyright law though. If you want to grant
> the same freedoms, you can use the same license for *all* your
> software: programs, documentation, music, images, data, ...

I agree with the general point: we shouldn't rely on
distinguishing bit streams to determine which standard of
freedom applies. Sadly, some copyright laws do distinguish
documentation and music, but I'm still not sure whether it's
enough to require different licences. The best situation for
music in a GPL package is the GPL, which is quite clever in its
definitions of "program" and "source code" and lets it cover
any software, including music and documentation.

A possible alternative is the Open Audio License from EFF, but I
don't remember if that's a free software licence or not. CC-scotland
is a big improvement on CC 2 and I hope CC 3 will include similar
fixes to make some variants (like CC-by) free software friendly.

I'll be discussing free software other than programs at Scundog
in Yorkshire on Tuesday 30 August, as well as demo'ing the
koha library system.  See for details
and directions. Please let me know if you're coming and have a
question I should prepare for!

Best wishes,
MJ Ray (slef), K. Lynn, England, email see

More information about the Discussion mailing list