Creative Commons is a new system, built upon current copyright law, that allows you to legally use “some rights reserved” music, movies, images, and other content — all for free. CC offers free copyright licenses that anyone can use (without a lawyer) to mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. For instance, a musician would use a Creative Commons license to allow people to legally share her songs online, make copies for friends, or even use them in videos or other compositions.
What will Creative Commons allow me to do as a musician?
Creative Commons licenses give music listeners the right to copy your music, at least non-commercially. Why would you want to give them this right? Distribution. Letting those who love your music distribute it to their friends is a great way for independent musicians to broadly distribute some or all of their music – and at the same time lets you stop others from profiting from your music at your expense.
Can I release my work with different licenses?
Yes, Creative Commons don’t replace copyright, but complement it. It may make sense to license some of your works one way, and some another. And Creative Commons licenses themselves are quite flexible, allowing you to choose what the consumers of your music can do with it. You create your own license by combining these four conditions in a way that works for you:
Attribution: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.
Share Alike: You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.
Non-Commercial: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.
No Derivative Works: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
Is it possible to make money from music released in CC?”
Yes, you can distribute a song on your website with a Creative Commons license, and have the same song on an album with a standard copyright license. Moreover, the noncommercial license option is an inventive tool designed to allow people to maximize the distribution of their works while keeping control of the commercial aspects of their copyright. This means that someone can’t just take a copy of your song and sell it on an album. You retain the rights over who makes money from your music.