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EFF Open Audio License:
Changes from ver. 1.0[.0]: Typo corrections; no substantive changes.
Digital technology and the Internet can empower artists to reach a worldwide audience and to build upon each other's ideas and imagination with extremely low production and distribution costs. Many software developers, through both the open source software initiative and the free software movement, have long taken advantage of these facts to create a vibrant community of shared software that benefits creators and the public.
EFF's Open Audio License provides a legal tool that borrows from both movements providing freedom and openness to use music and other expressive works in new ways. It allows artists to grant the public permission to copy, distribute, adapt, and publicly perform their works royalty-free as long as credit is given to the creator as the Original Author.
As in the software communities, this license is intended to help foster a community of creators and performers who are free to share and build on each others' work. This also frees their audience to share works that they enjoy with others, all for the purpose of creating a rich and vibrant public commons.
More specifically, this license is designed to serve as a tool of freedom for artists who wish to reach one another and new fans with their original works. It allows musicians to collaborate in creating a pool of "open audio" that can be freely modified, exchanged, and utilized in new ways. Artists can use this license to promote themselves and take advantage of the new possibilities for empowerment and independence that technology provides. It also allows the public to experience new music, and connect directly with artists, as well as enable "super distribution" where the public is encouraged to copy and distribute a work, adding value to the artist's reputation while experiencing a world of new music never before available.
Why is the EFF advocating a license?
Because, despite the fact that we are uneasy with the licensing, as opposed to sale, of both music and software, we see this particular license as a tool of freedom. Our goal is to use the tools of copyright to free artists and audiences from the portion of current copyright law that seems, to us, to be getting in the way of copyright's original purpose -- the creation of a vibrant public commons of music that we all can enjoy and that artists can build upon. As part of it, we hope to demonstrate some of what we believe should be the best practices in licenses, including respect for the rights and limitations of copyright law including fair use, first sale rights, as well as consumer protection laws and of course freedom of speech. The aim of this license is to use copyright tools to achieve copyright's stated objectives of spreading knowledge and culture while preserving incentives for the author.
For legal purposes, this document is the official license under
which Open Audio is made available for public use. The original version of
this document may be found at:
Specific terms and conditions for accessing, copying, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and attribution follow.
II. TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR USE:
Access, Copying, Distribution, Public Performance, Adaptation, and Attribution
This license applies to any work offered by the Original Author(s) with a notice indicating that it is released under the terms of the EFF Open Audio License, "(O)". If used in conjunction with a sound recording (whether in digital or analog form), this license encompasses the copyright in both the sound recording (the "master" rights) and the underlying musical composition (the "songwriter" rights).
The Original Author retains the copyrights to works released under this license, but grants the worldwide public permission to use the work in the ways authorized herein. Activities other than those specifically addressed below are outside the scope of this license.
III. HOW TO USE THIS LICENSE
If you are a musician, band, or other artist and you want your creative works to be experienced by the widest audience possible and touch the hearts and minds of the greatest number of people around the world, the EFF Open Audio License allows your fans and supporters to market and distribute your work through viral marketing that creates attention and adds value to your identity. You can also help build a common pool of creative expression that can be accessed and improved upon by all of society.
To do so, convey or affix the following information to or about the copy or performance of the work:
(O) Future Tribe "Gaian Smile" www.VirtualRecordings.com 2001 V.1.0
(O) Future Tribe "Imitatio Mundi" email@example.com 2001 V.1.0
This license is designed to provide artists with a mechanism to promote their creative talents and identity to millions of people through releasing certain recordings to the public. It is also designed to serve as a tool to allow musicians to experiment with new business models that do not depend solely on a payment of fee-per-copy. Changing times require artists be creative in devising new business models for assuring payment and adequate compensation for their important contributions to society.
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Please send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.