[LAU] OT: releasing music under Creative Commons

Leigh Dyer lsd at wootangent.net
Tue Apr 3 06:17:01 UTC 2012

On 03/04/12 09:06, Kris Calabio wrote:
> I'm sure a lot of you have experience distributing your music under a
> Creative Commons license so I'd like some of your thoughts.  My band
> finished recording a full length album recently, and we are planning on
> releasing it under CC-BY-NC-SA.
> Our plan is to sell our album with a "Name your price" deal.  But if you
> choose to pay over a certain amount (like $12 or so) you also get a
> T-shirt and a sticker (or some other sort of gifts).  We have done
> something like this in the past with our demos.  We gave them away for
> free but also accepted donations.  A lot of people paid us nothing, but
> a few people were quite generous!

I think that's a great way to go. I recently put my latest album up on 
Bandcamp as a name-your-price download with no minimum price, not really 
expecting to get anything from it, but some fans were indeed generous! 
Selling merch (or even CDs or vinyl) can be great way to boost sales, 
too, from what I've seen.

> How do you make money with this sort of license?

I don't think the licence really makes much difference in terms of 
sales. If you're popular enough, people can and will copy your music 
regardless of what licence is on it, so the fact that it's legal to do 
so (within the licence terms) with CC licences doesn't really change 

Either way, the people that want to support you will, and the people 
that don't want to support you won't.

Things are a little more complicated when it comes to other sources of 
money, such as licencing for TV, film, advertising, etc. if you're 
interested in those. The NC clause protects you here, though, since it 
prevents such people from using your music for free in most 
circumstances. Since CC licences are non-exclusive, you're still free to 
negotiate separate licence deals with anyone that does want to use your 
work commercially.


More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list