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September 23, 2005



But isn't the music already covered by the Creative Commons license? If so, isn't "up to 3" a more restrictive policy than what's already there? If not, where exactly does Craetive Commons apply (in this case, certainly not the albums)?


Interpreting the Creative Commons license used by Magnatune requires a little moral and common sense. If one were so inclined, one could stretch creativity and the concept of the commons to include making numerous copies of the albums and giving them away. It would be contrary to the spirit of the license and no one with a strong conscience could feel good about it, but it's within the realm of possible human actions. When you consider the deal Magnatune makes with the artists, the trust extended to the customers and the importance of changing the way the industry works, it's easy to see that as reprehensible. In fact, it's hard not to.

This current offer allows the purchaser to avoid the gymnastics required. It's also a smart promotion.


I believe the music that is covered by the Creative Commons license used by Magnatunes applies to the non-original version of the music - any of the derivitive files accessible freely such as the 128kb MP3 files, not the high quality files obtained when a CD is purchased. The offer John is extending applies to these purchased files. As an Magnatune artist I fully support John in his efforts to cripple the existing recording industry paradigm.

Nathan Jones

The Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence covers the 128K MP3 previews. When you buy, you have access to higher quality audio files, both compressed (eg. Ogg Vorbis, higher bitrate MP3) and lossless (WAV, FLAC).

Magnatune probably needs a way to more clearly show this, but I'm not exactly sure how...

Marco Raaphorst

This confused me too because of the share-alike license used by Magnatune. I think Creative Commons is not trying to add complexity to the old copyright system, and it confuses the listeners, the common users. The sample license used for the ccMixter Magnatune-contest confused a lot of people, including me. Let's not make it more difficult and you shouldn't need a layer when you are rexing or file-sharing.

Please John can you clarify this for us?

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