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DMusic Offers Creative Commons Licenses to its User Base Of 300,000

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Oldest independent digital music community and Silicon Valley nonprofit announce new copyright option for musicians

Palo Alto, CA and Jenkintown, PA, USA – DMusic, the first and oldest independent digital music community, announced today that it will offer Creative Commons licenses as an option to all DMusic contributing musicians.

The licenses, provided by the nonprofit Creative Commons, allow artists to invite fans to copy or build upon their work, on certain conditions – to declare “some rights reserved” in contrast to the “all rights reserved” of full-fledged copyright.

Dmusic will also tag Creative Commons-licensed MP3s with metadata – a machine-readable expression of the copyright license terms. The music can thus travel with its own terms of use across the Internet, enabling file-sharing networks and search engines to find and identify it as free to share with its author’s consent.

To see this search feature in action, go to AltaVista’s multimedia search engine, and type, in quotes, “remix me” or “creative commons.”

“The Creative Commons license provides all creators of art, music, literature, and science an opportunity to protect their creations but at the same time allow others to utilize the creation in various ways,” said Larry Feldman, DMusic owner. “DMusic recognizes the need for copyright reform around the world and has decided to take a stand for future creativity unfettered by arcane nineteenth- and twentieth-century copyright ideas. Mash culture, digital copying, cloning and sampling, pastiche and other recently introduced techniques, added to the ease of digital transformation of pre-existing materials into new art and art forms, are making the old copyright laws a drag on creativity. Artists shouldn’t have to worry about such complicated stuff. The copyright law makes the tax code look like E = MC2.”

“The best music in America is independent,” said Thomas Barger, DMusic user. Saying ‘yes’ to Creative Commons licensing is saying ‘yes’ to a commitment to reaching the widest audience possible.”

“DMusic’s move to offer Creative Commons licenses is an important step for the mainstream music community,” said Lawrence Lessig, chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford. “The Net has long facilitated music sharing and distribution – technically. Creative Commons copyright licenses, seamlessly integrated by DMusic for its willing contributors, further facilitate sharing – legally.”

About Tagging MP3s as “Some Rights Reserved”

Creative Commons copyright licenses come in three expressions: (1) an intuitive, plain-language summary (human-readable); (2) a thorough copyright license complete with all the legal nitty-gritty (lawyer-readable); and (2) a summary of the legal terms in mark-up language (machine-readable). DMusic now tags licensed MP3s with the machine-readable layer, so that search engines and fans can find and identify legally shared music.

To learn more about Creative Commons’ MP3 technology, visit

About Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative reuse of intellectual works – whether owned or in the public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society.

For general information, visit

For our press kit, visit

To learn more about Creative Commons’ international efforts, visit

About DMusic

DMusic is the first and oldest independent digital music community. It was founded in 1997, features approximately 100,000 independently owned music tracks uploaded from desktop computers all over the planet, and is home to over 300,000 registered users. DMusic offers free and enhanced subscriber services for musicians and fans of music, including free digital Internet radio, a CD store, options to stream or download, and lots more. DMusic LLC is a privately owned concern and a division of Lawtomation, Inc. of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit


Neeru Paharia
Assistant Director, Creative Commons
1.650.724.3717 (tel)

Lawrence Feldman
Owner, DMusic

Press Kit:

Posted 04 May 2004