The Open Source Music License (OSML)
Version 1.5, June 2003
Copyright (C) 2003 Root# Records
65 Dana St. Apt. 7, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
This document is based on the GNU Public License (GPL).
Special thanks to the authors of the GPL, without whom this
license might not exist.
Most music is distributed with the maximum possible restrictions
allowed under copyright law. By contrast, the Open Source
Music License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share
and change musicto make sure the music is free for
all its listeners. This Open Source Music License applies
to all of the recordings released under the Root Records
label and to any other piece of music whose authors commit
to using it. You can apply it to your music, too.
When we speak of free music, we are referring to freedom,
not price. This license is designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free music (and
charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source
audio or can get it if you want it, that you can change the
music or use pieces of it in new free recordings; and that
you know you can do these things.
To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that
forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender
the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities
for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you
For example, if you distribute copies of such a program,
whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients
all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they,
too, receive or can get the source audio. And you must show
them these terms so they know their rights.
We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the
music, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal
permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the music.
Also, if the music is modified by someone else and passed
on, we want its recipients to know that what they have is
not the original, so that any differences introduced by others
will not reflect on the original authors' reputations. We
also want to preserve the original author's reputation by
making sure every copy made gives appropriate credit to the
author of the previous copy, all the way back to the original.
The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution
and modification follow.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION
0. APPLICATION This License applies to any piece of
music which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder
saying it may be distributed under the terms of this Open
Source Music License. The "Original Music", below,
refers to any such work, and a "work based on the Original
Music" means either the Original Music or any derivative
work under copyright law: that is to say, a work containing
the Original Music or a portion of it, either verbatim or
with modifications and/or translated into another language.
(Hereinafter, translation is included without limitation
in the term "modification".) Each licensee is addressed
Activities other than copying, distribution, broadcasting,
sampling and creating derivitave works are not covered by
this License; they are outside its scope.
1. COPYING, DISTRIBUTING THE ORIGINAL MUSIC You may
copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Original Music
and/or the Original Music's source audio as you receive it,
in any medium, provided that you:
a) conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy:
- credit to the original authors along with
the appropriate copyright notice
- a statement informing the recipient that
this is not an official authorized release
- information about where to obtain an official
authorized release (the author's website or email address will suffice)
b) keep intact all the notices that refer to this License
c) supply any other recipients of the Original Music with
a copy of this License or the URL of where to view this License (http://www.rootrecords.org/licenses.html)
along with the Original Music.
You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring
2. DERIVATIVE WORKS You may modify your copy or copies
of the Original Music or any portion of it, thus forming
a work based on the Original Music, and copy and distribute
such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above,
provided that you also meet all of these conditions:
a) You must cause the modified Music to carry prominent notices
stating that you changed the Original Music, the date of any change, who the
original author was and where someone can obtain copies of the Original Music.
This must be done for every iteration until you reach the original author.
b) You must make the source audio of any work that you distribute or publish,
that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Original Music or any
part thereof, available under the terms of section 3.
SAMPLING: Sampling is defined as using a portion of the Original
Music in a piece of music of your own creation. You must
obtain express written permission to sample the Original
Music if you cannot comply with section 2. If you can comply,
no permission is required.
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole.
If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from
the Original Music, and can be reasonably considered independent
and separate works in themselves, then this License, and
its terms, does not apply to those sections when you distribute
them as separate works. But when you distribute the same
sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the
Original Music, the distribution of the whole must be on
the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees
extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part
regardless of who wrote it.
Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights
or contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather,
the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution
of derivative or collective works based on the Original Music.
In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on
the Original Music with the Original Music (or with a work
based on the Original Music) on a volume of a storage or
distribution medium does not bring the other work under the
scope of this License.
3. SOURCE AVAILABILITY You may copy and distribute
the Original Music (or a work based on it, under Section
2) under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that
you also do one of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding source audio,
which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
customarily used for audio interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
years, to supply any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically
performing source distribution (or $5 US, whichever is greater), with a complete copy of the corresponding source
audio, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
customarily used for audio interchange; or,
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to where
to obtain the corresponding source audio. (This alternative is allowed only for
If distribution of final audio is made by offering access
to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent
access to copy the source audio from the same place counts
as distribution of the source audio, even though third parties
are not compelled to copy the source along with the final
The source audio for a work is defined as a set of aiff or
wav files that corrospond to each track as it was used in
the mixing stage, before bouncing them to a stereo image.
If software effects were applied to a certain track, you
have the option of just providing the track with the effects
printed onto it, or also including the track before any effects.
It is suggested that you also provide information as to what
effects were used, and how, but this is not required. For a written work (e.g. Mozart's
Don Giovanni), the score is considered the source audio.
4. ACCEPTANCE OF THIS LICENSE You are not required
to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However,
nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute
the Original Music or its derivative works. These actions
are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License.
Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Original Music
(or any work based on the Original Music), you indicate your
acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and
conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Original
Music or works based on it.
You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Original
Music except as expressly provided under this License. Any
attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute
the Work is void, and will automatically terminate your rights
under this License. However, parties who have received copies,
or rights, from you under this License will not have their
licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full
Each time you redistribute the Original Music (or any work
based on the Original Music), the recipient automatically
receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute
or modify the Derivative Music subject to these terms and
conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on
the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You
are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties
to this License.
5. COURT ORDERS If, as a consequence of a court judgment
or for any other reason, conditions are imposed on you (whether
by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the
conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the
conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as
to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License
and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence
you may not distribute the Original Music at all. For example,
if a copyright would not permit royalty-free redistribution
of the Original Music by all those who receive copies directly
or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy
both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from
distribution of the Original Music.
If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable
under any particular circumstance, the balance of the section
is intended to apply and the section as a whole is intended
to apply in other circumstances.
It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe
any copyrights or other property right claims or to contest
validity of any such claims; this section has the sole purpose
of protecting the integrity of the free music distribution
system, which is implemented by public license practices.
This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is
believed to be a consequence of the rest of this License.
6. GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITATIONS If the distribution and/or
use of the Original Music is restricted in certain countries
by copyrights, the original copyright holder who places the
Original Music under this License may add an explicit geographical
distribution limitation excluding those countries, so that
distribution is permitted only in or among countries not
thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the
limitation as if written in the body of this License.
7. NEW VERSIONS OF THE OSML Root Records may publish
revised and/or new versions of the Open Source Music License
from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit
to the present version, but may differ in detail to address
new problems or concerns.
Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If
the Original Music specifies a version number of this License
which applies to it and "any later version", you
have the option of following the terms and conditions either
of that version or of any later version published by Root
Records. If the Original Music does not specify a version
number of this License, you may choose any version ever published
by Root Records.
8. DIFFRING DISTRIBUTION CONDITIONS If you wish to
incorporate parts of the Original Music into other free works
whose distribution conditions are different, write to the
author to ask for permission. Our decision will be guided
by the two goals of preserving the free status of all derivatives
of our free music and of promoting the sharing and reuse
of music generally.
9. BROADCASTING You may broadcast the Original Music
as you wish, provided you give credit to the original author(s),
and directions on where to obtain the Original Music following
10. ACCOMPANYING VIDEO The Original Music shall require
express written consent from the original author(s) to be
brodcasted or distributed alongside accompanying video. If a derivative
work is less than 75% different from the original, express written consent
must also be obtained from the original author. The
purpose of this section is to prevent the artistic integrity
of the work (and thereby the author'(s)) from being compromised
by displaying it along with a film or advertisement that
the author of the Original Music feels would tarnish his
reputation. Any freedoms granted in the above sections are null
and void with respect to distribution alongside accompanying video.
END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
How to Apply These Terms to Your New Music
If you make new music, and you want it to be of the greatest
possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this
is to make it free, which everyone can redistribute and change
under these terms.
To do so, attach a "copyright" line and this notice
(or a pointer to where the full notice is found (http://www.rootrecords.org/licenses.html,
for instance) to the recording.
Copyright (C) 2069 Gnorman Hardrockson
This music is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the Open Source Music License as published
by Root# Records; either version 1.5 of the License, or (at
your option) any later version. If you haven't recieved a
copy of the Open Source Music License along with this recording,
Also add information on how to contact you by electronic
and paper mail.
1.1 Added a provision in section 3 for a 1-track recording;
added another for written music; removed bit about not being
able to profit from broadcasting the Original Audio; reorganised
section numbers; minor text edits.
1.5 Removed provision in section 3 for a 1-track recording
- created the OML in its stead. Added bit in section 3
that allows people to charge up to $5 for the cost of the
source media. Removed provision in section 2 that required
people to make their derivative works available for download
for free. Expanded section 10, making it more clear.