The Open Source Music License (OSML)

Version 1.1, September 2002

Copyright (C) 2002 Root Records
707 Ronald Ave. Missoula MT, 59801 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 music—to 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 modify it.

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.


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 as "you".

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 ( along with the Original Music.

You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy.

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 cause 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, to be available as a whole at no charge (e.g. for download from a website) to all third parties under the terms of this License. You may of course also sell physical copies for as much as you wish.

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, 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 noncommercial distribution.)

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. If the recording was made with a single microphone and/or a single track of audio, which is in turn the work in its entirety, then the work cannot be considered open-source. However, you may still apply this license to it, and all terms besides section 3 will still apply. For a written work (e.g. Mozart's Don Giovanni), the score is considered the source audio.

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 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 compliance.

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 each broadcast.

10. ACCOMPANYING VIDEO The Original Music shall require express written consent from the original author(s) to be brodcasted or distributed alongside accompanying video. 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.


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 (, 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 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, visit

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.


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