Creative Commons License Feedback and Discussion


It does look nice, and apparenlty the site uses 320 kbps streaming

I do not like this part so much, though (from Audius’ “terms of use”):

“By submitting or publishing Content, you hereby grant Audius a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the content, and the right to sublicense such rights, in connection with and anywhere on or through the Service and/or Audius’ (and its successors’, assigns’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Services (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Services anon-exclusive license to access your content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service. You also hereby grant Audius (andits successors, assigns and affiliates) a non-exclusive license to use its name, logo or assets in promoting the content or the Services or in connection with other publicity or marketing materials (including Web sites, blogs and printed collateral) without your prior written approval but will not attribute any quote to you or specific endorsement by you without your permission.”

Now, I’m not a lawyer - but, if I read this correctly, it means that you literally lose all rights to a track as soon as you upload it. For a label (like the IDMF netlabel) that means you also give away your exclusive rights to sell the music.

…which is arguably not an ideal business strategy.

Are your label artists aware that you’re giving the rights to the music away like this?

IDM Forums is now available on Audius

It’s certainly not possible for me to contact every artist the label has ever had in 10+ years and let them know about this, no. However, throughout the label’s history, if I understand correctly, we never retained exclusive rights to publish or sell a song more than a year anyways, and that was only a gentleman’s agreement.

You bring up a fair point, however I think this is Audius trying to cover their collective user base rather than selling our stuff behind our backs and pocketing money we would otherwise have earned. I think what all this is trying to do is protect their node operators. One of the fancy things that Audius does is rather than host it’s material on servers owned by the company, it hosts material on a distributed network kinda like a file torrent. This is for a couple of reasons, but one of the things they highlight is that it means it is very difficult for a derivative work to be taken down by a copyright strike. Essentially, this should be remix and bootleg heaven. Because the servers aren’t owned by Audius, my guess is they need legal permission to hand your music over to whoever is interested in hosting it AND they need permission to take in or split ad revenue from those many third party hosts (I believe they have a whitepaper about this if you’d like, and they are also very active on their Discord channel if you have questions you want to put to them directly). Technically, yes they are reselling your music to other listeners, however I don’t think you’re going to see an Audius page on Bandcamp or Itunes selling everything that’s ever been uploaded to the service, or an option to purchase tracks on Audius that the label isn’t made aware of.

That’s just my take.


What Audius’ terms of service mean is that they can use the music you upload without being required to pay you for the use.
What it doesn’t mean is that you can’t make money from your music.

You don’t lose your rights to the music. You are granting a license, not a right of ownership.

It’s still your song.

A bit further up in the agreement, they note:
You agree that the Service contains Content provided by the Company and Creators and Users
and that the Content may be protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade
secrets, or other rights and laws.

In other words, they preserve copyright laws in their curation service.

So do we.
So, really, they long-hand wrote a variation of CC BY.

Which, as it happens, is the same license we employ at the Netlabel, and is one of the most common styles of licenses for online streaming content for such services, and is the most common form of license among Netlabels.

You agree to give us the song, and you allow us to use it indefinitely for any purpose as long as we attribute it to you. Such a license does not prevent you from going off and distributing your music digitally and making money from that distribution.
It does prevent you from coming to the Netlabel and demanding payment for streaming or album sales that the Netlabel made using your song which you submitted under the license.



Now you tell me… deletes prepared documents :wink:


Thank you for the clarification.

I don’t think your interpretation is the only possible interpretation of this paragraph.

To me it looks like they’re telling you, that if you upload copyrighted material, then the responsibility for doing that (and in doing so effectively voiding that copyright) is yours.

You basically acknowledge that you are aware that you might do something illegal, which means that the company cannot be sued for using copyrighted material uploaded by you without permission.

I think the wording is sufficiently unclear to warrant this interpretation anyway.

But yeah, perhaps I’m just being paranoid.

I’ll make an attempt at re-reading the full document later.



That is correct.
The responsibility for the copyright for Audius is as they received it from you.

Your responsibility to the copyright is whatever your responsibility to the copyright is.

Audius has no responsibility for the liability of you breaking a copyright rule and cannot be sought after by a third party over someone uploading content to them.

This is, in common form, referred to as “good faith”.

That means that Audius is allowing you to upload content on good faith that what you are uploading is rightfully yours to upload.

This holds no bearing on the question of whether or not you lose your rights to your music which you rightfully own when you upload content to Audius.

You do not forfeit the copyright of your material that you hold an inherent copyright for as the creator by uploading to Audius. Nor does your copyright end up forfeited by submitting it to IDMF Netlabel. And finally, no forfeiture of copyright is performed by IDMF Netlabel handing the content over to Audius. At all times, your copyright ownership is retained. What has changed in each stage is the license. It went from no license to CC BY to a variation of CC BY. Licenses do not alter copyrights (without specific and overt statements of such - which a transfer of copyright typically requires a formal contract of some kind…except for some cases that won’t apply to anyone here until quite a length after their death).

This is why they correctly state that you are agreeing to a license. Not a copyright transfer.

The type of license is a non-exclusive license. That means that (A) they are not restricted from use just because you engage another license elsewhere, and it also means that (B) you are not restricted from engaging another license elsewhere.

However, it does mean that if you currently have your music managed under an exclusive license with some company (Z), then there is a problem because you are breaking your license agreement with company (Z) by uploading the music to Audius.
However, this would be true regardless what kind of license Audius had because if you have an exclusive license somewhere else, then unless they (company Z) permit it, you aren’t allowed to do what you want to with it. For instance, almost all record label deals are exclusive licenses.

This is why there are two Spiderman’s (which is why they name themselves slightly differently from each other), as well as two different Star Trek’s (CBS TV Star Trek, and Paramount’s film Star Trek - and this is why they look different in the details, because they can’t agree to share the licenses…).

Further, as touched on above, if you uploaded to Audius (which employs a non-exclusive license) and later signed with a major label who ties the same music up in an exclusive license, you would need to disclose that relationship with Audius to the production studio as there is a conflict with the exclusive license as a result of actions predating the agreement.
Typically, such contracts have contingencies for these things as this isn’t their first rodeo, so basically, you don’t need to worry about this in all reality because they will tell you what needs to be done, and if any legal action is required, they will typically take care of it (of course…all this comes at a cost, and gets added to a running tab that you owe them for which will be paid back off of the money you make in the future…and usually results in nearly being in the negative perpetually).

So there’s no issue between IDMF Netlabel, Audius, and you.
You retain your right of ownership (assuming you are the rightful owner), and the Netlabel received your music under CC BY, which allows the Netlabel to submit the music to Audius who has an in-house variation of CC BY (effectively).



This is not easy stuff, but I think I understand what you say.

In fact, what you say would be reasonable.

But having re-read the terms of use, more slowly this time, I’m affraid I don’t see what you say expressed in them.

In fact I see something very different.

Especially in this paragraph (from which I also quoted earlier):

“By submitting or publishing Content, you hereby grant Audius a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the content, and the right to sublicense such rights, in connection with and anywhere on or through the Service and/or Audius’ (and its successors’, assigns’ and affiliates’) business, including…”

What I note here is that you grant the company a “royalty free” licence to use your (now their) music for business. The stuff included directly after my quote is less important. The word “business” is key.

As I understand it, it basically means that Audius (and their successors, assigns and affiliates) can make money on the music you upload any way they like forever, - while you will get nothing, since anything uploaded is per default regarded as “royalty free”.

In my opinion this is what the document actually says - and what the company generously grants itself.

Not being a lawyer, I can’t really say wether this is legal in the state of California or not.

Maybe it is. California is a weird place.

What I can say, however, is that I would consider it unwise for you to upload your entire catalogue to this site and expect Audius to respect the intention of the CC licenses you normally use.

Notice that the wording about “preparing derivative works” includes no promises about making sure the artist’s name stays with the derivatives - nor says anything about what is meant by “derivative work” (it could literally mean anything).


Yes. That is what it says, and that is what I wrote as what it states.

That is what a non-exclusive license means, especially packed together with royalty-free clauses.

Again, when you give us your music here, you are agreeing to the exact same thing.

I want that to be abundantly clear.
There is virtually no difference between Audius’ license and our license.

The part that’s important isn’t whether Audius has an indefinite non-exclusive license on the music that you give to them.
It’s that you retain the COPYRIGHT.

Copyright and license are two different things.

A copyright is a record of ownership.
A license is a permission of use.

The two are not the same. When you agree to a non-exclusive license, you are not giving up your ownership of the song. You are granting the use of the song under some set of terms.

Just like with us, when you do that with Audius, you are allowing it for eternity, and you are agreeing that you are not required to be paid any money by the granting of the license.

What you are NOT agreeing to with either IDMF Netlabel, NOR with Audius, is to be restricted from taking the SAME song and making money off of it somewhere else.

I want to be clear on that, so let me say that again.

When agreeing to Audius or IDMF Netlabel submission agreements, you CAN still go make money somewhere else off of the SAME song.
Because the license is non-exclusive, AND you still hold the copyright.

In the music business, copyright is the single most valuable bit. Licenses are nice, but copyright is the king.

The original question was whether or not you are giving up ownership.

You are granting a license.
These are two very different things, and it’s very important to grasp the difference.

A license is an agreement for use.
Ownership is having the recognized legal right to claim that the song is your song, and that you have the right to engage in licenses with that material.

So if IDMF Netlabel or Audius took your ownership away, then you wouldn’t be allowed to go post your music out with CD Baby, or post it on Youtube or Soundcloud, nor make any money from it - period.

You would further not be allowed to discuss your relationship regarding the song with anyone; ever. Door closed. The song effectively never existed, as far as your rights are concerned.

However, that’s NOT what is going on here.
You still OWN the song. You are granting licenses of USE. That is very, very different.

Now, to YOU and your mind, that may feel like giving up control and ownership, since you are losing the ability to tell someone to stop doing something at some point in the future, but that’s what a license is.

That’s not what ownership is, however. Now, BOTH Audius and IDMF Netlabel enter into NON-EXCLUSIVE licenses.
So, yes, you are agreeing to give indefinite access to your song by Audius and IDMF Netlabel when agreeing to their licenses, but you are NOT being restricted from taking your song and going elsewhere and profiting from it.

You retain FULL rights to pursue monetary distribution and performances.

Audius and IDMF Netlabel both have some of the more liberal licenses that you will find on the internet.
If you, and I do not mean this as a jab in any way, feel these licenses are too restrictive, then I would strongly caution distributing your music anywhere on the internet at all, as most are at least this same level of access granting, or greater.



One thing that has not been brought up here, and I think is relevant, is that licenses can usually be revoked. Not 100% clear on how that would work for Audius, but I believe that would mean that if we as the Netlabel, or you as an artist, wrote to Audius and revoked the license, they would, in real world terms, probably not pull a snippit of your song out of a trailer vid they already made promoting their services, but that they could no longer host it, use it, or distribute it. Not sure on that though…esp with this node business.

I can see the points on both sides here and fwiw I will kick off a thread for the Netlabel team in our channel to discuss this in more detail, pursuant to our role in distributing your (everyone’s) work. That is not to say in any way the discussion is being privatized, keep going here as much as you like. I mean to say I see something worth digging into for the Netlabel, as our stake is different than that of an artist. I would like to be sure I understand this process correctly, being a part of the team that is responsible for distributing your collective works.


I get the part about licencing.

…that you can still try to sell the music you made - even after it was uploaded to Audius.

But Audius (and their un-named affiliates) will be trying to sell it as well, in direct competitiong with you - and there’s nothing you can do about it, since you already gave them permission to do it.

In that sense the music is not really “your music” anymore.

Not yours alone, anyway.

And if If someone wants to add a discrete fartnoise to somene else’s track and claim they made it, then, according to Audius, that’s allowed too.

In fact, “nothing gets taken down ever” is presented as a special feature of the site.

And while I respect your right to be as radical as you wish with your label, I honestly don’t see the benefit for you in agreeing to terms like that.

AFAICS the best case scenario is that it won’t make much of a difference.

One thing I would like to suggest, though, is that you make your policies about your label’s attitude to rights and licensing more clear in connection with accepting submissions.


That is what a non-exclusive license permits.
If the idea of “your music” is a near George Lucas level ownership and control…almost no one in the industry has that…especially folks on the billboard.

You already experience this issue if ever you submit music to IDMF Netlabel.
The label does attempt to make money. We have to keep the lights on somehow.

Our license agreement is posted in the submission policy.
It’s the same agreement IDMF has had since the early 2000’s.

This is not a bad bit. If non-exclusive licenses are an issue to someone, I strongly suggest not uploading their music anywhere on the internet.

Instead, I strongly suggest.

  1. Filing for copyright in their country for each song.
  2. Registering it with a performance association.
  3. Registering it with a broadcast monitoring association for royalty watching.
  4. Submitting it to an online distribution service.

Or. Sending it to established commercial recording studios.

Any other approach would violate the concerns of anyone worried about digital non-exclusive licenses.

And if such an individual ever uploads content to Soundcloud without filing for copyright officially, oooph. That’s going to be tough going because technically anyone can find their song on Soundcloud and file for copyright if the artist hasn’t done it, and then flag the artist’s song as violating the copyright.

We use a CC BY license. Always have. It’s basically the same as almost every Netlabel and Audius.



Part of my point is that Audius don’t seem care about the CC licences at all. And that, if an artist submits a track or an album to your label expecting the CC agreement to be honuored, they’d be wrong.

Claiming to use the CC agreements, when your affiliation with Audius effectively means that you replace them with other terms, is not only misleading but factually untrue.

If you want to stand by the intented meaning of the CC licenses, you should, in my opinion, be distancing yourself from shady companies like Audius, that try to undermine established forms of rights and licence management in order to enrich themselves.


Not at all.
The terms of Audius are the effective equal of CC BY.
More important than that, they don’t do anything more restrictive than CC BY.

Further, the copy of the song which is submitted, through an indefinite non-exclusive CC BY license, is IDMF Netlabel’s to use in any method they wish to do so as long as the author is rightfully attributed.
The only thing IDMF Netlabel is not allowed to do is employ a more restrictive license on top of it.
For example, we cannot enter into an exclusive license with content received as non-exclusive. That is not permitted, nor can we stop attribution of the author.

However, CC BY permits every and any action with the copy of the song. Commercial, non-commercial alike.
It can be sliced up, resampled, remixed, redistributed, entered into further licenses affiliated with the holder of the CC BY license (IDMF Netlabel) - the song could be packed off to a film score if the film doesn’t require exclusive licensing for the song once it’s in the film, shot into space on board a Tesla motor car, or streamed over spotify, pandora, etc…

All of that is perfectly fine for a CC BY Netlabel to do, and is what the license permits them to do.

If someone doesn’t like the idea of not being able to retract something they submitted to IDMF Netlabel, I would suggest not submitting it in the first place, as there’s a small chance we might remove a song - though, it’s incredibly unlikely, but it’s almost certain that we won’t remove every song an artist has submitted to releases in the past.

That said, branching out to further distributions is a relatively new venture.
We will likely be adding a section soon to our submission agreement which lists all distribution services and sites that we use.

Currently that list is:
Facebook, Youtube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and now it’s looking like Audius.

This listing will be informative and not limited, as we constantly look for expansion regarding distribution.

Let me be very clear. Our terms, in no small way, which are CC BY, explicitly point out (and always have - even before I was part of the Netlabel) that once someone gives their song to IDMF Netlabel, that the Netlabel has an indefinite license for that copy sent to them and can seek registration (and has in the past done that - every album used to be registered with the Netlabel organization as belonging to IDMF Netlabel as a copy asset) and distribution of the song as seen appropriate.

The label always credits the artist. Always. This is a requirement of the license. Further, that’s what we’re about. We WANT to splash your names everywhere.

But the label constantly has engaged in distribution methods and registrations and will continue to do so.

If someone doesn’t want their music distributed without their direct voice in the direction of that distribution, then they need to be certain to not submit their music to IDMF Netlabel.



Well, for now I guess we’ll have to disagree about that.

This quote is from the FAQ on the Creative Commons website:

"Can I change the license terms or conditions?

Yes—but if you change the terms and conditions of any Creative Commons license, you must no longer call, label, or describe the license as a “Creative Commons” or “CC” license , nor can you use the Creative Commons logos, buttons, or other trademarks in connection with the modified license or your materials."

The way I interpret this, it means that your business strategy of “spreading the music at any cost” (including using Audius) disquallifies you from rightfully claiming that you use CC licenses.

But instead of taking of my word for it, I suggest you ask the people behind the Creative Commons intitiative themselves:

Another option would be to simply decide and announce that your label no longer intends to use CC licenses, and then take on whatever complaints that may cause from your roster of artists.


We never changed the terms of the CC BY.
Our use is consistent with CC BY.

CC Share-alike would restrict a distribution through Audius.
CC BY does not.



I’ve contacted Creative Commons, describing the situation and asking them what they think about it.

I will post their response here when I hear back from them.


Sara from Creative Commons writes:

“I am not familiar with the particular terms and conditions of that Audius site, but generally speaking it would require the copyright holder’s permission for someone to impose different terms and conditions on a CC licensed work. In the most recent version of the CC licenses, the provisions that make this clear are in Section 2a(5).”

In other words, before uploading a release to Audius, you need to require the copyright holder’s permission first, which (as far as I know) you have not been doing.

The unwillingness (or lacking capability) of the Audius company to take down un-rightfully uploaded material once it’s up, makes this practice extra problematic, in my opinion, - and I would therefore suggest that you might need to rethink your desicion to use the site.


It isn’t that straight forward. I will explain later.

For instance, if it were that straight forward, you wouldn’t be able to post CC music to Facebook, and no Netlabel would be allowed to exist, and this Netlabel would have been in violation since its inception in the early 2000’s just by using Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Again, I’ll explain later when I have more time.



Alright, firstly.
She’s quite right to caveat by stating that she doesn’t know the terms of Audius, and to state that the conditions of that relationship are tentative upon section 2(a)(5).

Where it drifts off in what she’s communicating is in exactly what manner “different terms and conditions” comes in which are not permitted.

It’s not an absolute.

Here’s what the relevant section reads:

Section 2(a)(5)(2)

  1. No downstream restrictions. You may not offer or impose any additional or different terms or conditions on, or apply any Effective Technological Measures to, the Licensed Material if doing so restricts exercise of the Licensed Rights by any recipient of the Licensed Material.

The important conditional is the part which reads, “if doing so restricts exercise of the Licensed Rights by any recipient of the Licensed Material.”

This means that licensee B may deliver content to licensee C so long as licensee C’s terms do not limit the original license granted by the licensor (party A).

It is important to note that this does not mean that licensor A is required to be contacted for licensee B to deliver content to licensee C.

This is because of Section 2(a)(1)

Subject to the terms and conditions of this Public License, the Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, irrevocable license to exercise the Licensed Rights in the Licensed Material to:

  1. reproduce and Share the Licensed Material, in whole or in part; and
  2. produce, reproduce, and Share Adapted Material.

This means that licensee B has been inherently granted “irrevocable” permission by the licensor (copyright holder; party A) to distribute the work anywhere and in any way they would like to without requesting permission from the licensor each time they do so. Only the original agreement is required.

This is why Section 2(a)(5)(2) exists, which then gives a conditional limit to this vastly wide reaching license clause in Section 2(a)(1) that the sharing of the material from party B to party C cannot be such which engages into a license that restricts the scope of the license of the original CC license governing the asset in question.

Unlike Sara, I have read the terms and conditions of Audius.

The clause that you were originally concerned with was that Audius retains irrevocable license to the material which they are given.

This is not a problem as irrevocable ownership of the asset and license to distribute, produce, reproduce, share, share adaptations in whole or in part is part of the CC BY license.

At no point does Audius’ license restrict the CC BY license. The CC license is simply passed along embedded into the track when it goes to Audius since Audius does not restrict the CC license.

That said…

There IS another screaming issue with CC that I have been advocating over, and in general, since I came onto the team I have been advocating for tossing CC licensing because, personally, they are a nightmare mess that has several issues.

Principally I will cover three of them as an example of the kinds of issues that I take umbrage with CC over.

First: CC is very unclear

They are clear as mud on matters which really can’t be left unclear.

There is a part of the Audius terms of agreement that I see as a problem with CC.
It’s actually the same problem I see with Bandcamp, Facebook, and Youtube.


I’m going to draw our attention back to Section 2(a)(1)

Subject to the terms and conditions of this Public License, the Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, irrevocable license to exercise the Licensed Rights


Sounds straight forward enough, right?
Here’s the problem. The legal definition (from Blacks Law Dictionary…the standard in the field in the U.S.) is simply as follows:

Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed.), pg. 4471

A license granting a portion or all of the rights granted to the licensee under an
original license.

By the strictest of definition, a sublicense can be seen as any secondary license agreement of any kind.
That means that CC Section 2(a)(5)(a), which reads:

Offer from the Licensor – Licensed Material. Every recipient of the Licensed Material automatically receives an offer from the Licensor to exercise the Licensed Rights under the terms and conditions of this Public License.

Presents a potential conflict immediately with Section 2(a)(1).

The reason for this is that you can’t exactly give a license from licensee B to licensee C of the license granted from licensor A to licensee B without the grant of the license from licensee B to licensee C being at least capable of being interpritated by a court as a form of sublicense.

That means the exact foundation sharing function of the CC itself is capable of being seen as a form of sublicense when licensee B hands the material over to licensee C.

In fact, this tangled mess is such a problem that the Creative Commons affiliation carves out an entire section to just complications and issues surrounding third party obligations in the Creative Commons license.

2.3.3 Transmission of obligations to third parties
Creative Commons Licenses Legal Pitfalls: Incompatibilities and Solutions, Institute for Information Law University of Amsterdam, Creative Commons Nederland.

What that section touches on is the mess that CC can cause with distribution because of such conflicting language and terms such as outlined previously.

This is to say nothing about the fact that, as stated previously, Facebook, Bandcamp, and Youtube all have a sublicense clause directly in their terms of service.


Specifically, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights on or in connection with our Products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable,…


By uploading any Music or Artworks to the Site: … you represent and warrant that the use or other exploitation of your Music and/or Artworks by Company and its authorized sublicensees and distributors …


By providing Content to the Service, you grant to YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable licence to use …

In other words, if you take the sublicense clause in one interpretation of the use, then basically the moment that you mark something as CC, you effectively put a death nail in the material in a world which resides almost entirely on the internet.

And if you’re wondering what the other interpretation could be, sublicense also can refer to licensee B selling a different license to licensee C, while licensee B holds onto the original license gained from lincesor A. For example, this is a common practice in franchise chain stores, where most are sublicensed at a flat rate cost and licensee B who is sublicensing to licensee C, the store owner, is not delivering a portion of sales to licensee B as licensee B does to licensor A.

Which form of sublicense is meant by the CC’s use is not clear because they don’t go into further definition, and that means the meaning of the CC sublicense clause falls onto regional interpretation.

And this brings me to my second problem with CC.

Second: CC is not universally interpreted

This is a huge interpretive issue with CC because, as the Creative Commons affiliation itself states in its review:

Despite CC’s and its affiliates’ best efforts to maintain coherence within the system, a judge could decide to interpret a concept in yet another way (e.g., as noncommercial). In that sense, the licenses add complexity to pre-existing multinational licensing issues.

What this means is that, contrary to popular belief, it is a pure myth that CC is internationally applicable.
CC is different in each country, and in ways that don’t always seem obvious at all.

And this issue is actually only getting worse.

In CC 3.0 and lower, there were non-profit organizations which would do what’s called “porting” for CC licenses. That is, they translated the intended license as it applies in one region into the appropriate variation within another region where the application of the license differed legally.

This is important because several places do have laws which do not agree with the CC licenses.

For example, CC’s review provides the following conflicting situation.

…a contractual limitation of liability, arising out of willful or grossly negligent
behavior, is void according to Section 1229 of the Italian Civil Code. The disclaimer of
liability is thus non-applicable in the 2.5 Italian version of the licenses. The New Zealand
version, on the contrary, contains an exact opposite clause: “the Licensor shall not be liable
on any legal basis (including without limitation negligence).

However, CC 4.0 effectively issued a cease-and-desist announcement for CC 4.0.
3.0 and prior are still permitted, in the CC’s view, to be ported, but CC 4.0 should not be.

As to what to do about regional inconsistency, CC 4.0 just states that it will try to address the issue within the license itself over time.
So basically, a giant mess until CC gets the license right, and considering how unreliable and chaotic regional law evolves, I don’t see this resulting in a well supported future for CC legally.

Which brings me to the final issue I have with CC.

Third: CC has no legal support

From CC review…

The rights granted must be exercised in accordance with the moral right of respect to the
author (or performer), who may oppose distortion or mutilation that could be prejudicial to
her reputation. This cannot be regulated further by the license; instead, it is a matter of
national legislation enforced by judges.

And then there’s this bit from CC’s website itself:

Creative Commons makes its licenses and related information available on an “as-is” basis. Creative Commons gives no warranties regarding its licenses, any material licensed under their terms and conditions, or any related information. Creative Commons disclaims all liability for damages resulting from their use to the fullest extent possible.

Creative Commons is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice or legal services.

In other words, unlike the ASCAP of standard commercial licensing of music, CC effectively states that you are entirely on your own.
It is up to you to chase down after issues that arise.

This means that an individual who makes maybe middle-class earnings (and probably quite a bit less than that since musicians tend to not be very well off) can end up attempting to square off against a company like Youtube with no established affiliated assistance like the ASCAP has.

For these kinds of reasons, I have been advocating for dropping CC for quite some time (without making a bunch of noise about it, since the level of money flowing through this place is so low that it doesn’t escape the classification of “Hobby” by the IRS).

This issue that you raised, actually helped a bit to this endeavor, as it allowed the ready visibility of just how much of a mess CC is, and how much an arising issue in the future this could be due to that mess.

As such, the Netlabel has shifted its position a bit more and is willing to look at a proposal for a non-CC license, which I have been taking time to draft when I can get time to do so.
So, in a roundabout respect, thank you @Armrest for debating all of this, because it’s given me some elbow room for putting up a proposal for finally ditching this horrid license at some point in the future.

Until then, we’ll remain with CC BY and continue on.



Reconsidering what I wrote earlier, and I realized that it might not be expressly clear on one sub-tangent in that highly detailed response, which addresses several topics.

As such, I want to take a moment to respond to this specific section of your post @Armrest.

In other words, before uploading a release to Audius, you need to require the copyright holder’s permission first…

This isn’t a requirement of the CC licenses.

The CC license states in 2(a)(5)(a):

Every recipient of the Licensed Material automatically receives an offer from the Licensor to exercise the Licensed Rights under the terms and conditions of this Public License.

Meaning, the license inherently follows the material.

When a Licensor employs a CC license, they are agreeing to the following from Section 2(a)(1)

Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, irrevocable license to exercise the Licensed Rights in the Licensed Material to:

  1. reproduce and Share the Licensed Material, in whole or in part; and
  2. produce, reproduce, and Share Adapted Material.

The requirement, in CC BY is that the author is attributed, not that they are contacted for every distribution and sharing of the licensed material.

It is perfectly allowed by CC for any individual to see a licensed material on some website where such content is listed to download the licensed material, and then to upload the content to any service or site which does not contain a license which violates Section 2(a)(5)(2).

Which is to say that they are free to do so as long as the action does not

restrict exercise of the Licensed Rights by any recipient of the Licensed Material.

So as long as the license is compatible with the given CC license and its elements that were selected by the original author and made known in the original license agreement. In this case, CC BY, which is the most liberal of the CC licenses.

If the license has been violated, Section 6(a) outlines the terms.

This Public License applies for the term of the Copyright and Similar Rights licensed here. However, if You fail to comply with this Public License, then Your rights under this Public License terminate automatically.

Where “you” in this case is referring to the licensee; not the licensor.

Section 2 is not listed in Section 6(d) as an exception, which means that the grant of license to distribute is pulled.

However, there is no mechanism outlined anywhere in the license for how this is to be accomplished after hundreds or millions of copies of the content have been distributed.
In other words, while the license may be pulled for future distribution, there is no governance for past distribution outlined in the license (nor is it technically possible in all honesty).

Further, if a licensor decides to pull content, Section 6( c) states

the Licensor may … stop distributing the Licensed Material at any time; however, doing so will not terminate this Public License.

And as such, if the licensor decides to pull the content from distribution; that is, making it forward unavailable from “this point” onward for licensees, then the license their material is governed by is itself revoked, which means there is no governance for any copies of the material already distributed.
(edit: what I mean here is that all that can be achieved is the licensor stops distributing, but this doesn’t stop already distributed material from legally still circulating under license; it just stops forward governance.)

Meaning, and CC is very clear about this on “Things to consider” that the licensor needs to be sure that they want to grant a CC because once they send something out with CC, it’s effectively gone in the form of the material and only future distribution from the licensor can effectively be controlled.

You can’t really get it back out of the hands of end recipients.