[linux-elitists] Open Audio License

hirsch@zapmedia.com hirsch@zapmedia.com
Tue Apr 24 10:16:59 PDT 2001

Mr. Bad wrote:
> Hey, so, what's the feeling on the EFF's new Open Audio License?
>         http://www.eff.org/IP/Open_licenses/20010421_eff_oal_1.0.html
> Seems pretty damn clean to me. Any comments (on the record)?

I've been debating it with a coworker, and we're trying to figure out
what real advantages it offers over just a freely (as in beer)
redistributable but not modifiable license.  For software I understand
how I get utility from releaseing my code.  Other people might fix
bugs or add features and I can use their code.

But as an artist, what do I get from other people modifying my song?
If they decied I should have used a different chrod, or change the
owrds all I get it a little credit.  With the current system, I could
release my song and allow people to make copies of it, even play it
unmodified for free, but retain all my rights to modification. Then if
someone wants to make a cover of it or a remix they have to get
permission, as with standard copyright law.

I think of the early days of Rock & Roll when Pat Boone would cover a
Little Richard tune.  The way the system was set up, PB would get all
the airtime and publicity $, but at least LR would get some
residuals.  (At least, it was supposed to work that way...)  If LR had
chosen the OAL I see only negatives from his perspective.

If I were an artist, I think I would release some songs in a freely
copyable way in an effort get get a wider fan base.  But I definitely
would want to retain artistic control over future changes.

So who is this license aimed at?  Who benefits from it and under what


More information about the linux-elitists mailing list