I own all components of the songs- beat, samples, vocals. I want anyone to be able to use it for any reason without my permission (I have my reasons).

2 Answers 2


Generally, as the copyright holder, you can grant anyone a license to any or all of the copyright rights you have over your work (copying, distribution, derivative works, etc.). If you want to articulate unambiguously exactly what rights you are licensing, and optionally require attribution, you could use one of the Creative Commons licenses, which are designed for creative works. Some that would likely be a good fit for you are:

  • Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) - Grants full rights to any recipient to use, modify, and distribute. Requires that all reuse mentions you somewhere in the work's credits.

  • Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC BY-SA) - Grants the same full rights as the CC BY license except that any new derivative work made by a recipient must also be licensed under the CC BY-SA license. With the CC BY license, another person's modifications could be under a different license; under CC BY-SA, all modifications must be licensed under CC BY-SA when distributed, so the work and all its future transformations must be shared under the CC BY-SA license, forever (until your copyright expires, of course). This falls under the broad umbrella of copyleft licenses.

  • CC0 - Functionally places your work in the public domain where it can be used by anyone with no restrictions (other than moral rights). CC0 allows you to renounce all claim to copyright on your work (to whatever extent possible in your jurisdiction), and/or freely license all the rights you hold in your work to the maximum extent possible (for jurisdictions where renouncing your copyright is not possible).

There are also Creative Commons licenses that disallow commercial use and disallow the creation of derivative works, but you are probably not interested in those, since you want to grant full rights.

One other factor to consider is whether you want to license the musical work itself or only the sound recording. By default, you might only be licensing the recording, which means other people cannot record a new cover of your music. (See Does a Creative Commons license allow me to record a cover of a song recording?) If you want to allow that, simply make a separate declaration when you license the work, saying something like, "In addition to the sound recording(s), I also license the underlying musical work under identical terms, to allow recipients to record their own covers based on this song."

  • 1
    Nice answer! :)
    – Zizouz212
    Mar 17, 2016 at 15:37

I suppose the unasked question is "how do I do that?". I suggest looking at the concept of "copyleft". Simply doing nothing is one option. Let's assume that you put the songs out there on the web somewhere and inform people that anyone can use it, then anyone can use it. You can also put it out there and not tell people that they can use it, in which case people with higher scruples would tend to not use it (contrary to what I assume is your intent). In other words, you do have to give permission in some form, but you can do it once and generically, without having to repeatedly give permission to each person who wants to use it. If you simply renounce your copyright, then somebody can create a derivative work and that person will have copyright to that modified song, and could restrict use of that version. The copyleft solution reduces to saying that anyone can use it and change it, but they have to pass along that permission to use and change the work.

  • Having done legal review on companies who have included open source software, I can tell that any software where the author have "done nothing" to explicitly provide an open source license that that software will be disallowed.
    – Soren
    Mar 17, 2016 at 15:06

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