Creative Commons is devoted to expanding the range of creative work that is freely available for others to build upon and share. Their goal is to provide an alternative approach to standard copyright, to expand the world of open content, and to help musicians, artists, and other content creators find ways to deliver their work electronically in a way that make sense for the online world.
This fascinating site is a project of some prominent legal thinkers, including Lawrence Lessig. The site provides easy-to-understand tutorials on the legal aspects of open content. It also acts as the repository for several open-content licenses that are used to distribute content online.
Musicians will be interested in the idea of open content, because it provides an new approach for distributing work over the internet freely, while still retaining many rights to your work. By offering these licences, Creative Commons is working to make it easier to distribute music freely over the Internet. This should also make it easier to legally download music over the Internet.
The site also provides a directory of sites that provide content using Creative Commons licenses. This lets you find music that can be freely downloaded, and possibly sampled or remixed.
Open content is an interesting trend, and something new electronic musicians should consider. Electronica fans may want to refer to this site just to find new sources for legal free music downloads.