[linux-audio-user] Announcing Gnomoradio

Michal Seta mis at creazone.32k.org
Fri Oct 31 09:50:43 EST 2003

On Fri, 2003-10-31 at 04:47, Daniel James wrote:
... in response to Frank B.

> > This does not mean, and I never
> > intended to say this, that you cannot take money for your work.
> Practically, you can't charge money for your work if it is able to be 
> commercially distributed by a third party without paying you 
> anything. That third party can always undercut you on retail price, 
> because they aren't putting any money into development.

Here's a little scenario, mostly just for me to make sure I understand
these concepts.  I've been glancing at various free licenses lately and
this discussion comes at a right time.

Here it goes:

I set up a website with some music on it in .mp3 and/or .ogg format.  I
can even throw in a .pdf file with the CD cover/label for any DIY kind
of folks.  The music and artwork is available under a free license such
as Frank is suggesting, basically derived from or based on GPL.

In that sense, anyone can download the music and do with it whatever
they pleases them.  I could, optionally, set up a paypal link and ask
for donations.  At the same time, I could offer physical CDs for a small
fee (production and shipping) which could be somewhere around 5$.

Now, some music giant, say Sony Music digs my work (yeah, right...) and
they go 'Oh, we can distribute this guy's work and make millions off him
without paying him a cent!'  But they have to include my license
agreement with their product, my artwork (on which I have my contact
info) etc.  They ship all that to stores and, suppose they're feeling
really generous and they sell it for 15$.  And they make a massive
advertising campaign (they have to if they want to do millions,
right?).  How many people will actually buy it if they see that they can
download it for free (and perhaps leave 1$ on my paypal account) or
order a CD for 5$?

Suppose there is someone who went to the store and bought the thing but
later s/he realized that ripping the CD and sharing it is within his/her

I don't see how anyone could make money on this...  Even if you
substitute the giant with some small label.

And why would I be unable to charge money for _my_ work, even if it was
distributed by a 3rd party is beyond me.  If they distribute it, they
have to do it on the terms of my license so they cannot claim exclusive
distribution rights.

If, on the other hand, Sony Music hands my CD to some hot shot producer
and they use it, sample it, modify it and sell a billion, they still
have to credit me and make all derivatives under the same license.  I
can't see them stepping into that.  And if they do, my name will be all
over it anyways, so I get free publicity.

In either case I'm a winner.

If none of the above happens, I'm still distributing to a handful of
souls who actually connect with what I do, and I'm still happy.  From
time to time I'll do a show.  Even if I get old I'll be able to do shows
because prancing on stage is not my thing anyways :)

... or did I get it all wrong...?

-- ./MiS
      __  __ (_)___   Michal Seta
     / 	\/  \ _/^ _|
    /  	     V |_  \ @creazone.32k.org

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