The Free Music Public License (FMPL)
Version 0.7 (Provisional)
15 April, 2001


Yes! A copyleft license designed specifically for music!

Think this Preamble sucks? Write a better one! (see "This License")


WARNING! I am not a lawyer. This license may contain loopholes or otherwise not be a legally sound document.

Because this is merely a provisional version of the FMPL, it expires on 31 December, 2001. Notwithstanding the terms below, you may not distribute works under this version of the FMPL after that date. However, you may redistribute any work licensed under this version of the FMPL under any later version. You are encouraged to migrate to a more final version of the FMPL as soon as it is available.

If you are a lawyer, please send me any comments and suggestions you have at


The "License" refers to this license, and "You" refers to the licensee.

The "Music" refers to any work distributed or performed under this license (though we recommend you use a different license for software).

A "Contributor" to the Music is any individual who created any part of the Music (including performing in a sound recording) which would be worthy of copyright under copyright law. "Permission" is permission from a Contributor to sell copies of the Music, or charge for access to the Music. Contributors and Permission are described in more detail below.

"Work based on the Music", "Collection", and "Maintainer" (of this License) are defined below.

Personal Use

You make make unlimited copies of the Music for personal use, and listen to the music without restriction.

Distributing the Music for free

You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Music for free (gratis), in any medium, provided:

If it is impractical to provide all the above information in a given medium, you may instead:

For example, if you wish to distribute the Music as an mp3, it is enough to put, in the ID3 tag, "FMPL'ed (version 0.7)", and a (working) URL with a copy of this License and information about the Contributors to this work.

Selling copies of the Music (with Permission)

If you wish to sell copies of the Music, or charge for access to it, you must:

Distributing works based on the Music

A "work based on the Music" means either a derivative work of the Music (under copyright law), a cover of the Music, or any work based on a work based on the Music.

You may create and distribute works based on the Music, provided you distribute them under this version of the License, and/or any later version(s).


A "Collection" is a mere aggregation of works on a volume of a storage or distribution medium.

You may aggregate the Music with other works without bringing the other works under the scope of the License. However, you may not apply this License to a Collection as a whole; it must apply only to the individual parts.

Performing the Music

You may peform the work, gratis or for a fee, provided:

You may distribute recordings you make of Music peformed under this License, under this License, and/or any later version(s).

No Further Restrictions

You may not impose any further restrictions on the Music, or works based on the Music, beyond those restrictions described in this License.

If for any reason, conditions are imposed on you that forbid you to fulfill the conditions of this License, you may not copy, distribute, modify, cover, or perform the Music at all.


Distributing, performing, or making or distributing a work based on the Music indicates acceptance of these terms. If you do not follow the terms of this License, any rights granted to you by the License are null and void.

Contributors and Permission

Only indviduals may qualify as Contributors. Contributor status is non-transferrable, and ends with the life of the Contributor. Contributors need not hold the copyright to to their contribution to qualify as a Contributor.

Permission may be unlimited or conditional (though conditions that restrict the Music itself will generally result in it not being distributable under this License). Permission may extend after the life of the Contributor if it was phrased that way.

Contributors may make binding contracts about what to do with any proceeds they receive from the Music. However, these contracts may not bind third parties (such as Contributors to works based on the Music), or restrict the Music itself.

This License

You may copy and redistribute verbatim copies of this License without restriction.

You may distribute the license with a different Preamble as long as you do not place restrictions on copying, distributing, or modifying your new Preamble, and do not misrepresent the License. The Preamble is not a binding part of this License.

The Maintainer of this License may publish revised and/or new versions of this License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

The Maintainer is currently Homer of the band God Ate My Homework, but the Maintainership will pass to an appropriate non-profit organization once one is formed. From then on the Maintainership may be passed voluntarily from one non-profit organization to another; there can only be one Maintainer at any given time. In the event that the current Maintainer dissolves, or dies (ack!), the Free Software Foundation (currently of Cambridge, MA) will become the Maintainer.