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There are many situations in which music can be released, in different states of advancement. Be it for sharing with friends or releasing demos, not everyone has the same starting point. The point of this article is illustrating the proper way to release music or distribute it in Creative Commons.

The Creative Commons License

The Creative Commons License is a License created for making the distribution of creative works easily. It has a number of variants that can be applied to the License, which are:

by, or attribution, which means the media can be shared as long as your name is on.
sa, or share alike, means the media can be modified as long as it is shared alike.
nc, or non-commercial, means the media can be used and shared, as long as it is not for commercial uses.
nd, or non-derivative, means the work can't be modified in any way. The default for the license is allowing modifications.

The proper way to distribute the license is in a License file along with the media, for it is uncomfortable to embed it in the media. Unless, of course, it is a video, in which case you can put an image provided by the CreativeCommons website in the video.

"A license file" should be the least. The CreativeCommons license page has two links per license permutation. One states "View license deed", which is the least you should include. Preferibly, though, a second license file should be included. The author personally likes to call this file "License (lawyers only)". You could get the license, probably fine tuned for your country, clicking the "View legal code" link beneath the license permutation you choose.

Releasing Works

Music being released comes in many ways: complete lyrics with incomplete music (in any format), incomplete lyrics with incomplete music, or everything being incomplete. It can be released in a video, too.

It is possible that the work is distributed in different files. The proper way to share, distribute or make available these works is archiving them in any of a number of archiving or compression formats, along with the License file or files.

The best archive format is "zip", for it is widely used. If space is really critical, the "7z" format is very useful.

In the case of video files, there is the option to put the identifying image of the license found in the already cited Creative Commons license page in a corner of the video.

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