So, after a few days hard play with Max/MSP, I've built myself a little noisemaker that I think a lot of people would really enjoy. I plan to make it available to all my aurally oriented friends (including everybody here) for testing/critique. But before I do that I want to make sure I've got my copyright bases covered.

Creative Commons really appeals to me since I'm not planning to charge for it (maybe do the donations thing), but I don't know how it works with software. I'm going to look into it, but I thought I'd ask the nice folks here as well.

Anybody have any experience with doing this? Does simply hosting the original files (including "beta" drafts) on my site/ftp server work well enough for these purposes, or do I have to be a little more official?

2 Answers 2


Use one of the existing open source software licenses! Creative Commons came later, and was largely an attempt to bring the success of open source to artistic works.

Look into both the GPL and BSD licenses. They have been used for thousands and thousands of projects, including a sizeable chunk of the software that runs the internet.

A vastly simplified summary is that the GPL requires people redistributing your code or making derivitave works to also distribute the source code. The BSD license allows others to redistribute the code and software, but also allows them to create derivitave works without releasing the changes they made to the code.

There is more to it, of course. I'd recommend just reading both licenses. Neither one is very long at all by legal standards.

If you release it as open source software, also consider releasing it on sourceforge.net and publicizing it on freshmeat.net.

Good luck!


I love that you used "noise maker" and and "enjoy" in correlation. Only a place like here can you get away with that. Cheers!

  • 1
    You mean there are people who don't like noise?
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 28, 2011 at 5:37

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