Magnatune is a small record label that aims at treating both its musicians and its customers fairly. It currently sells music for download through its website, but a print-CDs-on-demand service is planned. Magnatune was founded in spring 2003 by John Buckman, CEO of e-mail software company Lyris.

Magnatune makes non-exclusive agreements with artists, and gives them fifty percent of any proceeds from online sales or licensing [1]. These kind of policies are very unusual for a record label in 2003-2004. Users can stream and download music in mp3 form without charge before making a buying decision. All freely-available music is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license from the Creative Commons [2].

Even though using liberal licensing is not a new idea in itself, Magnatune is one of the first and most visible companies to try to build a business in music around this idea. It is not yet clear whether this model produces enough profits for Magnatune to run a healthy business.

Magnatune artists

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