MusicBrainz, an open, community-built music "metadatabase", today launches its services to a larger audience.
The website has a fresh look and more details than ever before about the history, progress, and future of this public resource. The White Paper on MusicBrainz's plans to become a self-sustaining non-profit corporation is especially informative.
New with this launch is also an innovative triple-licensing strategy. First, recognizing the important principle that facts are not copyrightable, MusicBrainz explicitly affirms that the factual information in its database is in the public domain, free for all to use.
Finally, when commercial initiatives seek to use the MusicBrainz data, case-by-case commercial licenses will be offered in return for financial sponsorship which allows the project to continue.
This three-track approach attempts balances the public interest, contributor desires, and the long-term health of the MusicBrainz project, and could become a model for other not-for-profit community-authored projects.