The Creative Commons organization gives artists the tools they need to release their work into the public domain with limitations.
As a nod of support to the organization, my old band, Horton's Choice, has released our recordings under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Basically that means that you can use our music for non-commercial use, but you must attribute to work to Horton’s Choice, and any derivative work must also be released under the same type of open licence.
A few things they've done well:
- A sweet logo, classy.
- Provide a brief 'human-readable' summary of the licences that link to the "legal code" (the full licence).
I pretend that I think Horton's Choice was a crappy garage band, but I'm really only using humour to mask my feeling that this was the greatest artistic achievement of my life.