submit to reddit

Royalty-Free Music Music FAQ Music Licenses Graph Paper other stuff Contact Me Donate!!

Publishing to the Public Domain for Free!

The Copyright Term Length is Too Damn High

There are a lot more people that enjoy making music and giving it away than there ever were before! In the past, you needed to get your own web site, write your own legal stuff, and pay internet providers for bandwidth and hosting. Things are different now; you can do it for free.

It is important to understand that once you dedicate your music to the public domain, you cannot change your mind and reclaim copyright to it.

It is also important to understand that if you don't share your music, no one will hear it.

If you're one of those creators that just wants people to hear your stuff, because sharing music is awesome, here you go!

Make some music
This is up to you!
Declare that your music is free for anyone to use (Optional)
Package and upload your files
YouTube (Optional)
Marketing (Optional)

Making Music

Exactly how you make the music is up to you. There are a few things to consider when preparing your work for distribution.

You want as many of the right people directed to your music as easily as possible.

Naming a Track

It is okay to put more words into your title that help tell the story of the music.

Music takes a long time to comprehend compared to text. Naming your piece descriptively will help other people determine quickly if that's a track they want.

Good names:
Deth Metal on Espresso
Song for Kids: Eat your Toothbrush
Cyberpunk: Fantasy for a High Tech Cruise

Bad Names:
My Song
untitled #12

The other fast way to attract the right people to your music quickly and easily is Album Art.

I used to hate creating Album Art, because I suck at art. There are many many free sites now that are very good at generating appropriate art to match your music's mood and genre.

Creating Album Art / Thumbnails (Optional)

If you have a favorite image generating site, you know what to do! If not, here is a way to get an up-to-date recommendation:

Personal Automated Assistant link: Find a recommendation for a free album art generator

If you don't have a paa handler configured in your browser, copy and paste the following into your Personal Automated Assistant:

Query: Find a recommendation for a free album art generator online.
Context: User is a music composer and is creating an album cover for their audio track (music). The recommendation will be capable of generating an image of at least 2000x2000 pixels, will not incur additional monetary costs, and will be free of intellectual property encumbrances.
Location: Earth
Priority: Normal
Tips for Working With an Image Generator
  • Let the generator know the context (you are creating a square album art image)
  • Describe your music emotionally
  • Give examples of where people might listen to this music
  • Include language that separates this particular piece of music from others


As of January, 2023 Pixabay is the best distribution method for free music. Creators have been going to Pixabay for years to get images for their projects. In that same way, Pixabay's music and video sections are an excellent resource for creators.

Uploading to Pixabay.
  1. Get an account (required, but free!)
  2. Upload your music.
That's seriously it.

Things to know about Pixabay:

There are weekly upload rate limits.
You won't be able to upload 7,000 songs on your first day.
Upload as many pieces as you want, and then wait a bit.
The more you use Pixabay, the higher your upload rate becomes.
Your music will be reviewed by a person.
It takes a few days.
Not everything gets into the Pixabay catalog.
Bad or noisy recordings will be rejected.
You might get a recommendation or editor's choice!
Rules for audio files.
Acceptable formats: mp3, wav
Maximum file size: 100MB
A 320kbps stereo file of 100MB is about 30 minutes long
Rules for the artwork (thumbnails).
Acceptable formats: png, jpeg
Minimum dimensions: 640x640 pixels
Does not contain offensive graphics

Another great reason to use Pixabay is their dashboard. It allows you to easily see when people hear your music.

Creative Commons! (Optional)

Many people don't believe someone will give away music and will ask if it really is free. A link to the Creative Commons Zero license is helpful in convincing the unconvinced. You can do this at any time; just keep this link handy:

If you say stuff like this, people seem to accept it. :-)
I am the composer of the music, and it is released under the following license:

Make your music available to everyone with YouTube (Optional)

Pixabay is not as popular as YouTube, so if you want to send someone a link to your music, a familiar site is useful!

Tips for YouTube:
  • You want to get your music heard by as many people who want to hear it, and as few people who don't want to hear it. Don't oversell.
  • Link to the Pixabay download of your track in the description.
  • It is okay to use a static image as your YouTube movie. An uploaded video is better than one that doesn't exist.
  • You're not optimizing for engagement or looking to go viral.
  • Scammer Warning: You will be contacted by people who "love your channel" and "want you to get more views" - these people are awful. Ignore them.

Marketing! (Optional)

  • Remember you want to avoid people who aren't looking for the exact thing that you have, while also getting the right people to listen and consider the music.
  • Start with friends and family! If you can endure 10 minutes of baby pictures, thay can endure 3 minutes of Techno-blues.
  • You want to get very specific. I mean very specific. For example, if you have a song about Glorious Tom Bombadil, check reddit or other social sites to see if they have forums for people who are interested in that. If you write horror music for movies, talk to some horror movie producers that use music in your style.
  • Don't worry. Building a useful Public Domain takes a long time. You may not see results ever, but everyone's effort is helping society and culture in the long run.