Kevin MacLeod is one of the internet’s most famous providers of royalty free music. His archive of soundtracks are available on incompetech.com – home to thousands of tracks that are given away for free to be used under a creative commons license. His only request with each song is that the original work is appropriately credited however, artists have to permission to edit, cut, remix and tamper with the music in any way they want for use in their work.
Having this music available for use for free means that many low budget media producers have access to a wide variety of material they can use without having to worry about the legal ramifications if they want their work to be commercialised. While this appears to be a rather lenient copyright restriction – there is still a strong protection for MacLeod to fairly produce his work and monitor it so it doesn’t get exploited. Interestingly, the site states that if the track can’t be credited properly (such as in a radio or TV ad) then a fixed price must be paid to license the track showing how there is a strict control over the music even though in most situations it can be used for free (with attribution).
If MacLeod decided to tighten the copyright on his music there would be many content creators that would have to remove his music from their work and avoid using it in the future. Many producers would have to search elsewhere for creative commons music which is available but is often of a low quality. MacLeod would be drastically limiting the scope of his music and the audience he could be reaching out to however he would be able to charge individually for the use of his music. This would deter most of the current user base he has away but would open him up to more profitable situations – if he was to stay as popular as he currently is.