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2020-09-25 23:12:44 +02:00
README.md Fix typos 2020-09-25 23:12:44 +02:00

This is not a real project yet, but a concept draft.


What is TheMusicMirror

TheMusicMirror (from hereafter, TMM) is a video hosting platform which focuses on distributing music. As opposed to other platforms, such as YouTube or Spotify, TMM distributes music using the CC BY-NC-SA License and always under explicit constent from the original authors.

TMM aims to provide a private experience to its users and make them less dependable on closed-source platforms whose contents might get removed at any point without prior notification, negatively affecting end users.

The video hosting platform used by TMM is powered by NodeTube, which is free software originally released under the MIT License. However, TMM relicenses its NodeTube instance under the GNU Affero General Public License to ensure everyone the four essential freedoms.

Why does this project exist

During the last two decades, music distribution has moved from a CD-based model to a digital model based on online streaming. Currently, two of the most important music distribution platforms are YouTube and Spotify, both with an incredibly extensive catalogue and huge user base. Content is accessed through free and paid accounts and many artists, and specially emerging artists, promote themselves through them.

However, Google (the company who owns YouTube) and Spotify include tracking code on their websites, embedded content and applications for massive data collection that is later sold to advertising companies. That means everything their users watch, how they react, their opinions and trends are continuously analized by these companies to make huge profit by invading users' privacy. This means privacy-concious users, who will not accept these terms of service, are left with fewer options. While great free alternative YouTube frontends such as Invidious and Yotter exist, they much likely are against YouTube's terms of service and are prone to cease and desist requests from Google should they become too successful. This means more traditional means such as CDs or, what's worse, copyriht infringment might be the only alternatives for such users.

In the case of YouTube, some users upload copyrighted material and even monetize from it without permission of its authors, which constitutes copyright infringment yet Google might ignore this unless an explicit takedown request is made by the authors.

Copyright infringment is definitely not an option in TMM, so instead it aims to obtain explicit permission from the original authors by making them realize the risks associated to the privacy-intruding practises from big tech companies. Content on TMM will be then uploaded using the CC BY-NC-SA while offering a website under a free license like the GNU Affero General Public License, which guarantees the freedom of its users.

In order to protect users' privacy, TMM does not log any information, such as IP addresses, from its users and will not require JavaScript to run, making it friendlier to those accessing through Tor. Thanks to the awesome NodeTube project, no e-mail, mobile phone or any kind of personally identifiable data must be provided to sign up. Thanks to the Affero GNU Public License, users know what code is running both on the server and client, so they can learn from it, run their own instance or even suggest improvements.

How to contribute

In order to avoid users erroneously uploading copyrighted material without permission from the original authors, only the web administrator can upload content to TMM. However, users also can encourage artists to get their music uploaded into TMM.

Derivative works (covers, remixes, etc.) are allowed according to the CC BY-NC-SA license. However, only derivative works of content that already has been granted by its original authors and uploaded into TMM are allowed and must be also released under the same license.

As contacting and convincing well-known artists might be difficult, emerging artists and smaller acts should be contacted first to get their content uploaded into TMM.


  • How do the authors make profit if they are releasing their music using a license like the CC BY-NC-SA?

The CC BY-NC-SA license ensures content can be downloaded and shared with others as long as it is distributed under the same terms. Also, the license includes a non-commercial clause which means users downloading and sharing content cannot profit from it, as TMM wants to give such right only to the original authors, who deserve their hard work to be paid.

Therefore, authors can still license their music under any other license that benefits them. As an analogy, some free software libraries are released under a dual licensing scheme, tipically using a copyleft license such as the GPLv3 which forces works using this software to be released under the same license and a paid license for corporate users. This guarantees the software remains free for individuals without interest in profit while forcing companies to pay for it unless they release their software under the same copyleft license.

  • How does TMM compare to other platforms that support emerging artists such as Bandcamp, Jamendo, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, etc.?

While all of these platforms have helped many emerging artists over the years, they do not value the privacy of its users:

  • These sites require the execution of non-free JavaScript that can be used to fingerprint their users even if they connect from a VPN.

  • Bandcamp forbids access to Tor users. While this can be used to mitigate possible DDoS attacks from malicious, it is also stopping legitimate users who only want to remain anonymous.

  • These websites profit from user data obtained through tracking services and by making artists pay for better promotion. TMM does not profit from neither artists or users and instead only accepts anonymous donations that shall be only used to mantain its infrastructure e.g.: servers, domain, storage, etc.

Google, YouTube and Spotify, Bandcamp, Jamendo, Soundcloud and ReverbNation are trademarks of their respective owners. This project is not affiliated to any of them in any way.