Case Studies/Steven Arntson

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License Used
Sound, Text
Adoption date unspecified
arntson, classical, folk, sheet music, seattle


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Steven Arntson is a Seattle-based composer who uses Creative Commons licenses for sheet music and recordings.


Steven Arntson is a Seattle-based writer and composer who releases recordings on The Free Music Archive, and publishes scores at the Petrucci Music Library, both linked to through his website at, and available under the Creative Commons BY-NC license.

License Usage

Derivative works: AP Carter goes into the woods and hears an old spiritual, arranges it for the Carters, and releases it; Woody Guthrie hears the Carters' song, and writes new words; Dylan hears Guthrie; &c.


I felt trepidation at first about releasing work for free, because I put so much time into it. But there's a line in the Communist Manifesto that reminds me of this situation, where Marx asks (I'm paraphrasing here), "All of you who are so upset about not being able to own property--how many of you actually own any?" Similarly, being worried about money is a little ridiculous--my work doesn't have much commercial appeal, and never will. I should focus on the sharing that is one of the reasons I became involved in music-making in the first place.