Imagine a catalogue of free music, organized by genre and recommended by curators. Members of the catalogue can make their own personal profiles and add selected music to inividualized players (like last.fm or Pandora). They can learn about new music and communicate with others about what they like (countless blogs), download full albums (iTunes), "tip" the artist for a job well done (street performers, Radiohead), learn about that artist and their touring schedules (pitchfork, jambase, brooklynvegan...) then finish up by donating to the organization that allows all of this to happen legally (paypal). All of these services are now available from one platform: Free Music Archive, an organization directed by WFMU, a NJ radio station, and in collaboration with a few other curators.
Partnering with Creative Commons, a nonprofit that allows copyright holders to easily change the default "all rights reserved" of copyright protection to "some rights reserved," FMA is quickly broadening their library with supportive artists. The collection is not full of your top 200 artists, but it is a good way to stumble onto some hidden gems or explore new artists you have heard about legally. FMA cites it's audience as not only general music listeners, but "podcasters looking for pod-safe audio...radio or video producers...remix artists looking for pre-cleared samples..."
The allowable actions differ depending on which rights are witheld or released by the copyright holders. The best way to see what you can do with the song is find it on the site and click on it. All the tools are at our fingertips, now we get to use them!