Are you guys worried about losing rights to online music...

… Are you guys worried about losing rights to on-line music sites?

I’ve been reading that places like bandcamp, last-fm, soundclick, youtube, and the ilk have in small print (in the “contract” we have to sign to have them host our songs for free) that although we retain “ownership”, they are allowed to distribute, play, market, etc., and keep profits from that. Additionally, I read that some of these sites will even strip the ID that I guess we can put at the beginning of each track, and replace it with their own. This was in a recent Keyboard Mag, or maybe EM music, I can get the reference later if anyone needs it.

You guys that use sites like these to host your music - are you concerned that you may be unhappy later with the terms of the contract you “signed” to register/log in?

Thanks for your thoughts -

Proof that free hosting is rarely that… there is always a snag. I’d be curious to see/hear if anyone on this forum has felt their online material was actually used as per these agreements by the hosting party… and to originators’ financial detriment… I am betting the sheer mass of volume of material may actually serve to protect the majority, in that they would only publish a tiny fraction of the posted material, I guess if your stuff was really that good, you’d probably cancel out and get your own site.

Just thinkin’ outloud…

Another thought too, hosting is pretty cheap these days, so that is a fairly affordable alternative that some may be overlooking.

But would it be too late … do they lurk in the shadows, ready to pounce on the one in a million things that are posted that actually have significant commercial potential? Would I have given up my financial security, and my family’s for generations to come, when they take all my revenue from the next “Yesterday”? :wink: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

It’s a tradeoff though, between security and getting public exposure - more hits on those sites than my very own personal site, I’d guess …

Like you, I wonder if there are any horror stories out there. If not, it would be hard to sort out whether it’s because no songs have shown good commercial potential, or if the sites are just populated by really nice people … :smiley:

Hi Alexis… Not sure about all the sites, but SoundClick will cancel the agreement and send you an email stating that they have relinquished all rights if you ask them to. When I signed up at Bandcamp (right after it started pretty much and after I cancelled at SoundClick) I don’t believe the rights issue was nearly as intense, which is what lured me thee along with the higher bit rate downloads… that may have changed. You are correct, if you want exposure, it is harder to draw people to your own site, but these days, you can cross post to FaceBook, Twitter, etc… so you can redirect interest to some degree. Google crawls everything these days, so with a little self promotion, you may be able to go a long way.

Sadly, nothing is free anymore!

YouTube, is an excellent jumping off point also… not sure regarding their agreements however.

regards - Robin

The ‘contracts’ with these sites, so I’ve seen, will not take your revenue from anything. They may have the right to use the work themselves, but any revenue you make from it is yours ( and your publisher ). So you don’t ‘lose rights’ per se.

I don’t think it’s so much a case of ‘losing rights’ but rather ‘sharing’ them… to some extent anyway.

I wonder if there is such a thing anymore? Given recent dramatic downward trends in music sales… I rather suspect there’s very little interest from the industry in the the likes of soundclick etc as a source of commercially viable product.

Indeed the industry tend to manufacture stuff in house from people grabbed from contacts they know, such as managers, talent spotters, etc

Right. I think the contractual language is really intended to indemnify them against various unforeseen circumstances, NOT so they can make money off your music


Peeps worry too much.

IMO just make art and enjoy letting as many peeps as you can enjoy it gratis. Most aren’t gonna make rich from it anyway. Especially now the heyday of capitalist exploitation of art is over. When Paul McCartney wrote Yesterday, capitalism was not even a million miles close to his thoughts. He just made art for art’s sake.

Mick Jagger summed it up in a recent interview when he explained that through history most of the time artists weren’t paid for their art. He was just lucky to have been in that short period when they were.

Points well taken, but Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, authors of the article, “Avoiding Gotchas When Putting Your Music on the Web”, EM 11-10, make it sound far from innocuous:

  1. Some terms and conditions state the site gets exclusive rights, or ask you to grant the site irrevocable or perpetual licenses to your music that you upload, either of which can cripple your ability to license your music to others later if the opportunity arises.

  2. Some licenses require you to waive any performance right fees you may be entitled to from performance rights organizations. Some of these sites’ user licenses require rights to your “trademarks, trade names, image, or likeness”.

  3. These authors report that some of these sites have been known to take MP3 uploads and overwrite the ID3 tags - the identifying information that MP3 players use - and replace it with their own info. Some even replace the copyright fields, confusing fans and making proof of copyright very difficult down the road.

If someone were starting out with a career as a performer and writer in mind, it seems that putting their work on sites like, bandcamp, MySpace, Facebook, ReverbNation, and others (all of those were specifically named in the article) might not be the smartest thing. Maybe those corporate guys are just putting clauses in to protect themselves, as has been suggested on this thread earlier, but if the opportunity came up for them to make significant money on songs they host, I bet they’d be there in a New York minute.

How many stories so far have we heard about SoundClick et al ripping anybody off?

As a goodwill stunt it would be suicide for them?

No I’m not “worried” if only because there are more important things(for me at any rate) musically to be concerned about. I’ll accept in principle there’s a risk of being ripped off - but I’m not at all sure if I’d be more flattered or affronted. :neutral_face:

soundclick won’t rip you off but somebody with an internet connection … could!

OT on my own post, ( :open_mouth: ), but was that J. Kennedy, I think I remember that, our local boy who made it big! Written on Cubase too!

I’m thinking even s l o w e r than usual because my brain is replaced by a flu blob.

I talked to John not too long ago. Still writing tons of songs, and he’s had a few recorded (incl Faith Hill) but only the Rhimes tune made it to an album. He’s got a publishing deal with one of the majors.

I believe he actually co-wrote the tune. I have the album, it did fairly well, about 600,000 US sold. But the neatest thing was they made a video of it – I caught it once but I don’t recall the name of the song.

Oh, it’s “I Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way” and there IS a Youtube of it

I’ll have to give that a listen. John was pretty fluent in a handful of styles, Rock, pop, country…
and he produces some great sounding mixes on his own. He did post songs here for critique,
so I guess he thought we had something to offer.

nothing is free anymore!

Except for music…which is because we make it free.

Apparently our collective sense of what is right and wrong isn’t worthy of adherence, or we all agree that music is nothing special, and musicians are to be avoided at all costs by decent, hardworking folk.

Unfortunately, we also see that the public doesn’t really much care for quality music.

Let them eat cake.