The 4-Letter Acronym That Could Kill The New Music Industry

By Jeff Price

As some of you may already know, there are two bills bouncing around Capitol Hill called PIPA and SOPA that are supposed to stop websites and internet services from illegally giving away other people’s music (this also extends to film, books, software, video games etc., but I am only going to focus on the music side of things).

I adamantly believe that when an artist creates and records a song, the artist, and only the artist, should have the right to do with it what they want.  If they want to sell it, they should sell it.  If they want to give it away, it’s theirs to give away.  No one else has the right to make those decisions for them.

As noble as this premise may sound, the reality is that the world is full of good people, bad people, and uneducated people.  And, whether we like it or not, all these people have access to technology that makes a lot of my beliefs moot–what good is a belief or law if it is simply unenforceable.

To that end, Congress got lobbied hard by the RIAA to write a new law that allows its label members (note: the RIAA is the trade association for the major labels) to have a new legal weapon to go after “rogue” websites and services that give the middle finger to copyright by allowing people to get music for free from artists that do not want to give it away for free.

The problem is that the bills lobbied for were done so by the RIAA, the organization that no longer represents the music industry.   The majority of today’s music is being created, distributed, bought, streamed and shared from artists outside of the RIAA label member system.  The RIAA and its members are no longer the voice of the industry; they are the voice of what was, and an ever-shrinking part of what is.  Congress needs to wake up to this fact.

Or said more eloquently by the Deputy Director of Future Of Music Coalition Casey Rae Hunter:

“Artists have every right to be wary when powerful entertainment conglomerates push for policies that could undermine free expression, all the while claiming to speak for creators.”

The second problem is that the bill gives the old school players the power to not only protect their copyrights (which I support), but also to kill the new music industry.

Simply stated, if the SOPA bill was signed into law in its original form, TuneCore could  have been threatened to be turned off, and thus cut off the choice, freedom, and future revenue from the hundreds of thousands of TuneCore Artists that have earned over a quarter billion dollars. Fortunately, TuneCore would be able to handle the threat, but others with fewer resources may not have the same outcome (not to mention why should TuneCore have to spend its time and money to deal with another entity making frivolous claims).

And before you think I am being hyperbolic, here is a perfect example; the US is already seizing web properties through the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division.  One of their targets was a hip-hop blog called Djaz1.com which they literally shut down, claiming the hip-hop blog was illegally distributing songs it did not have the right to distribute.  That’s right, the government just grabbed the domain and shut the thing down.

Turns out the government had it all wrong – and a year later they finally relented, but not before irreparable damage was done.
The article on TechDirt titled: “Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details…” provides a great play by play.  The author summarizes it well when he says:

The Dajaz1 case became particularly interesting to us, after we saw evidence showing that the songs that ICE used in its affidavit as “evidence” of criminal copyright infringement were songs sent by representatives of the copyright holder with the request that the site publicize the works — in one case, even coming from a VP at a major music label. Even worse, about the only evidence that ICE had that these songs were infringing was the word of the “VP of Anti-Piracy Legal Affairs for the RIAA,” Carlos Linares, who was simply not in a position to know if the songs were infringing or authorized. In fact, one of the songs involved an artist not even represented by an RIAA label, and Linares clearly had absolutely no right to speak on behalf of that artist.

If this doesn’t scare the crap out of you, it should.  If the original versions of the SOPA or PIPA bills passed, TuneCore, just like Djaz1.com could have been targeted.

The concept behind the bill is good—protect copyright—but the execution stinks.  Congressman and Senators don’t know that the power has shifted, and they need to hear from you.

Seriously, they need to hear from you.

Take action, get involved.  Call your Senator and/or Congressman and tell them what you think and why.

Or go here to learn and do more.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

UPDATED – 1/20/2012

Based on comments below, we thought it would be best to provide some more context to further communicate our point in this article…

The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes, etc., that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute, thereby violating copyright law.  This in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down, and we already do get notices from time to time like this

If this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us.

This is not a hypothetical – we have been contacted by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers controls the rights to.

They just flail, slash and burn.

We then have to deal with them (iTunes, etc…) and respond legally, and challenge their claims.  When push comes to shove they back down.

Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter.

The passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists.

If the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of our customers’ songs, TuneCore would fight them tooth and nail on behalf of our customers.

And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down.

We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless.

If this SOPA bill had been passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today.

-Jeff

  • Sweetrsngs

    Oh really and don’t you make your money from taking a percentage of sales… and when music is all free-  what use will you be and what fees will you make? Piracy(which is stealing) MUST be stopped and uneducated creators of intellectual property must stop devaluing it themselves and annihilating  themselves by giving it away free as well. 

    • Anonymous

      GO TEAM STRAWMAN

      • Praveenchaddha

        Music as a performing art was never intended to be sold, back in the days. Life is coming full circle now. Back to the basics. Ha ha ha……having said that, gone are the days when a small number of artists used to make big big money due to the massive support of the huge labels. Now and in future independent artists will operate at their will and will gain or lose in the stage show business. Record is just a small tool for marketing.

        • Anonymous

          So you think Mozart, Betthoven and the like never got paid? They just composed and performed and conducted for free? Quite the contrary. Usually it was kings and rich patrons who had the privileged of hearing music “back in the day.” Same goes for art like paintings and sculptures. None of it was free.

          • Evelyn

            First of all, music and art has been created all over the world by more folks than just the Mozarts and Betthoven.  Art and music is not created for money by all people.  Some people create them for other uses.  What has so many folks upset is the idea that technology has leveled the playing field and made it possible for anyone to get their art and music out to the people, without having to pay huge sums of money to gatekeepers.

        • Povpr

          Music has always been sold and artists paid otherwise they were/are slaves.

    • A. P. Brittain

      Wow fuck you. Don’t tell me what to do with my artwork. You’re like a greedy unskilled business owner who’s complaining to the government to shut every one of his competitors down because he’s being “undercut” when the reality is he is the one who is price gouging. You’re just as bad as the RIAA

      • Jamie

        Your artworks probably no good anyways, otherwise ppl would pay $ for it. Fuck you btw.

        • Romabandrva

          one founding father once said, “if you would trade freedom for security then you deserve neither.” 

        • Clarkorama

          I suppose Van Gogh’s atwork was no good then since no one paid him for it. You’re coming off as quite unintelligent you know.

    • Colin

      Tunecore doesn’t take percentages from sales at all. They charge a yearly service fee per album/single. Some/most of the stores (such as iTunes, for instance) take percentages, but that has nothing to do with Tunecore. For an artist that sells hundreds or thousands of songs per year, the expense of the yearly service fee is minimal for the worldwide sales access that is given in return.
      The value Tunecore offers for the price is unbelievably good.

      Now, say another artist only sells 10 songs per year. Tell me where, in the history of the music industry, has an artist that only sold 10 songs per year still had access to nearly EVERY major music retailer on the face of the planet for such a small fee?

      All content creators agree that piracy is wrong and does not compensate creators for their work, many of us just feel that SOPA/PIPA are the wrong way to go about it. There are better, more effective and most importantly, non-Rights infringing methods that could be implemented.

    • Justinwilshire

      Some people say that if you create art for money you are not an artist but a prostitute.
      Art for Art’s sake is what is done by great artists who love what they do. Your wanting to tell an artist he has to charge money for it is ludicrous. There should be more art which is divorced from motive for profit or fame.

      • Peteberwick

        Most assinine statement I have ever read. I make a living with my art. That makes me a prostitute? Perhaps you enjoy flipping burgers and creating for free, If so, enjoy.

        • http://www.facebook.com/SDKlapperich Sean Klapperich

          Perhaps you were just exaggerating to pull off a “take that”; but since when does someone having a natural, or learned talent for making art (any kind, really), require that person to have absolutely zero additional skills, leaving that person with the binary choice of either making money off their talent, or resorting to a minimum-wage, skill-less job?

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to judge someone on how they want to make a living; but at the same time, I can understand those who would prefer not to have their love, hobby, or talent, tainted or adversely influenced by the necessity to make money to survive off of it.

      • Justsayin’

        (As long as we’re pontificating…) People who believe being paid for your vocation is prostitution generally fall into one of three categories:
        (a) those with inherited wealth who do not have to work for a living 
        (b) those who believe poverty is somehow enobling
        (c) prostitutes

      • Mytch

        WRONG…a REAL artist ‘Makes a LIVING from their art’!!!  To do ANYTHING else,  like a bogus 9-5 job is NOT what a REAL artist should have to do!  FAME has nothing to do with it, especially if you’re just getting by, like most!  FAME only happens when you catch on, or you have some bogus BIG LABEL pushing you!  Realistically…an ‘Artist’ has to ‘PAY THE RENT TOO!!!’  Music should be FREE when ALL THE UTILITIES AND BILLS ARE FREE!!!

      • Povpr

        This comment is completely delude – slavery is illegal. The comment  steeped in the ideology of the websites. You don’t condem them for making money. Shakespeare is one of the greatest artists in history and making a bucket load didn’t effect the quality  his work.  Artists have a right to make as much as they want from their labor just like any one else. Copyright began as a human roightys issue and still is. Pirates and illicit users are theives and crooks – low lifes!

        • Justinwilshire

          You are missing the point, which is in response to someone’s post. Of course one can profit from an artistic creation. However an artist has a right to hold the view that art should be, like religion, or sex, divorced from money. An artist isn’t weak if he chooses to give away his work for free. I’m saying he still has a right to give away his work if he chooses. No one knows who Shakespeare was, so it’s meaningless to state that he was popular and profited greatly. The most marketable painter in the history of art, Van Gogh never sold even one painting in his whole life yet he wasn’t a bad painter. Now if Van Gogh had the internet and a web site while alive, he should have the right to charge, take paypal payment or visa for his work. He should also be allowed to have free downloads if he wants. Look at all the open source CMS and OS software nowadays, they don’t charge for it, that doesn’t make them weak or mentally deficient people.

          • Engineeringtheenemy

            How much did it cost for these artists to create their paintings????? Well im pretty sure some paint and canvas are cheaper than recording an album!! God your comparing two completely different things! Are they both art? Yes! However the cost to bring people that art differs! A paint brush is cheap compared to a guitar, bass, drums…etc. And paint is a lot cheaper than the equipment cost to record. I mean… Am I suppose to spend between thousands, tens of thousands on my “art” and just give it away??? A true artist wants to live and breath what they create. That takes time and bills have to get paid or NO ART! So if I get paid for my art, I can not work 40+ hours a week at day job and I can devote all my time to my art which to me would make my art that much better!!!! So I’m sorry, anyone who says art should be free has NEVER had to finance an album by themselves. I have!! I wanted top quality and the best sound fir our record, $20,000 I financed. Oh ya, I have a normal job, a 1 bedroom apartment, 10 year old car… So ya, I’m far from well off. I went without and suffered to get that album recorded and released. So excuse me when I say “F#^% YOU” when I hear anyone say music should be free. Could I have done a cheap album $ wise? Well, if I want my music heard and taken seriously.. The price for quality isn’t FREE!!! Everyone who is for free music has never had to sacrifice their own money and had to go without for their music!! PERIOD!

          • James

            Exactly, you can’t create quality work without spending money on decent tools. That is simple fact. Every serious artist wants to make money from their efforts so they can afford better equipment and also afford the time to devote to improving their artistic skills. I work a part time job, make just enough to survive while I am working on my first album. If I can’t make money from it I can’t afford to continue creating it. Tunecore is a much better deal for artists than record labels. Most labels wouldn’t pay the artist more than 10%.

      • Greg Richard

        Art for art sake? Tell Michael Angelo (paid by the pope) Divinci paid by patrons 
        Mozart made money, Beethoven too, but you’re right REAL artist should wok for free…..NOT!

    • Ouklah

      I agree this why Prince has stopped recording all together, he mentioned this problem on the George Lopez show last year. I’m an artist also my friends tell me to post my music on these sites…but, how will I know the person listening won’t copy and sell my compositions for a large fee? It’s easy to take all media in today’s technology.
      I will not create a site for my art, from illustrations to music productions, even if had the best anti-hacking software to protect my works, there’s always some jackass who can find a hole to slither through.

    • Vultcha

      An artist supposedly has the “right” to do whatever they please with their created art, so if you feel they are “annihilating themselves by giving it away free” why don’t you protest the major labels?  they make sure there is a certain amount of free goods given away to promote the artist they pour millions into.

      And by the way, REAL TALK, most piracy even if not on the net is done as an INSIDE JOB – directly from mastering facilities, pressing plants, and even from inside the labels themselves.

      The SOPA issue is a wound on an already bleeding issue of copyright protection.  Shutting down websites without due process is an “excellent” (sarcastically said) way to teach others about protection of freedom or others rights…

      …another stone from a Glass Castle full of fascist hypocrites. SMH

  • Benny harris

    I want to support tunecore in this but need more instructions on how a letter to my congressman should be addressed. please post an example

    • David

      Benny, if you want to email your reps, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a page that you can use that has a form letter you can fill out: http://blacklist.eff.org/

  • http://twitter.com/SteveCarmonaNOW Steve Carmona

    TuneCore does not make money from taking a percent of sales. You pay them a small fee for the SERVICE of putting your music online. 100% of the money from music sales go directly to the artist. 

    • http://www.hammyhavoc.com Hammy Havoc

      Minus the 30% that Apple or x distributor takes, right?

    • http://www.ShantaeSexy.Webs.com/ Shantae Esannason

      I often wonder if TuneCore sells our styles of music to the majors.  Aside from that people go to BearShare or MP3Rocket and look up your work of art. Wazzzam it is there totally for free. So even if TuneCore isn’t selling any of us out… there are other companies selling us out. TuneCore doesn’t care because they get their portion upfront. See the way it goes. Who should be speaking up are the creators of the art because in the end we get shortchanged.

      • Anonymous

        @Shantae

        You create a no win situation – if I sit silently, I am shortchanging the artist. If I do something to improve the situation then I dont care about the artist.
        Long and short of it is, I thought artists were getting screwed, so I did something about it
        jeff

  • Icefield

    Actually they don’t take a percentage

  • Vinsonadvertising

    Calling your senator or congressman won’t work. They won’t understand what you are saying. If enough people complain they’ll sign off on bills like these to make it look like they reacted. Follow the money. Until the lobby is stopped all you can count on politicians to do is pass legislation that favors the lobbyists and sign retarded bills that give the appearance of doing something. End the lobby.

  • Wild Weezil

    This is far scarier and goes light years beyond music and other intellectual property copyright protection.  This is the government taking control of the Internet.  Everyone should be horrified at the prospect.    

    • Vultcha

      Right on!  (people can’t see the forest for the trees anymore).  The big picture is FREEDOM TO EXPRESS, UPLOAD, ETC!  You don’t want watchdogs on that!  What comes next is your Texts, you tweets, your frigging email…etc.

      *Babylon Riseth*

    • Anonymous

      Tune Core should make a profit; it is justifiable seeing
      that they have created an opportunity to level the playing fields. The only
      people that are unhappy are the major companies who have been exploiting the
      creative ability of the Artist. I am not surprised that they have their spies
      on this forum trying to discredit the wonderful work that tune core is doing.
      If someone is not happy with tune core no one is forcefully preventing them
      form taking their business elsewhere. These negative comment have an agenda to
      keep things as they were, it has nothing to do with protecting the rights of
      the Artist. Its more about wanting to take control and apply restrictions, so
      that the powerful rich can continue with their crocked ways against the those
      that they oppress within the industry. They oppressed Michael Jackson and spoke
      about him as if they owned him, as if they were the ones paying for his
      lifestyle. They have forced Prince to withdraw his service to music. Such a
      loss to the world. Its time that these people get a real Job and leave the
      music to musicians.

  • Writahs

    Good article on a serious subject. Kudos to Tunecore for putting it out there! As usual  “He who has the gold makes the rules”. Unless that is sheer numbers & public outcry influence the lawmakers. I will be taking action. I am a songwriter and a 10-15 minutes of asking lawmakers to get it right, is no big sacrifice of my time.

  • Eddie O

    #sweetsngs: Tunecore does NOT make it’s money as a percentage of sales, but instead as a flat fee for initiation and yearly storage. The sites Tunecore puts your songs up on., e.g., iTunes, Spotify et al, make their money as a percentage of sales.

    Please get your facts straight.

    But that said, it is sad but true that piracy – not even the off short mass theft sites – is forcing a change of the business model for music, video, books, etc. Small indie bands have trouble selling CDs at venues now: either those songs are up somewhere else cheaper (free, or even sites like Spotify (that at least have the artist’s permission), or some person buys a CD, then shares with all his buddies by uploading it on Facebook or DropBox etc., or my just email the low -fi MP3 around. Not every such copy is a lost sale (many wouldn’t buy it anyway), but each is a loss of 9.2 cents for the writers and around 60 cents or so for the performing artists (70 cents – writers royalty).

    I don’t know what the new business model will be. Music may become just a hobby wiith generally poor quality recordings available for free (if your music is given away free, why would you spend $10,000 or more to have a professionally produced, mixed, and mastered track?), or dilettantes (such as me 😉 who can afford to make essentially zero from my tunes, but I like to do it anyway. 

    I think the Carol Kings and Gary Burrs of the world are history unless and until we find a way to compensate artists for their work. I don’t know how to do that. Proposals like taxes on bandwidth that get distributed to ASCAP et al will only benefit the established artists (hard for a start up indie band to somehow account for the number of it tunes being downloaded, etc.) are not practical in way.

    TIme will somehow solve the problem. People will continue to make music none the less.

  • Ldg

    First of all, Tunecore is not in the Ukraine and does not have a business model of selling pirated music, so yes, you are being hyperbolic. Taking action against such a site is no more censorship than arresting a suspected burglar is. Yesterday’s oh so trendy blackout was not a victory for anyone but offshore sites who pirate the music indie artists like us make. I’m sure they’re high 5-ing as we speak.

    • Anonymous

      @ldg

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      jeff

      • Ldg

        So…you are advocating not enforcing anti-piracy legislation because it MIGHT POSSIBLY result in a POTENTIAL hypothetical unintended consequence that results in TuneCore getting shutdown (very unlikely), while ACTUAL piracy (check out payplay.fm) is happening to the artists who have music released through Tunecore as we speak. It might just be time to remove the 4 songs I have here at renewal time and head elsewhere, because that’s just plain ridiculous.

        • Anonymous

          @ldg

          with all due respect, you have no idea of the amount of crap we take daily from those threatening to sue our customers and TuneCore for infringement
          This is not a hypothetical – we are contacted almost daily by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
          They just flail, slash and burn.

          We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
          You know who we are fighting for – you. We fight to assure they do not screw with you, your recordings or your rights.
          They hate the fact that they lost control. They hate the fact that TuneCore exists. Non major artists charting and selling is their worst nightmare.
          Add to this that yes, I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
          the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
          And despite your comments, if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your 4 songs, I would fight them tooth and nail on your behalf
          And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) why would you want them to have the power to shut TuneCore down
          Read the article. Notice how a domain was seized that did not infringe.
          Im on the front lines of this every day – fighting with majors, fighting with collection agencies, fighting with stores etc on your behalf.

          And I will not ever back down on the artist’s behalf.

          jeff

          • Ldg

            I have the US Copyright certificates for all of my material, so I would be able to challenge. Secondly, SOPA goes through a court to have access to foreign sites blocked; quite a different scenario than the one you are painting. But thank you for your efforts in protecting me from big bad record industry, who I might add are not ripping me off at the moment. Meanwhile, payplay.fm, who is ripping me off, just popped some champagne corks.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think I’m doing a good job of communicating my point

            It would not matter that you have registered your copyrights with the library of congress.
            And erroneous claim could be made by the all RIAA that your masters we’re infringing on their copyright.
            The original SOPA bill would have allowed a process to begin where the government tries to shut TunCcore down. We then have to defend ourselves against the government because the RIAA made a false claim.
            The idea of protecting copyright is the right one, but the language in this particular bill was too vague and allowed for errors to be made with legitimate sites.
            Thank You

            Jeff Price
            http://www.TuneCore.com

          • Marks6365

            Whenever you register anything with the Government you hand over legal title to that property.
            Don’t Register with them then they don’t have  jurisdiction over your property. You have title to the intellectual property and the equitable title in it. 

          • Marks6365

            The legal system as it is today needs to go bye bye.
            Geez all that interest that was made on other peoples intelectual property has to be repaid back to the rightful owner by the majors and their lawyers. 
            You seem to have the right spirit for this task Jeff. Once you know the legal systems game, there is no need to be afraid of it, or be a part of it. 

             

  • Ldg

    First of all, Tunecore is not in the Ukraine and does not have a business model of selling pirated music, so yes, you are being hyperbolic. Taking action against such a site is no more censorship than arresting a suspected burglar is. Yesterday’s oh so trendy blackout was not a victory for anyone but offshore sites who pirate the music indie artists like us make. I’m sure they’re high 5-ing as we speak.

  • Ldg

    First of all, Tunecore is not in the Ukraine and does not have a business model of selling pirated music, so yes, you are being hyperbolic. Taking action against such a site is no more censorship than arresting a suspected burglar is. Yesterday’s oh so trendy blackout was not a victory for anyone but offshore sites who pirate the music indie artists like us make. I’m sure they’re high 5-ing as we speak.

  • Carterjp5

    Yes, STOP PIRACY!!!  However, this law is about the stupidest way to do it. The artist should be able to make money from his/her creation without government or RIAA interference or control. And it only applies to U.S. companies and citizens, NOT the off-shore pirates.

    The current law would allow the govt. to look at your browsing history on the suspicion of illegal activity. No due process, no warrant. And where does that stop?

    File a complaint against your competitor and get their site shut down? They file a complaint against you and get your site shut down. Google pulls all the links that point to your site because they’re “afraid” you “might” have illegal content. And it’s not just music. Did you take that picture posted on your Facebook account? Are you “authorized” to use it? By who? Better for Facebook to pull your profile … just in case?

    If you think I’m crazy, read the law and then ask yourself if you trust Big Media and the Government to implement this in a benign and harmless manner.

    • Ldg

      You are wrong. SOPA IS about rogue offshore sites, sites that are not subject to US law. You should support reining such sites in.

      • Carterjp5

        Yes, and they do if by shutting down U.S. ip addresses so that the pirates can’t get in. They only have jurisdiction in the U.S., so we’re the targets. It give the Gov’t way too much power. Read the Laws…

  • Carterjp5

    Yes, STOP PIRACY!!!  However, this law is about the stupidest way to do it. The artist should be able to make money from his/her creation without government or RIAA interference or control. And it only applies to U.S. companies and citizens, NOT the off-shore pirates.

    The current law would allow the govt. to look at your browsing history on the suspicion of illegal activity. No due process, no warrant. And where does that stop?

    File a complaint against your competitor and get their site shut down? They file a complaint against you and get your site shut down. Google pulls all the links that point to your site because they’re “afraid” you “might” have illegal content. And it’s not just music. Did you take that picture posted on your Facebook account? Are you “authorized” to use it? By who? Better for Facebook to pull your profile … just in case?

    If you think I’m crazy, read the law and then ask yourself if you trust Big Media and the Government to implement this in a benign and harmless manner.

  • Carterjp5

    Yes, STOP PIRACY!!!  However, this law is about the stupidest way to do it. The artist should be able to make money from his/her creation without government or RIAA interference or control. And it only applies to U.S. companies and citizens, NOT the off-shore pirates.

    The current law would allow the govt. to look at your browsing history on the suspicion of illegal activity. No due process, no warrant. And where does that stop?

    File a complaint against your competitor and get their site shut down? They file a complaint against you and get your site shut down. Google pulls all the links that point to your site because they’re “afraid” you “might” have illegal content. And it’s not just music. Did you take that picture posted on your Facebook account? Are you “authorized” to use it? By who? Better for Facebook to pull your profile … just in case?

    If you think I’m crazy, read the law and then ask yourself if you trust Big Media and the Government to implement this in a benign and harmless manner.

  • Will

    OK, you and a lot of there feel that the powers of SOPA go too far and have a lack of clear definitions.  Should government have any power to stop illegal activity?  Don’t police and courts arrest people and shut down business based on evidence already.

    How is SOPA different? I’m not trying to be smarmy, I’m just looking for clarification.

    • Anonymous

      The wording in the bills is still under revision, and much of it is swampy. I think a lot of the concern revolves around the fear that the bills, if passed, could be abused by government bureaucracies to micromanage the industry and suffocate a lot of legitimate business opportunities.  Obviously, a site like YouTube being blacked out just because some yahoo posted a copyrighted video and YouTube didn’t take it down in time, is not fair.

    • Anonymous

      @will

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      jeff

      • Marks6365

        If there is a contract/agreement between the artist and tunecore the RIAA has no right coming in as a third party interloper.
        And if we all consented to tunecore handling the distribution of our intellectual property or any other service there is nothing they can do.
        Also, copyright is a legal term. Maybe this needs a new tunecore term.

        All Rights Reserved/Without Prejudice    

      • Will

        Jeff, I understand that, and I agree that SOPA lacks clarity. But do you, as a distributor, bare any responsibility as to the legality of what you are distributing?

        I’m not saying TuneCore does this, but if a company is knowingly facilitating  a criminal enterprise, shouldn’t they be shut down?

        This is how the law works in the the real world, but on the internet you can say, “not my problem”?

        • Anonymous

          @will

          of course we have a responsibility

          Thats not the point, the point is the original SOPA bill is poorly written to the point that it puts unchecked power into the hands of an organization that no longer represents the industry in its entirety and has a history of screwing up. The results of which are putting the innocent out of business.
          The bill needs to be re-written to take down the scum bags while not killing the innocent.
          Or to plagiarize from Astcikler who posted here: ————————
          Tunecore sometimes gets wrongfully accused of copyright infringement.

          Major labels could easily use SOPA to wrongfully accuse and effectively shut-down TuneCore or any site they don’t like.
          SOPA is an overreaching tool that makes it too easy to wrongfully accuse and shut-down competitors.
          The cost of copyright compliance will be huge.

          Many smaller companies or individual artists will not have the resources to defend against wrongful SOPA claims by bigger comanies.
          Smaller companies and individual artists will effectively be shut down very easily and quickly.
          Even if they are NOT infringing.

          It will be too expensive to defend against a company with more money. A defendand will be guilty until proven innocent.

          And it will be too costly to prove their innocence.

          Google will be liable for showing links to potentially infringing material. They might remove any sharing links altogether instead of running the risk of having to defend against wrongful law suits.

          And again, best video to the topic
          http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

          jeff

          • Will

            Then due process should be written in the bill, not just condemn it as the end of the internet.

            Also, I don’t think Clay Shirky (and a great deal of other people who oppose SOPA) believe in copyright law at all.  Just because you have the technical abilty to cut paste and share, doesn’t mean you should.  In fact, the “limitation” a sensible anti-piracy bill might actually spur more original content, and less “derivative mash-ups” of the meme of the moment. Maybe not, but it makes as much sense as the argument that SOPA would completely stop innovation on the internet.

            BTW Google already is liable for showing links to potentially infringing material.It was fined $500 million dollars earlier this year for knowingly advertising an illegal drug site.  I must have missed the memo that the internet ended as we know it.

  • Anonymous

    What’s good about the bills is that it gets it all up for discussion. If you are not happy about something, you can now say exactly what you want changed. You are right. Take action. Tell the powers that be exactly how to
    improve the bills. There’s no point in saying it’s bad, it’s no good.. tell them why.

    I just heard one of the top filesharing sites (megaupload) has been shut down too with the company workers indicted. Things are about to get heated.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. These bills are still under revision. The motives behind them are good. We just need to tweak the means and the method. Communication – not knee jerk panic – is what’s going to help the situation.

  • Greg

    Not going to happen.  Fear Cairo

  • Steven Cravis

    How about if everyone writes to Congress to please focus on protecting copyright, but take time to hammer out the details of execution with cooperative input from the big entities that oppose SOPA & PIPA, like Google, Wikipedia, Facebook and Tunecore, and to rename the new reasonable version in the future, because the current acroynyms SOPA and PIPA only trigger fear throughout the world and will always be associated with this first highly controversial versions of the bills. How about one called Stop Online Copyright Infringement for example, for the new reasonable version?  Does anyone see this type of compromise as possible regarding the concept?  I don’t think the whole effort should just be shut down out of everyone’s fears. Suggestions about solutions should be offered to Congress regarding focusing on protecting copyright.

    Jeff Price, have you written to Congress and pointed out the RIAA does not represent the current music industry?  Maybe they (Congress) don’t realize this.

    Steven

  • Bill Lambert

    What’s particularly chilling about SOPA and PIPA is they allow the U.S. government to seize non-U.S. domains, as long as they can get their hands on it, whether through the registrar or root servers.  This is a huge abuse of power and trust, plus you know they never stop at just one site.  As a Canadian, even I feel threatened by this ridiculously overreaching bill that will ultimately fail to make any real impact on counterfeiting and copyright infringement, while negatively affecting legitimate services.

    For a pirate, the measures in these bills are easily circumvented by simply using a darknet or any other decentralized network such as Usenet – things that have existed for over 30 years.  Guess what: they already do this.  Hardcore pirates don’t hang out on torrent sites, blogs or rapidshare, they never have and they never will.  Once again, the U.S. government must remind us of their dangerous ignorance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ibob77 Bob Katsionis

    One question from a MEMBER of Tunecore and professional musician:
    Why is SOPA/PIPA supposed to affect the legal operation of Tunecore?
    This is a law against the REST of the streaming/hosting sites right?
    Isnt my music safe in iTunes?

    • Anonymous

      @Bob

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      jeff

      • Marks6365

        All contracts end with consent and agreement of both parties.
        The contract is the law. 
        Believe it or not but all statutory law in Canada requires the consent of both parties. And usually this is achieved through fear on the side of the so-called authorities.. 
        Maxim of law is let those who will be deceived be deceived.

         

        • Marks6365

          Legal is not necessarily lawful.
          They call it the legal industry for a reason and both the bar associations and the banks are run by the same organization. That would be the Corporation of the Inner City of London. The corporation of all corporations and is headed by the likes of Rothchild.

          • Marks6365

            You cannot approach any of the major labels without an Attorney.
            There is a reason for that and its all fraud and extortion. And they have robbed us all blind through a fictional commercial entity and their fictitious money.
            Tunecore may have to become a society in itself and governed by the agreement of all parties.

  • Clarkorama

    It sounds like the organisation is out of date and no longer fit for purpose. Dangerous because in their denial and death-throes they’re likely to do some serious damage. The industry is undoubtedly changing. It’s becoming harder for large capitalist entities to survive because essentially music is more and more becoming a ‘cottage-industry’ with individual artists able to promote themselves without major support. We have the PRS in the UK that sound like they do a similar thing to you RIAA. I guess they’re going to go through a similar thing. Fewer and fewer members as a percentage of the whole industry. 

    I don’t think they should be allowed to dictate, those days are gone, but perhaps a proper review is needed and a new entity that more realistically represents the industry put in place.

    and hey…if you want to give something away, give it away.

    Not everyone is in in it for the money, some people love music.

    • Jamie

      Yeah well I don’t want to give it away. I want to make millions from my music, not make music, give it away and then go and work at some other huge company (not related to the music industry) from 9 to 5 for a pittance, and let them get rich off of MY back. Anyone who thinks music should be free is a moron and should be locked up.

      • Clarkorama

        Who here has said “music should be free”? I think you should read the posts more carefully before you go hammering away at the keyboard. All the posts I’ve read say that if an artist wants to give a piece away they should be able to do so. You seem to be interpreting this as some huge musicians socialist movement, which it isn’t. Don’t itunes give away free promotional tracks every day?

        The work I put out via tunecore is for sale, not free. I do however reserve the right to do what I want with my own intellectual property. If I want to give it away I will, if I want to donate the proceeds in perpetuity to a charity I will. if I want to leave it to cats, I will.I think most musicians would be really grateful if their music made them a living or even wealthy, but you seem to be concerned with money first which is really never good for the music. You also seem really angry and have quite extreme views. Suggesting people should be locked up for holding an opinion seems a little like bullying to me.All this means the only person coming off as moronic here is you, you attacked the other poster for a reasonably innocuous comment, then you jumped on me for having an opinion.

        Nothing wrong with having a collections society, but how about making it one that’s actually in touch with the reality of the industry?

        Peace J, Peace – I really hope you make millions.

        • Spiralsurfer

          Very well said.

      • Bruce

        I totally agree, you need to tell all them rappers on YouTube to stop giving their music away for free. People would argue me down about Christian Rap, saying if your rapping for God why not let it be free. Crazy right, i’m living in a world where physically I need to live comfortably. Must be a billion Morons our their.

  • http://www.evanwrekn.com/ Evan Wrekn

    Evan Wrekn said whats up to all you music heads

  • http://nsputnik.com nsputnik

    RIAA represents the “1%” of the music industry.  We are the 99%.  Sorry for the cliche, but I think that this helps it resonate with people right now.

    • Justinwilshire

      Occupy BMI & ASCAP!

  • Mamadhorizondancer

    I want my music protected. I also don’t want the government controlling the internet. A few yeasr back a radio station used my music without my permission or knowledge [until much later] to make a commercial for a fairly large bank. I had a case against both of them – what I didn’t have was the resources to pursue it. That’s what I’d like to see a body that  can pursue this and do this for/with us so we don’t end getting screwed b/c we don’t have the resources to pursue the issue. Perhaps a tribunal of 3 mde of people from various stakeholders that we could get the issue puot before in a mediation/arbitration process. Seeing as the courts of little expertise in this area [sor much else quite frankly], we could have a limited right of appeal for specific reasons.

  • Errol Michael Phillips

    I need protection from music thieves PERIOD. I will not shoot the messenger in this case. If sites were shut down in error etc., then it’s simply a mis-application of the law. Like wrongful arrest or mistaken identity.  I support this move regardless of who lobbied for it.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/diamondztheudigsta Incompatiblemuzik

    Wow, thats very scary, so as the president of a up and coming independent record label
    how can I help prevent this. Incompatible Muzik wants to help, and ensure our future as a record label.

  • Marks6365

    The Author of SOPA Is a Copyright Violator
    By Jamie Lee Curtis Taete

    I understand I cannot post a link here, but that article above, that was in the news is very amusing.

    All Rights Reserved/Without Prejudice   

    • Anonymous

      you sure can post a link here – please do!

  • Douglas Garnett

    It’s a double-edged sword to be sure. As an artist [using that term loosely as it all comes down to personal tastes right?] it’s a cut throat business to begin with. Getting noticed, heard, seen are all struggles we share, especially at the beginning of a career when you don’t have $ to promote the crap out of what you do. To have your hard work pissed down the drain from pirating sucks. The vultures at VH1 used a song of mine without credit or permission, not only did I not earn a penny, no one knows that it was MY art/song/whatever. The corporate thieves are just as bad as the pirates imo. It’s just that they have better attorneys. oh yeah, my point was… there really is no win win situation for anyone on this subject.
    -cheers.

  • DJ Browne

    The songwriter(s) have the right to do whatever they please with their creations. period. Sell or give away? It’s up to the creator of the songs, art, or any other intellectual property.

  • http://twitter.com/mindbodythought Don Shetterly

    Well written article.  Thank you!

  • http://www.ShantaeSexy.Ning.com/ Shantae Esannason

    I agree with SOPA & PIPA.

  • molasses jones

    oh… that’s gonna die. Jeff please be in touch! http://www.reverbnation.com/molassesjones or follow please. EVeryone should be excited we have the freaking net!!!! http://www.twitter.com/molasses_jones

  • Miamanagementpromo

    I should be able to do what I want with my music

    • Anonymous

      absolutely agree!

      jeff

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VW4ANZTQFXWESZR6VAYDFEQEKY BeenHereLongTime

    Real music money is in touring these days not album selling……

  • Maddmikesbluel

    Your lips to God’s ears RIAA Pimpa Sopa in da Shower

  • Mick_hargreaves

    “if the SOPA bill was signed into law in its original form, TuneCore could  have been threatened to be turned off,”

    I’m against SOPA too, but this article fails to explain WHY and TuneCore would be threatened to be turned off. Is it because artists who sign up with TuneCore are uploading material that they actually don’t have the rights to? Because if that’s the case, the artists in question should be shut down, not the entire operation.

    • Anonymous

      @mick

      apologies for not making it clearer.

      Yes, TuneCore could have been wrongfully accused by the RIAA of distributing songs that TuneCore had no right to distribute
      As per the example in the article, apparently the truth becomes moot as the entity with the power just slashes and burns
      jeff

  • Dez Electrik

    Give me an example of how Tune Core could be affected by the bill, cause I don’t see it , if they’re doing business on the up and up.

    I believe it’s a good thing for content creators who need every dollar they can get . It’s funny how the fashion industry can charge $5000 for a Birkin Handbag and it’s  accepted, but the music industry is labelled evil if it tries to charge $20 for an Album.  And let’s talk about someone else dictating to an artist how he or she should sell their music , I remember a time where you could use  the single to sell the album, but now you have some, not all, online retailers strong arming you into selling your album a la carte devaluing your per unit take from $7 to 70 cents.

     I believe that what’s good and what’s bad is relative to the team your playing for and I’m on the team that is helping my bottom line. As an artist it’s you can’t escape the pimp, you just have to decide which pimp you gonna role with ; Is it the pimp that’s passing you around for free? Or the the pimp that is at least going to put a little money in your pocket?      

    So, you want me to join the picket line to lobby against legislation that targets sites that use the content  of the music community to enhance their sites so they can reap subscription and ad fees and we get nothing, hmm 

    I think I read somewhere that file sharing sites would be allowed to operate provided that they pay a blanket license fee to sound exchange which leads me to wonder if the sites that are being targeted are those that are not paying .

    • Anonymous

      @Dez

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      jeff

  • Itsteaman

    Thats right tune core helps artist,even in the pinches,there here to help all artist,and maybe congress should make tune core the main governbody of the music industry!
    needless to say they got my vote!    ITSTEAMAN!!!!!!

    • Itsteaman

      TUNE CORE HAS MY VOTE!

  • http://www.chartsounds.net/ Keith

    Very interesting topic. I believe that companies like Tunecore
    is the way forward for the independent. The major companies have lost the
    ability to dominate and treat the life force of the music production like blood
    to be sucked by them when they feel a thirst. They are upset because we are not
    running behind them anymore, in fact they are getting treated like they don’t even
    matter. What they should do is sign up to Tunecore and get their products
    moving. They are not able to bribe Internet playlist like they used to bribe
    the airways so they want to stop it from existing

     

  • Vdstrat

    Maybe this is a wake up call to all artists. Forget labels all together, Major or Indie. Pay for studio time out of pocket or build a home studio. Start your own publishing company (in FL it literally costs you $50 every 5 years to start a small publishing company) and register yourself with ASCAP as publisher & composer ($70 for lifetime membership). Copyright songs yourself ($35 an album online at copyright.gov) and write/perform all your own material.

    If this is too stressful, expensive, or requires too much intelligence then GET OUT OF THE INDUSTRY! Stop whining as if the world owes musicians anything. Ignorant musicians will always get screwed and if you don’t do your homework or pay Lawyers/Accountants to do it for you then don’t be surprised when you go no where and find yourself blaming everything on corporations or government.

    Allowing everyone to have everything for free will destroy the industry completely. Look at China…. Move there and see how they treat rockstars LOL

    • Marks6365

      Keep ASCAP and the like across the globe out of it.
      Tunecore, if it had the administrative strength could take care of that.  
      To have total control would be to keep the legal system for the most part out of it. Unfortunately we need to use their legal tender at the moment.
      Isn’t it the banking system that has been screwing us all, along with their A-ttorn-on-mei’s

    • Clarkorama

      I think people are getting too obsessed with this ‘give your music away for free’ notion. I don’t think many people are really advocating that. Posters keep throwing that out as if Jeff has told everyone that all music should be free, when what he’s actually concerned about is major labels and established organisations using their status to attempt to steal copyright by accusing smaller, weaker players of stealing copyright to material they in fact wrote.

      Surely all you posters trolling don’t really think this is ok.

      Is it not reasonable to ask for the wording of a bill to be amended to make clear these matters? Or should we ‘trust’ the politicians and executives to do the right thing of their own volition? Because they are an inherently trustworthy bunch after all…

    • Musical Magic

      So very true!!!

  • http://twitter.com/daveowensmusic Dave Owens

    I’ve contacted my respective Congressman and voiced my opinion to stop these from happening. I’ve also shared it with many people who had no idea this was happening. It’s much more than just “going after the bad guys.” It’s censorship on an entirely different level. Ever heard of “Big Brother?” Yep…this is the reality and although they have ways of getting around many of the privacy laws (although, what are you worried about if you’re not doing something illegal, yeah?), this one’s right in our faces, out in the open, plain as the light of day. I’m going to make a bold statement here and say that anyone who cares about privacy and the right to privacy, free speech, and any of their other rights, should vote against this.

  • Povpr

    The Tunecore artiicle is nonsense. Tunecore has  close affiliations witbh Universal – the biggest label in the world. The Bills only give the copyright holders the right to prevent unauthorised use. There is nothing at all wrong with that. Any unauthorised use should be attract criminal proceedings not just a right to take civil action.

    • Povpr

      I have read some commentary on the proposed Acts and they seem reasonable. The only parties objecting are the websites that use the material without the consent of the copyright owner and make money from the use of that material by attracting users to their sites. They are exploiting the copyright owners – mostly the artists themselves.

    • Anonymous

      @ Povpr

      Let me be clear, if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today
      On a different note, Im not sure why you are making up things about Universal and what that has to do with the SOPA bill that Universal supports and TuneCore does not.
      jeff

  • Grinder Spence Jr

    First of all,let’s stop bickering amongst ourselves and point the finger where we should.the mainreason why the Government always wins is because we allow it by fighting ourselves instead of the powers that be.We as,not anly artists,but as mankind should take on the responsibility of protecting each other as each one of us are effected by this.This could be a major strike against our rights of free speach and in turn be the start of something very cataclysmic.It’s time to stand together.

  • Kwood32

    Wow Jeff!!!  I was always a fan of you until this article.  I am stunned.  

    You of all people should be out front urging independent artists to support anti-piracy laws.  And, by the way, the RIAA represents many Independent labels, not just the majors who are trying to save the industry from cheaters and looters (and crooks selling something that is not theirs).  So, right there your article is misleading.

    Your one example of a site that was mistakenly shut down does NOT outweigh the fact that around 90% of music today is pirated and something should be done.

    Anti-piracy laws are the only solution to piracy in my view.  Retail stores have security guards and security cameras, and because of that, very little gets stolen.  Finally, here is a chance to stop piracy by taking down rogue sites that are PROFITING from our music, while we struggle to make it.  

    Why are you scared?  Tunecore isn’t anything close to a “rogue site” offering illegal music.  Be sane, Jeff.  You actually have a lot to gain from these laws because your artists, whom you love so much, will make more money — money sorely needed to help stay out of the red.

    • Anonymous

      @Kwood32

      First off, people that steal your music are scumbags. I despise them

      However, if the original version of the SOPA bill was passed six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today.
      In addition, there is no way for you to know this, but we have to deal with a lot of BS daily from those threatening to sue our customers and TuneCore for alleged infringement.
      As one example, we are contacted almost daily by a major label claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      The majors are just flailing, slashing and burning. This bill in its original form would allow an out of control irrational entity that no longer represents the music industry (RIAA) the ability to have government go after entities like TuneCore just because the RIAA says so.
      As it stands now, TuneCore has to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge the RIAA’s wrongful claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      We fight for the artists to assure the RIAA etc do not screw with you, your recordings or your rights.
      They hate the fact that they lost control. They hate the fact that TuneCore exists. Non major artists charting and selling is their worst nightmare.
      Add to this that yes, I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      If the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your 4 songs, I would fight them tooth and nail on your behalf
      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the last thing I hope you would you want is for them to have the power to shut TuneCore down

      I’m on the front lines of this every day – fighting with majors, fighting with collection agencies, fighting with stores etc on your behalf.

      And I will not ever back down on the artist’s behalf.

      The bill is a good idea, it was poorly written leaving too much unchecked power without proper due process in the hands of an entity that truly wishes TuneCore does not exist

      and I can assure you, they dont play fair

      So lets get the bill right, write the proper language, have all of YOU have a voice, not the RIAA and work to eliminate the scum bags while not accidentally killing the innocent.

      jeff

      • ……..The Disciple…….

        Thank you Jeff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right On Point. I know what it is like to have a bigger label, or Major label affiliates try to hold your copyrights hostage, and claim ownership, when they do not own it. I am happy we went with Tunecore Now, and they are helping us square things away with these false copyright claimers. Yes, it happens, these companies all of a sudden start claiming your copyrights because they are in a desperate reach of control. Stay in there Tunecore we need you.
        Peace,
         Apademik The Disciple

      • Anonymous

        No one can steal your music compared to what the Major
        companies steal. People have always recorded your music onto cassettes now they
        copy it onto CDs pen drives computers and mobile phones.  These organisations work on behalf of the
        Major companies while pretending to be out there fighting for the artist. They
        line their own pockets, but the opportunity is running out. When was the last
        time these fakes collected lost revenue for any individual artist or producer. If
        you are not a music maker or collecting for the music maker, then you’re a bloodsucker.
        If you are not a part of the solution then you are the problem

    • Musical Magic

      Thanks Kwood32.. You are right on point!!!. 

      • Anonymous

        @musical magic

        The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
        And we already do get notices from time to time like this

        if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
        This is not a hypothetical – we have been contacted by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
        They just flail, slash and burn.

        We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
        Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
        the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
        if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your songs, TuneCore would fight them tooth and nail on our your behalf
        And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down
        We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless
        if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today

        Here is a link to video that talks in more detail and more broadly about SOPA

        http://bit.ly/zDdkJy

        jeff

    • Manonmusicrow

      my post means no offense to jeff….. but i agree ,,, i have a saying called ” Get there First With The Most Men ” … because of how a lot of music is created in the songwriter private investor era,,, i don’t support the language that gives any disgruntled anybody for all sorts of reason singularly being able to shut an entity down because they feel left out or want be scrupulous ,,,,and theres no way to do this thru sopa or pipa,,  without that being the end result.. as weak as startups are how would they defend themselves and ultimately, no one would feel safe to invest or finance ,music exploit entities ,,,, and the lawyers would have a hay day,,,,i do support creating a more even playing field  and, i do believe a bill will be passed for the Greater Good Of All,,, and its that, that will create a where we should be,,as music exploiters ,,,, the question is is who has the vision to predict it,,,and stage themselves to catch the wave,,,its all to big to put back in a box or riaa and major labels to re create the cash funnel and absolute power it once had,,,and radio has protected such by the complexities for unbacked worthy artist to propagate their talents,,, i think the advent of the worldwide web has created a new day and should remain free,,, and if anything , lets create an encryption that protects the music and lets let ” freedom ring ” on the net….DT2012

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Perkins/1191940888 Michael Perkins

    when the recording industry stops re-releasing the same products it has been releasing since 1984 (repackaged and re”imagined” and starts releasing product that doesnt contain at best 4 good songs out of 7-12 on an average album and is in fact worth the 20 dollar price tag for its product, Ill start paying again. Guess what RIAA, its a buyers market, and if your product is crap, nobody is buying it. point: in 2001, an artist had to sell in excess of 5 MILLION copies to even make the top ten. Now, if the same artist sells 100 THOUSAND copies, they are on the charts at number 1.

    I give away my music, and I also sell it. I dont care what is being paid for it, or who is distributing it. I am just glad someone is hearing it. If I wanted to be a popstar, I could have been. its not worth selling myself out to play the RIAA/recording industrys (as we know it) game.
    Unless one is a Metallica, Lady Gaga, or similar, the average artist makes appx. 45 cents per cd sold. The rest of that 20 bucks? Right into the labels fat and bloated coke addicted pocket, and thats a fact.

  • Koko Pets a Kitten

    Sites like MegaUpload are one of the main reasons people don’t pay for music… you don’t have to worry much about others ripping your music off and selling it… the problem is young people aren’t paying for digital music period. 
    Btw, I find the TuneCore blogs overly negative and kind’ve confused. SOPA is targeting pirate music sites… not places like TuneCore (unless they’re selling pirated music / or music using uncleared samples for some odd reason.)

    • Koko Pets a Kitten

      Btw, I do think SOPA is currently too broad and TuneCore is a great service.

      • Musical Magic

        Sopa is what should have happened a decade ago concerning the arts. 

      • Anonymous

        thank you!

        and i love your name/handle

        jeff

    • Musical Magic

      People do pay for music.. it has to be good music.  ITunes handles 70% of the market share because they promote selling music. It is that simple.  I agree with you these reviews are very negative.

    • Anonymous

      @Koko Pets a Kitten

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      This is not a hypothetical – we have been contacted by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      They just flail, slash and burn.

      We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your songs, TuneCore would fight them tooth and nail on our your behalf
      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down
      We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless
      if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today

      jeff

  • Boriquacrema

    i just started and i dont think anything is going to happen here i feel like im waisting my time.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Boriquacrema,

      Please contact our Artist Support team so we can help you with your TuneCore account and answer any q’s you may have: http://help.tunecore.com/app/ask

  • Boriquacrema

    i guess u have to do everything ur self, wat was the point of paying if the buy button dont even work . i have so many people tellin me it dont work. wit a following of over 14k of people.

  • http://www.greatwhiteoblivion.com/ Lior Magal

    Hey Jeff, Thanks for looking out for us. I don’t understand why TuneCore is at risk here. You serve artists by their permission only. You don’t hand out our music for free, but simply put it on in stores. Am I missing something? . . .

    • Anonymous

      @Lior

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      This is not a hypothetical – we are contacted almost daily by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      They just flail, slash and burn.

      We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      And despite your comments, if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your 4 songs, I would fight them tooth and nail on your behalf
      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down
      We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless
      if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today

      jeff

    • Anonymous

      @lior

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      This is not a hypothetical – we have been contacted by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      They just flail, slash and burn.

      We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your songs, TuneCore would fight them tooth and nail on our your behalf
      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down
      We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless
      if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today

      jeff

      • AStickler

        Jeff, I do agree with you 100%. Several people don’t seem to understand your argument. Instead of reposting the exact same (somewhat involved) wording, it might be helpful to say the same thing, once in a while, in different, simpler, shorter words.

        Tunecore sometimes gets wrongfully accused of copyright infringement.

        Major labels could easily use SOPA to wrongfully accuse and effectively shut-down Tunecore or any site they don’t like.

        SOPA is an overreaching tool that makes it too easy to wrongfully accuse and shut-down competitors.

        The cost of copyright compliance will be huge.

        Many smaller companies or individual artists will not have the resources to defend against wrongful SOPA claims by bigger comanies.

        Smaller companies and individual artists will effectively be shut down very easily and quickly.

        Even if they are NOT infringing.

        It will be too expensive to defend against a company with more money. A defendand will be guilty until proven innocent.

        And it will be too costly to prove their innocence.

        Google will be liable for showing links to potentially infringing material. They might remove any sharing links altogether instead of running the risk of having to defend against wrongful law suits.

        And again, best video to the topic
        http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

        • Anonymous

          @astickler

          thank you for this. I hope you dont mind if I steal what you wrote?!

          Sometimes I need someone not as close as I to provide the proper framing
          Jeff

  • Keith

    Jeff is right to oppose SOPA, as most of the smart money is, it’s just RIAA sabre rattling and the bill is very unlikely to succeed – because it can’t, won’t, stop piracy anyway, with the myriad of cloud services set to be launched following the IGooZon strategy.

    • Anonymous

      @keith

      Thank you for taking the time to post and for the words of support.

      It appears i should have added the below in my article to explain more clearly as to why SOPA is a good idea poorly executed. I am adding it here for others to read: ———–

      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      This is not a hypothetical – we have been contacted by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      They just flail, slash and burn.

      We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your songs, TuneCore would fight them tooth and nail on our your behalf

      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down

      We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless

      if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today

      Here is a link to video that talks in more detail and more broadly about SOPA

      http://bit.ly/zDdkJy

      jeff

      • Keith

        I see and understand your position totally Jeff, you would like the plus but can’t live with the minus that will come with it, understandably.  SOPA is a toothless mutt don’t lose any sleep over it, executives must support it publicly but in private nobody wants it. 
        Start a Label Jeff, Orchard won’t be interested I doubt but if you throw some feelers out a couple of distributors will raise their heads I’m sure, start selling CDs on the ground and online, you like streaming so back it up with that too.
        When soppy SOPA dies and it will, the big boys might accept the piracy war is over, and completely rethink digital strategy, the result of this could leave Tunecore and other digital suppliers out in the cold without a jacket.

        Forgive me, but a Label that accepts any fool with a guitar and Audacity, now there’s an idea!

        All the best, K.

      • AStickler

        Best video I’ve seen on the topic, Jeff! Thanks for posting. Might be really useful to feature more prominently somewhere.

  • http://www.mcpauld.com/ Paul D

    Cant Tunecore request a written acceptance to operate on behalf of the artist? cant it re write its online submission to add that they have the right to act for the artists? cant Tunecore make there own record label on behalf of the artists and just have in the agreement its not bound for 5 years or that the artist can leave no strings attached? that said cant tunecore benefit from all this?

  • Jimknier

    As a content owner I whole heartedly support the updatimg of copyright laws to stop the massive theft of coprighted  content that has happened since the advent of the internet. The RIAA represents major record companies but it also represents the content owners and artists who work for these record companies. I also think it’s right that the RIAA have input in crafting this important legislation. Arguably they  have the most experience (50-60 years?) protecting copyrights of the record companies,  the artists and all the content owners they represent. You mention the record companies shrinking share of the music industray. This is a direct result of internet piracy and they have probably lost more than anyone except artists, content owners and musicians. The way the bill is written may not be perfect but I suggest you  support it and call your congressmen to suggest improvements to make it the perfect bill with the protections needed to stop internet theft. Incidently, the internet behemoths who oppse these bills(Google, You Tub,etc…) make millions in ad revenue supporting rogue sites. They oppose the bills in the name of free speech because they profit handsomly from internet piracy. Well Screw them!
    Jim Near

  • Goopking

    Here is one of the most educational videos concerning SOPA/PIPA that I have seen. Those who do not understand just how crippling these bills will be to your art, need to have a look. If after watching you still do not understand, then you are lost and you need that accounting gig.

    http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa/

  • Jimknier

    If he wants to sell it ? What planet has this guy been living on? It surely wasn’t earth. If an artist doesn”t want to make a profit from his work he has no business creating. If an Artist doesn’t expect to make money from his work it is probably garbage anyway. The best artists are hungry and need the money.
    Jim Near

  • Jimknier

    Sounds like this clown has an agenda to undermine this desperately needed legislation. He seems like a mouthpiece for the people who write his paycheck and pull his strings. I think Tune-core should supprt this legislation on behalf of the artists they represent. Tune-core should also talk with the RIAA and their Congressmen to suggest tweaks to further improve the wording of this important law to make it as good as it can be. Especially for the content owners you supposedly represent, not resent! 

    • Anonymous

      @Jimknier

      Well, between clown school and my juggling homework, I try to find time to run TuneCore.
      First off, people that steal your music are scumbags. I despise them

      However, if the original version of the SOPA bill was passed six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today.
      In addition, there is no way for you to know this, but we have to deal with a lot of BS daily from those threatening to sue our customers and TuneCore for alleged infringement.
      As one example, we are contacted almost daily by a major label claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      The majors are just flailing, slashing and burning. This bill in its original form would allow an out of control irrational entity that no longer represents the music industry (RIAA) the ability to have government go after entities like TuneCore just because the RIAA says so.
      As it stands now, TuneCore has to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge the RIAA’s wrongful claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      We fight for the artists to assure the RIAA etc do not screw with you, your recordings or your rights.
      They hate the fact that they lost control. They hate the fact that TuneCore exists. Non major artists charting and selling is their worst nightmare.
      Add to this that yes, I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      If the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your 4 songs, I would fight them tooth and nail on your behalf

      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the last thing I hope you would you want is for them to have the power to shut TuneCore down

      I’m on the front lines of this every day – fighting with majors, fighting with collection agencies, fighting with stores etc on your behalf.

      And I will not ever back down on the artist’s behalf.

      The bill is a good idea, it was poorly written leaving too much unchecked power without proper due process in the hands of an entity that truly wishes TuneCore does not exist

      and I can assure you, they dont play fair

      So lets get the bill right, write the proper language, have all of YOU have a voice, not the RIAA and work to eliminate the scum bags while not accidentally killing the innocent.

      And this is a great video that goes through some of the problems of the original SOPA bill

      http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

      jeff

  • J Charpentier

       ok…I joined tunecore and believe it will work. I’ve spent most of my life trying to get the attention of a major, and the flavor of the month keeps changing. There is no way I could succeed as an artist in today’s music business, because I have soul. I feel Tunecore has leveled the playing field. Having said that, I’m working part-time at a manufacturing plant while hopefully my single is selling millions(ha ha just kidding) ok now. The plant can have regular inspections by the FDA. One as a general, and one if  they suspect and get letters from people that suspect something is wrong. There is a process they go through, to inspect. If the inspector  find faults they get a judge to write a letter, to have the problems fixed. I feel this same policy should apply to tune core or any other distribution site. If there’s an alleged copy write violation, someone needs to inspect and gather info. and if it IS someone that ran from a major label to use tunecore, the letter from a judge should come to stop the violation and distribution. but NOT shut down the whole distribution site, because not every artist is in violation of copyright.
           If this SOPA bill is making it easier for the GOVT to shut down a site without a proper investigation then we need to stop it, or else we’re all back to square one, trying to attract a music business that seems to not care about art. I do believe in out of control, control freaks. I’d like to believe that the RIAA aren’t control freaks, but aren’t they the same people that sued random people that had illegal downloads on their computers?
        My guess is this is what happens……..the old record company approach was , we put up the money, the studio, the advertising, and it’s recoupable through sales, which we’ll keep track of and deduct, but the artist owns the copywrite. The artist is now going, hey..”i can keep my own money on tunecore, screw these record guys”. The record company says “I made you! You owe me loyalty!!!” and try to say they own the copyrights….If an artist is under contract to not distribute through any other distributors…..they should not be allowed to run to tunecore unless the contract is over.  for that I can see how the GOVT could intervene or lawyers. They should not have the right to just shut down a site simply because they FEEL there’s a problem or someone that doesn’t know diddly says so.
         

  • Jim

    Folks in the music industry remain idiots. How hard is it to pass an anti-piracy bill?

    Does Tunecore even support musicians’ interests or is it just a tech company following tech company bullshit calling SOPA anti-free speech.

    • Anonymous

      @Jim

      I have not even gotten to the free speech arguments…Im sticking solely with the points most important to the music industry
      You have a good idea being poorly executed.

      People and entities that steal your music are scumbags. Period. End of story.
      The concern is that the RIAA wrongfully accuses TuneCore of distributing music into iTunes etc that TuneCore did not have the right to distribute thereby violating copyright law – this in turn gets some clueless governmental body trying to shut us down
      And we already do get notices from time to time like this

      if this bill was in effect, it could then trigger some governmental body coming after us
      This is not a hypothetical – we have been contacted by a major claiming they control the rights to a master recording that one of our customers control the rights to.
      They just flail, slash and burn.

      We then have to deal with them, iTunes etc and respond, legally, and challenge their claims. When push comes to shove they backdown
      Add to this that I already had to hire a litigator to deal with a threatened lawsuit from the RIAA on a different matter
      the passage of SOPA in its original state would have upped the ante and given them even more power to attack both TuneCore and its artists
      if the RIAA or anyone else ever stepped forward and claimed THEY owned the rights to the recordings of your songs, TuneCore would fight them tooth and nail on our your behalf

      And if they did do this (and this has happened numerous times since we launched) the original SOPA bill would give them more power to try to shut TuneCore down

      We automatically become an “infringer” just like the website in this article that did nothing wrong but became a target nevertheless

      if this SOPA bill was passed in its original form six years ago, TuneCore would most likely not exist today

      Here is a link to video that talks in more detail and more broadly about SOPA

      http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

      jeff

  • Loungerg

    As noble as this premise may sound, the reality is that the world is full of good people, bad people, and uneducated people.,,,,Is what yous say….A Normal Person cant even get a Job anywhere because they wanna Hire all these Down syndrome an Autism SO WHOS GIVING UNEDUCATED PEOPLE JOBS that get SSI

  • Loungerg

    As noble as this premise may sound, the reality is that the world is full of good people, bad people, and uneducated people.,,,,Is what yous say….A Normal Person cant even get a Job anywhere because they wanna Hire all these Down syndrome an Autism SO WHOS GIVING UNEDUCATED PEOPLE JOBS that get SSI

  • Loungerg

    My New 45 Mp3 Albums, gona Change how Music is made an Sold, Charging more an giving less Music————————- Lounger G ——Also knowen as The King Of Interstate I-25—- Is a Politic for the Colorado Hiphop Music Industry  ———————- you dont go to School to Learn a God Gifted Telent————–It helps,   Iv seen so many Musicians come an go because they cant hang, They dont have the Money or time to Invest,,,,,&  illegal, ………… Its starting to be aganist the Law for anybody to make a Living,,, People Hate on Business Promotion no matter what,its not just the Entertainment Industry ,  its just JEALOUSY ,

  • Loungerg

    Whos geting Piad form  CRICKET PHONE PLANS, with Unlimited Music, I sure anit an what Recources i got all them an i anit seen shit , there giving away my Music Free with there plans…………………… Cricket needs to be Sued

    • Anonymous

      from what i know, cricket is legit

      they license the rights and make payments out to copyright holders

      jeff

  • Loungerg

    I got 3 Quarters of a Million Dollers invested into my Music Business, It takes me time to make all these Musician Profiles, an put my Music in them to yous them as my Resources,an i Charge other Artists to set them up, ya i got a Major Underground FANBASE, and Promote my Resources with my Music, we need them Resources for are Business, not just that, For Storage of are Music Files

  • Jaime

    Jeff – reading some of the comments below made me feel the need to say; Thank You and TuneCore for you what you do and provide. As a musician, I thoroughly researched all the various ways to get our band’s music out to the world…and hopefully start working towards not having to work 3 jobs in order to do so. CD Baby is cool, and has treated me well…..but they take a percentage of digital downloads.
    TuneCore’s pricing and process is quite fair, we’ve sold way more in iTunes than I had expected as an indie artist….and your articles and links are generally interesting and informative.Keep doing what you’re doing!-Jaime 

    • Anonymous

      @Jamie

      I really appreciate the kind words

      nothing would make my day more than playing any role whatsoever in having you not have to work three jobs (and congrats on your sales!)
      I know its not easy, and I know only your passion and talent can make it happen, but it really is an honor to have you (or any artist) choose to work with us
      Thank you for that

      jeff

  • JohnreMusic

    I cringe at the thought of my music being given away on a pirate site.  But, more so, I cringe at the thought of my basic rights being given away. SOPA and PIPA are TOO vague. THAT is the problem. Among other things, the companies that
    support it want to get rid of piracy… AND get rid of other, legitimate
    competition (i.e. us!!..via tunecore!!), along the way, by eliminating basic rights. I believe that Jeff is our advocate. Yes. Jeff makes money from us. On the other hand, he is a point of collective, funded power, to stand against the forces of major labels, etc., as well.  As much as we need something to happen, we
    can’t be stupid and shoot our freedoms and rights in the heart, by
    jumping on the first train of opportunity.. Don’t be fooled… SOPA and
    PIPA are bad bills. PERIOD. Hence, you should protest them. Why don’t we, collectively, review the following billl and see if it suits our needs, offer revisions, improvements, and submit them to the proper people.  Typically, musicians are very smart people. SO, I know that we have the ability to come up with something to offer as a solution.  I found this alternative:

    “Protecting intellectual property still seems like an important goal. Are there any proposed alternatives to SOPA/PIPA?

    Yes, opponents of SOPA/PIPA have introduced the “Online Protection
    and Enforcement of Digital Trade” or “OPEN Act,” to both the House and
    the Senate. Rather than give powers of enforcement to the Attorney
    General, and to copyright holders, OPEN simply expands the Tariff Act of
    1930 to allow the International Trade Commission (ITC) to “take action
    against unfair digital imports or unfair imports that are
    digitally-facilitated by foreign rogue websites,” instead of being
    limited to physical goods that violate US intellectual property law.
    This includes requiring financial institutions (again, like PayPal or
    Internet advertisers) to sever business ties with sites that are found
    to be in violation of US copyright law. Supporters of SOPA/PIPA say OPEN
    will be ineffective, and the bill has so far failed to gain any serious
    traction in either the House or the Senate.”  I grabbed this from the following article: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/sopa-vs-pipa-anti-piracy-bills-uproar-explained/

    If you want to pull together to discuss a better way, post your thoughts and click “Subscribe to all comments by email” so that we can all interact on the matter.

    There’s no doubt, something needs to be done.  Let’s find a better way, quickly!!  Johnre

  • Keith

    11 Year old boys and girls with smartphones are not scumbags, and reacting to a habit inherited from older brothers, sisters, friends with such pejorative terms won’t convince them what they’re doing is wrong.  Indeed, any of them reading this thread, and others here, are more likely to conceive most artists are just money-grabbing bastards dreaming of buying Lear-jets from the proceeds of a handful of well-penned songs, very far from the reality of most of these kids’ lives and their own futures.

    You’re an artist, your song is on 100,000 smartphones and you didn’t get a cent in royalties, you may think you’ve lost money, and of course you have, but it’s not money taken out of your wallet, you’re not money down you’re just not money up, but 100,000 fans could soon put that right because 100,000 becomes a million with one share, ten-million with two shares, now you’ll get $10,000 for a gig instead of $200 or nothing, and your CD sales are looking good.

    Take a different look at piracy and file-sharing with Chris Blackwell http://youtu.be/0qqAXptfn9M interviewed by regular contributor here and artisthouse supremo George Howard, before you legislate for burning teenagers, your fans, at the stake, and shut-down the internet in a bid to protect a few hundred dollars income, if you’re very lucky.

    • Anonymous

      @keith

      speaking just for myself, the sucmbags are not kids, the scumbags are the entities that steal others copyrights to make a buck.
      For example, an entity provides a way for all the music in the world to be listened to on demand for free but gets no licenses to so. It then makes money from advertising due to its web traffic and keeps all of it
      more or less the Grooveshark model…

      jeff

      • Keith

        ‘Steal?’ If I steal your car you don’t have a car anymore, if ‘scumbags’ serve up a song on a p2p site they haven’t stolen the song they’ve ‘borrowed’ it, they haven’t dispossessed the owner of the song, technology has allowed them to use the song for their own and their members benefit, which if popular, benefits the owner in the end.

        It’s like back in the 70s, when my friends would borrow an album, I wouldn’t see them for months, but then it would come back with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a henry of gold-seal, great days, and they’re here again, but a million bottles of Jack are coming back, and a ton of black.

        The eradication of piracy benefits the Majors and aids them to keep control of the industry, independent artists should ‘wake up’ to that, and ignore the well-financed, well-publicised rhetoric.

        • Anonymous

          @keith

          guess we are going to have to disagree

          If i wrote and recorded a song, and it was valuable (meaning people liked it and it sold etc) – and then you took my song and my recording and used it to make money and did not pay me or get the rights from me, I would say you stole from me
          Just because my song and recording can be digitized does not mean its less valuable than a car
          And no one has the right to just take what I created without my permission and use it to make a ton of money without my permission
          Im sorry Keith, if I start a website, I have no right to take the Beatles’ songs and recordings and just give them away for free with no licenses or rights in order to get web traffic so I can make money off advertising
          I also do not have the right to say “sign up for my fruit of the month club” and each month we will email you a Beatles album for free
          jeff

          • Marks6365

            It all comes down to who holds legal title to the intellectual property, and who holds equitable title. By fact if its your creation it is your intellectual property but when you register anything with the Government you hand over the legal title and they get to control and regulate it.
            When you hand legal title to the powers that be, they can do whatever they want with it. But if you still hold equitable title your entitled to all earnings including any interest.
            The A-ttorn-on-my’s and the big labels are cashing in bigtime on the private side and because you cant see it,they dont give it and really dont want to give it up.     

          • Marks6365

            The use of a Notary and an administrative process that gets you a default judgement. Is more powerful than any lawyer could ever be.
            Use that against these majors if they cause you any harm and you could get a commercial lien on these guys and then collect on it for the cause. Essentially owning their asses. And you get the court to enforce it instead of the court making the judgement.

            COMMERCIAL LIENS:A MOST POTENT WEAPON
            http://www.scribd.com/doc/60142982/1/COMMERCIAL-LIENS-A-MOST-POTENT-WEAPON

          • Keith

             Disagreement is the first step in concilliation, unfortunately it’s bedtime in GEMA country, have to follow up tomorrow..

            ..all the best, K.

          • Keith

            Let’s talk about what was and now is.

            In 1973 there were Record Stores on just about every High St, in just about every town of all of the developed nations.  In Spring that year I parted with ₤7.99 to Boots, in exchange for ‘Dark Side Of The Moon.’  Now I used to do a paper round seven mornings a week for my local newsagent for the princely sum of ₤1.25 a week, I saved ₤5 and Mum and Dad gave me the rest.

            What did I get for my money?

            An album that was recorded over 8 months at Abbey Rd, exceptional sound quality from a band that had found the top of their commercial game, still their best-selling album.

            Now let’s leap forward to today, just by clicking I can download from Amazon ‘Back To Black’ MP3 album by Amy Winehouse for ₤3.99 – the best-selling album of the 21st-century.

            The average 18 year’ old shop-worker in the UK today would be lucky to take home around ₤800 a month, in 1973 it would have been around ₤80 .  So, the cost of an album in 1973 was around 10% of their monthly take home wage, and the cost of an album now is around 0.5-1% of monthly pay, 10-20 times cheaper.

            This is the reality artists must live with today, music is not the ‘gravy-train’ it once was, even if you’re successful as an artist, your income at best is likely to be at least 20 times lower than your 70s counterparts, that’s ₤50,000 instead of ₤1,000,000 for comparable success.  The majority of musicians that describe themselves as successful today are most likely on similar money to Lawyers, Doctors, and Dentists.

            Now let’s look at production technology: For a couple of thousand you can set yourself up with the best (lo-def) equipment and software around, and produce a half decent master good enough for the iphone generation to buy and listen to, set yourself up with a Tunecore account and you’re off and running.  But, kids today are very ‘savvy,’ how can any ‘trying to break through’ Tunecore artist justify a ₤7.99 MP3 album price-tag when kids can buy a remastered Dark Side Of The Moon from Amazon at ₤7.49, or Back To Black at ₤3.99?  Both albums with ceiling-less production budgets engineered by the best around then and now.

            Enter stage-left: File-Sharers.

            Jeff puts the case:

            “If i wrote and recorded a song, and it was valuable (meaning people
            liked it and it sold etc) – and then you took my song and my recording
            and used it to make money and did not pay me or get the rights from me, I
            would say you stole from me”

            If I took Jeff’s song, and, I made money from it, presumerably therefore people must have been listening to or downloading Jeff’s song.  If people weren’t listening to or downloading Jeff’s song it’s no use to me and I wouldn’t be making any money from it.

            Let’s look at these two scenarios a little closer.

            I p2p Jeff’s song, and over 3 months it has 0 downloads and 12 streams.  It is not valuable, I certainly didn’t make a profit from it, but I did find Jeff another 12 listeners that may have clicked through to his website.  Did they buy a T-Shirt or a Poster, who knows?

            I p2p another of Jeff’s songs, this one does much better, over 3 months 43 downloads and 23,068 streams.  Now, based on Tunecore artist revenue figures, Jeff should have received $104.91 from me if I was one of Tunecores legitimate partners, but I’m not I’m a scumbag utilising artists music for my and my members benefit.

            But, let me ask you this: You’re an artist, or a Label, and I have a service that will guarantee listeners to your songs, and it will only cost you half a cent per listener, would you consider buying 1,000 listeners from me for $5 ?  Or a million listeners for $5,000 ??

            Fair exchange is not theft.

          • Anonymous

            @keith

            if i create a song its mine. You dont get to tell me what I am allowed to do with my song. If I want to give it away, I can give it away. If I want to sell it, I can sell it.
            This is not your decision to make for me. And no amount of math equations are going to change the fact that its my song, my intellectual property, my copyrights and my recording and you have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do with it.
            Only I get that right.

            You can claim its not a loss of income to me, but thats not the point. You can claim I’ll make more money if I give it away, but thats not the point.
            The point is who are you, or anyone else, to tell me I have no right to my own creation and make the decision to just take it from me.
            In regards to what the industry “was and now is”

            You seem to be missing some important parts of what it was – 7″ vinyl singles with an A side and a B side with local radio, low fi recordings and an industry that did not just have four major labels.
            Jeff

          • Keith

            Your response doesn’t address the reality we are all living with, you’re dreaming of the ideal and turning your cheek to the slap in the face, you’re playing the little boy with a ball that only you can choose who to play with, in the middle of a playground full of bullys that haven’t picked on you yet.  You’re side-stepping Jeff, and playing Hop-Scotch with reality, you do not serve your clients by attempting to get them to bury their heads in the sand along with yours, to serve your own agenda.

            It’s 00.29 in GEMA country I must retire, tomorrow I will return with unbiased but informed input, comparing your artist revenues, from your legitimate partners, against the costs/reach your artists can achieve for nothing.

          • Anonymous

            @keith

            Your assertion that artists have no rights is wrong. No matter how many names you call me, no matter how long a math equation you make up, no matter how much technology you hide behind, it will not change what is right and what is wrong
            When an artist writes a song, that’s their song. No one has a right to just take it from them. Its theirs to give away, not yours to take or distribute at will.
            Your lack of understanding of this point is stunning – but it is what it is, and its why so many are so angry
            Music matters, it has value, those with talent create it, they make culture. They matter.
            As you continue to tell them what they create has no value, should be free, should be taken from them at will, I will fight tooth and nail to support their right to sell and protect what they create
            Its why I started TuneCore.

            jeff

  • Loungerg

    With my Fanbase, i dont even need a Disturbution Company, it helps but, with all the Money iv gave to Disturbution companys my Music still anit Hit the Radio,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it anything im Promoting Defjam, & Interscope………………..if anything tunecore or these other Disturbution Companys should have a Promotion blast that takes the Music to all Radio Stations, Instead of just Podcasts.

  • Diegoysurebelbanda

    estados unidos pone sus muros y fronteras para que no entren inmigrantes y para el internet no les importan las fronteras, que extraño????? mendigos congresistas podridos ponganse a legislar mejor en contra de los asesinos y narcotraficantes que hacen mas daño a la humanidad!!
    sus mendigas discograficas ya pasaron de moda!! aceptenlo! dejen trabajar a la gente nueva mendigos diñosaurios.

  • Reggie072974

    whats funny about this whole thing is who is going to win this crazy sopa don`t get me wrong im all for the sopa thing but i don`t think they should shut down tune core cause of what its doing

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MLAZMXXHWENTXJPGLT5OP6D6RM Clos

    What’s Actually Happening Is That Major Artist Are Getting Fucked Because Of The Authenticity Of The Underground Music. Therefore, They Are Trying To Stop It Due To Loss Of Profit From Major Artist. They Just Want To Shine On Their Own, But The Light Of The Sun Light Up The Entire World Wide, So The Underground Can Never Be Stop!!! 

  • Tasos Hatzis

    This is at least outrageous. Instead of trying to make the music free for all and earn money, for instance,  only from the advertisements which they  are going to intercept during a song or sth, they scare people with SOPA and PIPA. The result is going to be the decrease of advertising and promotional profit. They think that this way is going to raise the profit but the result is going to be totally different!

  • http://twitter.com/AmandaCWilliams Amanda Williams

    Thank you for your insight on this issue, Jeff.  The Nashville songwriting community’s opinion is very split on SOPA & PIPA, and understandably so.  I appreciate the opportunity to refer others to this article.  You guys at TuneCore are a powerful voice for independent songwriter advocacy.

    • Anonymous

      its an emotional and important issue

      I adamantly believe a songwriter/artist gets to say what can and cannot be done with what they create – but this bill was poorly written and its impact would have been to hurt the very entities it claimed to protect, the artist
      jeff

  • Basslock

    I think the US should stop trying to take over the world ( Not the citizens but the government)
    Im from the UK and they are ruining my future with their rubbish… they need to worry about the real things in life – Porverty, famine and war etc.. they will have a lot of haters and this will start a uprising in the worlds people… WORLD WAR 3? who knows. Rant over 😀   Thanks tune core for getting my track on iTunes <3

  • Anonymous

    Maybe someone could explain this to me.

    If a track is downloaded from itunes, 2 payments are made. The sale of the master and a small fee to the publisher.

    OK. Forgetting the whole Master Rights issue for a moment, say for instance a new Britney Spears album is on file sharing sites obviously without consent, why aren’t the publishers seeking the exact amount downloaded and suing them for the manufacture of the song? It doesn’t matter if it’s free or not, the publisher should still be paid regardless. Just think if a company like SONY got the figures of their collective downloaded material, how long would filesharing sites exist? Not long.

    So what exactly is the difference? Both itunes & i.e. the defunct Megaupload are responsible for the manufacture of the song. Why have the publishers not ever stepped in?

    • Keith

       Who do you sue?  The individual that uploaded the album, or all the people that downloaded it?  How do you find the uploader ‘GreaseMonkey426’ to serve papers?  Or the other 200,000 GreaseMonkeys that downloaded it?

      • Anonymous

        The company that manufactured the song. i.e. Rapidshare, Mediafire etc. They manufactured/reproduced the file.

        • Anonymous

          With your example, ‘GreaseMonkey426’ provided the file to be copied. The other 200,000 Greasemonkeys then downloaded the song that was manufactured in the servers by the file hosting companies. In old skool terms, it’s like if someone stole a master tape, took it to a pressing plant to be bootlegged, then manufactured on their premises and sold to the general public. Exactly the same but in digital form.

        • Keith

           I don’t quite follow.

          P2P software is not illegal, it has very legitimate uses besides sharing music.

          When someone downloads P2P software they are effectively opening a window to their music collection on their hard-drive, for others to search and download.

          So, for example, let’s say you downloaded some P2P software, the same that I have, software varies but suffice to say you place in your ‘share’ folder the new Britney album, as soon as you do I can now download the album straight from your hard-drive, and if I leave the album in my ‘share’ folder others can now download the album from you and me.

          How is the manufacturer of Britney’s album responsible or culpable for our actions?

          • Keith

             .. or the P2P software distributors?

          • Anonymous

            Again, I’m not talking about p2p. I’m not sure you understand how p2p works. The file split up and held on 1000’s of computers by the general public. A p2p company don’t host the files. A company like Megaupload host and remanufacture a single file.

          • Keith

             My apologies I get your drift now.

            Although the files are indeed held on a server, the action to download a copy, whether appropriated by the server or not, is the resonsibility of the individual that clicked ‘ok’ – the copy was solicited by the downloader, and they alone are therefore ultimately culpable for the file copy they personally instantiated.

            Remember too, the host can declare they had no knowledge of the infringing file that was uploaded by someone else, because it’s simply impossible to keep track of all uploaded files, they protect themselves with that little ‘tick box’ when you sign up, accepting their terms and conditions – which will incude the line ‘no files infringing others copyright’ or something similar.

          • Anonymous

            Ah ok. Thanks Keith.

            It seems the weak point is the lack of information given by the uploader. Some kind of verifiable contact info for your account (similar to paypal I suppose) provided to the file hosting companies would be a strong deterrent. If the uploaded file is legal and above board, why would anyone complain?

          • Anonymous

            I’m not talking about p2p. That’s totally different from a filehosting company like Megaupload. It’s one single file downloaded from a server. Not the same file split into 100’s of pieces.

          • Anonymous

            @keith

            exactly the fight happening in our courts

            jeff

      • Anonymous

        @keith

        under the law, the entity providing the download is what gets shutdown and sued, not the person downloading it.

    • Anonymous

      @sizeofadonkey
      publishers are suing as well, its just not picked up on by the media.

      Also, its a much clearer line that has been crossed with the master recording as there is no compulsory law in place that allows it to be licensed, there is on the publishing side
      Jeff

  • Keith

    “Music matters, it has value, those with talent create it, they make culture. They matter.”

    Not ‘all’ music matters, as any A&R department will loudly profess, Tunecore doesn’t have an A&R team, and will happily distribute any rubbish provided the deluded are happy to pay.

    You’ve accused me of creative math Jeff, all I’ve stated is historical facts, but now let’s have you state some math:

    1. What percentage of Tunecore artists didn’t cover their Tunecore costs from sales in year 2011?

    2. How many artists does that percentage represent?

    3. What’s the total in millions these people paid Tunecore?

    4. What percentage is this revenue of Tunecore total revenue?

    I believe these are fair questions Jeff considering “it has value” – Well let’s find out?

    Let us know in real figures the money you’ve taken from artists, where the consumer has decided ultimately ‘this music has no value’ and not bought what Tunecore is happy to distribute.

    • Anonymous

      @keith

      When an artist creates music, its theirs, and your opinion of it does not take away the fact that they created it. The artist, and only the artist, has the right to decide if they want to give it away or sell it.
      Or put more simply, you have no right to steal it.

      Your opinion and desire to prove music has no value does not sidestep this issue – when an artist creates music, records a song, writes music and lyrics, they have created something that is theirs and they have the right to decide what they want to do with it. It does not need you personal opinion to make it have value.
      Before TuneCore there was only one option in the world for musician to gain access to distribution: Give up rights and revenue from music sales to gain access to the shelves if they gatekeepers let you in. Now there is another option – let everyone in, keep all your rights, get all the money from the sale of your music. For some unknown reason you seem to think providing this choiche to artists is a bad thing. This is a tough damn business, most will not make it, but anything I can do to make things better for the artist I will do, no matter how small.
      Its worth taking a moment to read this article as it expands on this point in more detail – http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/11/blogger-criticizes-artists-for-making-money-tunecore-ceo-jeff-price-responds.html
      And no amount of cynicism or attacks from someone with net access and a computer will change that things are better.
      We got to change the world for musicians, what did you do?

      Jeff

      • Keith

        “We got to change the world for musicians, what did you do?”

        Your waffling Jeff, I’ve asked straight questions, where is:

        “No gimmicks, no games, TRANSPARENCY in the way we work.”

        You constantly try to claim the high moral ground, the freedom-fighter for the independent music industry, but the fact is your a businessman, taking money off people to distribute their ‘music’ – what do I do?  I run an independent label, I don’t take money off people to distribute or promote their music, I spend a lot of money to produce and market a band, and if we’re lucky we get a pay-day.

        Every day is a pay-day for you, whether your artists are successful or not.

        Don’t evade Jeff, where is the transparency you like to shout about now?  If you’ve got nothing to hide just answer the 4 straight simple questions, and tell everyone just how your rhetoric “change the world for musicians” relates to reality, with hard figures.

        Keith.

        • Marks6365

          Keith Tunecore has provided a tool for artists to use to get their intellectual property out to the masses. They are not obligated to provide success. If your music is not successful it is either because your music doesn’t appeal to anyone, or your marketing stradegies are not working. Then when it comes time to renew your contract with Tunecore you have the choice if you think they have provided anything of value to you.
          Of course they need to charge a fee to cover costs of running Tunecore. I don’t think anyone is in the position to do what they are doing without some type of compensation. 
          If Tunecore proves to be of no value to artists it will not last period.
             

          • Keith

            Mark, if your daughter was 5 foot 1, 160 pounds, and had a face like a bag of spanners, and she came home one day and told you some guy has just taken $200 off her to distribute her pictures to the top 20 model agencies in the world, what would be your reaction?

          • Marks6365

            If, if, if. What if you were to go to another site and troll there? You sure sound like a desperate major label executive. Maybe its time to look for a new career eh?      

          • Keith

            Your heroism is short-lived obviously, can’t answer that without shooting yourself and Jeff in the foot.

            And don’t insult me because you don’t possess the intelligence or experience to defend your position, people are laughing at you now not me.

          • Marks6365

            Now your being delusional.

          • Keith

            No Mark it’s ‘you are’ or ‘you’re’ not ‘your’ – go and stand in the corner with your hands on ‘your’ head!

          • Marks6365

            You might be on to something there Keith Maybe you would make a better english teacher than a record exec. But you might want to pull your head out of your ass first.  

          • Keith

            Mark, go away and come back when your IQ exceeds your finger count.

            That’s 8 by the way.

          • Anonymous

            You are a joke LooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooL

          • Bartschermark@yahoo.com

            No, we’re laughing at you. The more I read the more I’m convinced you’re sad, lonely little boy. Your argument confuses the exploitation of a child with the sale and distribution of music that your convinced is worthless because it doesn’t get to be judged by a record executive. Maybe you’re just pissed that you can’t rip of artists. You claim high brow intellect about the “business” and resort to childish assumptions that no one else could possibly understand the complexities of being a record executive. Talk to 95% of all recording artists out there and you’ll hear story after story of being raped and pillaged by their record company. People are not as stupid as you want them to be.
            Mark

        • Anonymous

          @Keith

          (Now we have moved onto breakfast foods – much prefer an omelet to a waffle).
          Artists deserve choiche and information – armed with that they can make decisions that work best from them
          TuneCore got to change the world, democratize it, provide choiche where there was none
          Your model is to control and exploit copyrights to make money – there is nothing wrong with that provided the agreements are equitable and the artist transferring control of what they created understands all the nuances, upsides and downsides.
          I do not know the Terms of your agreements, nor do I know if every band you ever signed succeeded or if you made more or less money than they did. I do not know if they all believed they did the right thing in signing with you.
          BUt that does not matter, what matters is artist’s music has value. You do not get to say it does or does not.
          With the launch of TuneCore we got to change the model and introduce a new option – instead of an industry based on taking copyright and form the owner and exploiting it to make money, we serve the artist. We work for them, not the other way around.
          The past 85 years is littered with the corruption, lack of transparency and bands killed off before they ever had the chance to reach their potential.
          It still astounds me that people would have anything bad to say about the creation of this new model – but as you are a label owner I can understand why this may be a threat to you, it does not need to be.
          be honest with artists, provide equitable agreements that do not own copyrights or demand licensing terms of unreasonable lengths. If you fail in achieving success for them and were not able to do what you claim you could do, let them have their rights back. Allows the efficiencies of the digital world to be part of your deal terms.
          I understand that your fear can be a motivator to attack TuneCore, it does not need to be. Competition in the market forces us all to have to be better – including you. You can no longer get away with having an artist sign with you simply because you had access to channels of distribution, you must do more now to earn the right to make money off someone else’s work
          If you can’t, you need to improve.

          The other option is to do what you are doing now, in an attempt to discredit them, attack those entities and companies that provide these new options while stating artists should not have choiche

          I understand its exciting for you to be able to engage with me and get responses – and I also know its important to you to have the last word. Therefore, please accept my apologies now for not responding to your next reply.

          Jeff

          • Keith

            I knew you wouldn’t answer the questions Jeff, and you knew you couldn’t.

            So much for transparency.

            People will draw their own conclusions of course, but the single fact that you won’t disclose – ‘what percentage of Tunecore’s revenue comes from artists that don’t even cover their Tunecore fees from music sales,’ should give artists some idea of the reality of Tunecore as a business ‘partner,’ and help them see past the rhetoric, before they part with any more money.

          • Anonymous

            They provide a service and people are happy to use them. Dude, it’s not their fault they are successful.

          • Keith

            I just asked some simple questions bud, looking for some straight answers.

          • Anonymous

            Fair enough.

            Do you hassle Nivea about their face cream too? Perhaps they wouldn’t feel comfortable either about sharing such private business info with a random stranger on the internet.

            Since you have such a desire to share business info, you could upload your bank statements from the past 5 years from them to look at. You know.. to get the ball rolling.

            No? Thought not.

          • Bartschermark@yahoo.com

            It appears to me that you have a problem with tunecore making money and want to frame it as some sort of illicit behavior. The bottom line is simple… Many of us already have lives and careers that we are not willing to give up to try an “make it” in the music industry. Tunecore simply provides the service of digital distribution to the major music sales providers. Because I wish to make my songs available for purchase on a larger scale does not indicate delusions of fame and riches as you try to indicate. Stop hiding behind these “unanswered questions” and “lack of transparency” issues it diminishes the intelligence you clearly have access to. Charging fees for services rendered is as straight forward as it gets. You are clearly upset about this business model and your attempt to portray it as a corrupt business practice speaks to your character. I look forward to the predictable salvo on my integrity and delusion of reality.

          • Anonymous

            It seems like things are not going very good for you, what
            you should do is improve your products, so that it will be acceptable to a fan
            base. Put more effort into that and you will compete. You are wasting your
            energy to be a hater.   

        • Musicamagic29

          Nice Keith..

  • Harris

    Ok Jeff,
    You are obviously in a position to represent independent artists on this issue since you are drectly working with god-knows-how-many. Instead of protesting the bills and crying foul, GET INVOLVED and shape this legislation so the wholesale robbery of music that’s been going on for almost 15 years can STOP. You undoubtedly have millions, laywers, and musician’s best interest (ownership) in mind, so take action! Team up with CDbaby and any other sites that offer a similar service and represent the new music business and move this forward. Now!

  • http://twitter.com/UTRRecords Under The Radar

    Go to http://www.undertheradarrecords.com to learn the TRUTH! They are going to take control of the internet!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/donultra2009 M.U.

    M.U. – Liberty
    http://snd.sc/wd2o2l

  • Vincent

    PIPA and SOPA are a great idea.   
    Your group never paid anyone anyway.

    Of the musician , by the musician and for the musician.
    thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Wells/512531866 Peter Wells

    Folks, we’re all in this together, no matter what your thoughts or opinions: we’re here to talk about it. Let’s avoid name-calling. Don’t undercut your own arguments with adolescent sniping.

    Keep it civil, keep it passionate, keep it a discussion. Thanks.

    –Peter

    Peter Wells
    co-Founder
    TuneCore
    peter@tunecore.com

  • Harris

    @5ecc187ff01cbbba54079d1428933570:disqus:
    1. What percentage of Tunecore artists have never paid one cent to market their own record?

    2. How many artists who have hired Tunecore to allow them access to major sales portals are unable to come up with a viable marketing strategy on their own?

    2. Are you under the impression that Tunecore is some sort of management/marketing/manufacturing entity with an interest in sales?

    3. Are you unaware that by not taking a percentage of sales and opting for a flat fee, Tunecore has an obvious position of not being involved in sales revenue?

    4. Are you a musician, and did you think this would be like signing to a label? Have you ever read a real recording contract? Have you read Tunecore’s TOS?

    5. What conclusion are you hoping to draw from trying to get a company to open their books to a stranger on a blog comment thread? Do you think this practice exists in the real world?

    Simple questions.

  • anjula

    Wow, quite the discussion! 

    I definitely see Jeff’s point, especially after reading numerous articles about the bill.  In its current form it hasn’t been thought through properly, it doesn’t provide a long-term solution, and it won’t eliminate the problems that many artists are dealing with.  Instead, in its current form, it will put up more roadblocks for artists and the distribution companies we use.

    Really, it’s difficult to understand how proposals like this are even tabled.  If you’re going to propose a bill to have passed as law, you need to think about all the ramifications it will have, not only for the specific group you’re lobbying for, but globally over the long-term.  You research all the angles, then you draw up the proposed legislation, after many redrafts of the wording and definition to close loopholes that can be exploited.  With the amount of $ and manpower at their disposal to draft and propose legislation, there’s no excuse.

    Ideally, the concept is a good one, but in its current form it will backfire and cause artists a lot of grief — as is expected, because it wasn’t drafted for the protection of the actual artist, but rather to protect the loss of profits that larger corporations are experiencing, not just because of piracy, but due to the direction technology is taking us…with the increase in accessibility of other options and access to independent artists’ music.  There has been a shifting and rebalancing in the industry as media has become more accessible globally.  As a result, any “solutions” regarding actual copyright issues call for thinking outside the traditional “box”. 

    As an independent artist, the small amount of $ I’ve invested in Tunecore and elsewhere (referred by Tunecore) has been more than paid off in sales/revenue and fan-base, etc.

    Some of my music is floating around out there for personal use due to copying, but is that an issue to me?  Not really, not unless someone is stealing my music and claiming it’s their own or that they hold copyright.  Having my music distributed and heard is the issue that is most important to me.

  • Johnremusic

    Jeff.. Is there a way that we can see these bills in there entirety? Can you get them on the site? I am tired of the stone throwing. I want to come up with a written solution. I agree.. As they stand, the bills suck. So lets brainstorm for a solution. I am sure that people are willing to spend their time to be constructive. Maybe some people can opt in to a group so that we can comb through the details and create solutions. ???.

  • JohnreMusic

    I cringe at the thought of my music being given away on a pirate site.  But, more so, I cringe at the thought of my basic rights being given away. SOPA and PIPA are TOO vague. THAT is the problem. Among other things, the companies that
    support it want to get rid of piracy… AND get rid of other, legitimate
    competition (i.e. us!!..via tunecore!!), along the way, by eliminating basic rights. I believe that Jeff is our advocate. Yes. Jeff makes money from us. On the other hand, he is a point of collective, funded power, to stand against the forces of major labels, etc., as well.  As much as we need something to happen, we
    can’t be stupid and shoot our freedoms and rights in the heart, by
    jumping on the first train of opportunity.. Don’t be fooled… SOPA and
    PIPA are bad bills. PERIOD. Hence, you should protest them. Why don’t we, collectively, review the following billl and see if it suits our needs, offer revisions, improvements, and submit them to the proper people.  Typically, musicians are very smart people. SO, I know that we have the ability to come up with something to offer as a solution.  I found this alternative:

    “Protecting intellectual property still seems like an important goal. Are there any proposed alternatives to SOPA/PIPA?

    Yes, opponents of SOPA/PIPA have introduced the “Online Protection
    and Enforcement of Digital Trade” or “OPEN Act,” to both the House and
    the Senate. Rather than give powers of enforcement to the Attorney
    General, and to copyright holders, OPEN simply expands the Tariff Act of
    1930 to allow the International Trade Commission (ITC) to “take action
    against unfair digital imports or unfair imports that are
    digitally-facilitated by foreign rogue websites,” instead of being
    limited to physical goods that violate US intellectual property law.
    This includes requiring financial institutions (again, like PayPal or
    Internet advertisers) to sever business ties with sites that are found
    to be in violation of US copyright law. Supporters of SOPA/PIPA say OPEN
    will be ineffective, and the bill has so far failed to gain any serious
    traction in either the House or the Senate.”  I grabbed this from the following article: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/sopa-vs-pipa-anti-piracy-bills-uproar-explained/

    Let’s find a better way, quickly!!  Johnre

  • JohnreMusic

    Does anyone know if and where we can see all of the wording of this entire bill?  Maybe, somehow, we can join together and review this thing and try and make it reasonable, yet, effective.. A separate ‘tack force’, if you will, on a separate, private blog…this should keep some of the stone-throwing, down.  Any ideas?????  I just want to find a solution.. Who is/will lobby for the small, solo artists?? This really is an important issue that is overdue to be dealt with.  We need to work together and we need to be represented in D.C.  OR.. Is there a way to also create new technology that slows this sort of thing from happening??? (i.e. mp3 files that corrupt after one or two transfers???)  I am just trying to come up with ideas and trains of thought.. Are there any musicians out there that are attorneys, willing to pitch-in to this solution???  Any tech-savvy musicians that would also pitch-in??? 

  • JohnreMusic

    Jeff,

    Thanks for posting this!!  I am re-posting for many more to see!!!

    http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

  • anjula

    Just trying to thinking outside the box here along the lines of technology rather than legislative enforcement…

    Does anyone know which direction the concept of “digital imprinting” is going, and how it could apply?  And…if there are ways to stop software from being pirated or copied too many times, surely there are ways to prevent music from the same?

    • Nigel P

      What I’d love to see come in is an online data bank like youtube have for major label use only. The file gets a digital fingerprint so that the exact file itself that gets recognized/flagged.  Then anyone can add to it (even at a cost of $5 per file to cover running costs). Then any artist, film studio, label, writer or photographer could control the content of their digital work online. Simple presets like allow / block pending approval / block could be set. Pretty simple really. It would need to heavily adapted for compressed files though.

  • Harris

    We’re going to have to have some form of government intervention on this, or there’s no way it’ll have ANY real world effect. “digital imprinting” is no different than DRM, which was a total failure. That type of encryption tends to limit the sharing ability of people who have rightfully paid for the file. Pirates have always shown incredible technical savvy, and they are going to be able to get around those types of “innovations” the very day they come out. In addition to that, consumers have spoken loudly and clearly that DRM is unfair, and unwanted. The largest online music retailer is Itunes, and they have stopped the practice. To bring it back would do nothing to piracy.

    The OPEN act is also no less a flawed solution that SOPA or PIPA, just in a diffferent way. It states that the copyright owners themselves would be responsible for filing due process removal from infringing sites. That would bankrupt a musician, literally, and any label smaller than a major. The legal cost of taking on something like megaupload (or one of the countless analogous sites) is not possible for anything less than a conglomerated interest (the RIAA, MPAA), or a governmental body. In the year of ensuing legal action, the album, movie, or other created work would lose it’s chance in the market, and the whole thing would be a loss. Imagine spending three years making your perfect album, and spending two years in court after it comes out so that you can have the right to sell it. OPEN is not the answer.

    I own an independent record label. Before the release of any of our records, I get google alerts for no less than a dozen sites claiming (in broken english) to have the album free of download. Now I’m pretty sure none of these sites have any music to offer, and that they are probably just taking information from people, but the fact that are offshore makes them untouchable to me. There’s no course of action I can take to remove the sites, or their content. SOPA and PIPA say that by filing a complaint the government will make these sites unavailable to internet users. I don’t see that as a bad thing, even though google may consider that to be censorship. For those on google’s side: do you honestly believe a site offering up google’s proprietary code would remain online or show up in your google search?

    Does the average home musician even have a lawyer? Does the average indie musician have a million dollars to spend on legal fees? Does the average Indie Label have millions to spend on legal fees? This is why SOPA and PIPA are pushing for governmental intervention in cases of online piracy. I think it’s important that whatever legislation is out there states that the consumers are not at risk, only those whole either engage in, profit from, or willfully enable piracy.

    Lars Ulrich took a VERY unpopular stance against napster, and love him or hate him, he had a point: The problem isn’t that the music is free for the consumer, it is that the people who provide the free music in turn make HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, none of which goes to the copyright owners.

    I’m not for SOPA OR PIPA, and most of all OPEN, and I will never support DRM. The answer is out there.

  • Mechanism Nz

    An analogy could be People use illegal drugs in a public toilet, solution – remove the public toilet to stop the drug users!

  • Harris

    Toilet analogy would be: there are countless foreign drug dealers who use a public toilet to distribute drugs with immunity from the law. This toilet can be accessed from everyone’s home and cell phone. Sorry the analogy is too simplistic and off the mark to be relevant.

    This is Tunecore’s site, but everyone needs to remember that piracy is not just about music. It is about intellctual property as defined by the law. Piracy depletes the legal sales of novels, photography, software, television shows, movies, video games, and yes, music. Anything that can be digitized is applicable to piracy laws.

  • ROOSTER

    this is why ALL artists, ALL social media fans should fight AGAINST OBAMA’s re- election. YOU should not be afraid of some wanna be dictator piece of SHIT that has preached about taking away OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS- are you CHICKEN SHIT of HIM ? what pisses me OFF is if it WAS gw BUSH you would’nt be afraid to get your dick in an uproar and CURSE HIM- OBAMA made it clear from day 1 that he’s been couch casting with NASHVILLE, HOLLYWOOD music & movie industry, and the NY/WASHINGTON liberal ELITISTS dumpster diving “news” media and lobbyist. as long as you(us if you do it right) the artists ( ESPECIALLY THE RAPPERS THAT SEE THIS FAKE DILDO AS A BLACK MESSIAH) fail to mention HIM on your SHITLIST. HE WILL FUCK US ALL if he gets re- elected. listen to his speach in kansas last month about the net “destroying JOBS” and his desire to shut us ALL down. SAN FRAN. & SEATTLE should FIRE his butt buddies PELOSI and REED, if OBAMA gets re- elected he will FUCK us and suck off our enemies. MY father said “IF YOUR GONNA DO ANYTHING DON’T DO IT HALF ASSED OR YOU WILL NEVER ACCOMPLISH SHIT” “IF YOUR ENEMY MAKES PLANS TO STAB YOU IN THE BACK AFTER HE GETS HIS WAY- DON’T TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR GOING TO DO – JUST FUCKING DO IT” “DON’T STICK 1 THUMB UP YOUR ASS AND THE OTHER IN YOUR MOUTH AND CRY WHILE YOUR ENEMIES DELAY THEIR ATTACK, CAUSE NO ONE WILL FEEL SORRY IF YOU JUST CRY & DON’T MAKE PLANS TO COVER YOUR ASS”- ALL SOCIAL MEDIA & ARTISTS need to cut off this dead weight of supporting these nutz. our fight is not for openly gay marriage WHOOPIS bullshit, jon stewart, bon jovi, bono, anthony weener, roseanne, rosy o’donell .. none of these peeps are our friends – their already rich and ALL THESE INCESTUOUS TINSLETOWN HOARS don’t have a dog in this hunt, and do not give a RAT’S ASS  about US. DO NOT BELIEVE ANY OF THEM – they work for our enemy and consider themselves  the marxist shot callers- it does not matter if they do not admit it . these are diabolical, pathological LIARS.  hint- talk to MICHELE MALKIN, MARK LEVIN, support & communicate with CONGRESSMEN MARCO RUBIO (fla), CONG./ COLONOL WEST (fla) / CONG. PAUL RYAN (wisc) – hitch on to their 1st ammendment wagon and ignore the small ultra religious sect behind them (there are way to many people like us that back them) and LOSE THE TREE HUGGING OBAMA LOVING LESBO FEMINAZIS that want to tie in OUR CAUSE with theirs- if any of these groups that are musicians demand we back their cause 1st or want to hitch their shit on ours and believe their cause has priority over the GOOD of us ALL – WE LOSE THEM= AT THAT POINT THEY ARE DEAD WEIGHT AND WILL SINK OUR CAUSE- – i am not telling anyone who to vote for but for my money- i think NEWT is our best chance – not PAUL, not RINO ROMNEY and definitly not the patholgical lieing ASS SHITZ OF  CONGWMN/ DMC WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (fla) this cunt is the puppetmaster AGAINST US & OUR CAUSE- DO YOUR RESEARCH LIKE I HAVE DUDE !! – – ROOSTER sevenspringsent@gmail.com SEVEN SPRINGS ENTERTAINMENT LLC  my real 1st name is JEFF ,also. i work 60 hr week graveyard VEGAS cabbie and desperately want to continue to write record & sell 4ever but will not back a HALF ASSED GAME PLAN.;;  p.s. my dad is THE IBM genious sr software dude (40 yrs on 9/5/2012) who redesigned the computer credit system for AMERICAN EXPRESS – we ARE major good guys 

    • Kwood32

      I think you mistook this thread for the INSANELY PISSED OFF AT LIBS AND LESBOS AND AM SCREAMING FOR ANYONE TO LISTEN TO MY NUTJOB ALL-CAPS RANT thread.
      I can see how — they are closely related.

      :-)

  • dvon

    Consider this! Here is the why? If the government finds your art offensive or not promoting what they want the public to hear and/or believe especially something political ie., music against a war the anti-piracy legislation if passed will enable the government not just entities like “RIAA” to shut you down. Pirated material and copyright infringement content can be planted on your “websites” along with illegal links without your permission or knowledge and now you’re no longer in business on the internet. Remember, you are responsible for policing your websites and all of your links to make sure there is no illegal content on or connected to your site. That’s impossible to do! PIPA AND SOPA if you really read them are the most “Gross” and “Loosely” written bills I have ever seen in referece to any kind of”Art”! So I hope you get this!

    This is an attack against your freedom of speech and expression hidden behind “Anti-Priacy” laws! Through these “Laws” The “Government” will own the internet and we will be it’s “Slaves” feeding only on the information and “Art” the “Government says is legal!” They can sabatage any website! These laws cannot stop “Piracy” but, they can stop you and end your “Music Career!” Using these kinds of laws, Artists will not be able to publish there music or their music will be taken off line and their websites shut down if it differs from the politically correct or somebody just didn’t like it. Furthermore, if somebody in power doesn’t like you, your “Art,” what you said,” or the fact that you as an “Independent Artist” can share your work, make money and a living in a relm of free enterprise, where they can’t put their hands in your pockets, they will simply have you shut down using PIPA and SOPA! These are not laws that can be or will be applied fairly at all.

    Web sites participating in the “Black Outs” are fighting for theirs and your “Freedom of Speech, Information, Art and right to do business on line without goverment interference and unfair competition! “The “Black Out” symbolizes the information you will be getting and be able to share if those “Bills” are passed! Right! it’s Blacked Out! Do you get the “Black Out Picture!” If not, try clicking on thousands of links that go nowhere!Like Jeff said, “Tunecore would not exist” neither would any other professional distributing website. And we nobodies would still be a bunch of nobodies with no way to get our music out to the world unless we were rich, had rich sponsors or had a “Major Record Label Contract!” And as a bunch of nobodies, you might as well just give it (your art and intelligent creations) away free out of the trunk of your car!Like Jeff said, “Tunecore would not exist” neither would any other professional distributing website. And we nobodies would still be a bunch of nobodies with no way to get our music out to the world unless we were rich, had rich sponsors or had a “Major Record Label Contract!” And as a bunch of nobodies, you might as well just give it (your art and intelligent creations) away free out of the trunk of your car!

  • Musicalmagic29

    The 4 Letter word that is messing up the industry is Free.  When will everyone realize that free is not a good thing.

  • Kleverrecords

    Moving Forward Past Sopa ~ Pipa ~ And The Who’s Right ~ Who’s Wrong ~ Indie Vs Major ~ And Major’s Way Vs Tunecore Way….>>—–>….Fight the goodnight Jeff ~ Tuncore Is The Greatest Thing That’s Ever Been Done To Give All Artist The Opportunity To See What The World Thinks Of There Music… Does anyone realize the ” Emotional Closure ” And Reality Check or My Dream Came True .. That tuncore can provide.. Alott of artist died trying in the trenches in LA,NY,Nashville just trying to get there record distributed that tunecore can make happen with ease… Let along the value in an artist being able to have closure in life knowing that ” I Took It To The Max ” regardless of weather the world loved them or rejected them is Trivial compared to the personal satisfaction of knowing whatever that artist Fate may have been at least they know no one told them no but the world…. As far as tunecore fees.. I actually like the pay to keep the album up format.. It creates a Truth in the artist that upload and separated the Vain From The Determined… But regardless Tunecore gave them their day in the sun..as far as tunecore artist success rate .. It’s irrelavaent.. Because truth fully if you as an artist dont have a exploitation plan.. Tunecore becomes an untrafficed file host… But still thanks to tunecore you have your chance…. A hats tip to Tunecore, Jeff, and his developers @ Tunecore…

  • Sevenspringsent

    i have to plead ignorance on one charge if you are talking about sound cloud- i did not realize it gave away my music- assuming that is what your talking about- 2nd i don’t think i understand that other charge of ” taking other peoples music and making money”. PERIOD. i do intend to study this in a little more detail- my legit excuse IS a 60 hr “normal job” work week and trying to build following on twitter- my real job is so exhausting and stressful that it would take me 2 weeks off just to be able to comprehend ANY new shit- let alone learn it. some of this CONFIRMATION SHIT on these ?”gates”? is mind boggling- i write full letters and explanations to peeps and the security confirmations somehow reject me although i give all the right info (thats why i bailed before/ 4 fucking attempts and all my shit wiped out just to start over) -this weekend i will try to set aside some space in my stress soaked brain.- i did give you my number, you did,nt call me so THAT one is on YOU.

  • Solakasha

    Whether The RIAA is out to get Tunecore because of the huge changes and loss of corporate control that are seemingly out to protect I know all those at tunecore deserve a big pat on the back for providing the services to the artists, song writers, and copyright owners.  I’ve studied Tunecore and their services hour on end and  know that the BS is part of the pie of the business.  Tunecore and their staff requires songwriters/ Artists to give them the exclusive rights to the music for just this reason.  Now Tunecore in no way is requiring this to take away our rights, this is simply the “legal terminology” at the present time in the music industry regarding this issue.  Given we ( the creators) are selling our music/creations they have to exercise this requirement , therefore acting as the Permitted  Administrator/ Representative to collect the due royalties ( the money) on our (the artists / songwriters) behalf while covering the artists and Tunecores Ass.  So, Given this massive shift of legal copy right ownership in the music industry the Corporate entity’s  and Corporate Labels major or minor are squirming.  They haven’t necessarily lost control , although the power they thought was theirs is now shifting to the rightful owners.  Their balls are just getting smaller and smaller..they still work,  and the artists ….well , make that music publishers/artists/song writers have just got a ticket to the seat that is rightfully theirs.  The corporate entity’s business will still work , but they won’t be able to play the ” Artist at mercy of the big Label” card.  Whether the label is big or there independent.  Tunecore is providing Transparency (clear/simplified way to get paid) for the creators and simplifying the name of the game.  The Music industry , Tunecore & there services , & the creators/music publishers equal for a balancing out and great way to reward ourselves.  I certainly am very grateful for Tunecore and all associated staff , They are doing a lot of work for the sake of the artists protection and equality.  I don’t think that fear is tunecore’s motivator.  It’s just simply a matter of being aware and an integral part of doing business during this shift in the industry.  Jeff , your certainly a part of an organization that i will never forget. I most certainly appreciate the risks all of you are taking, and highly appreciate the time and energy that go into keeping Tunecore strong.  All the best.

  • Solakasha

    Whether The RIAA is out to get Tunecore because of the huge changes and loss of corporate control that are seemingly out to protect I know all those at tunecore deserve a big pat on the back for providing the services to the artists, song writers, and copyright owners.  I’ve studied Tunecore and their services hour on end and  know that the BS is part of the pie of the business.  Tunecore and their staff requires songwriters/ Artists to give them the exclusive rights to the music for just this reason.  Now Tunecore in no way is requiring this to take away our rights, this is simply the “legal terminology” at the present time in the music industry regarding this issue.  Given we ( the creators) are selling our music/creations they have to exercise this requirement , therefore acting as the Permitted  Administrator/ Representative to collect the due royalties ( the money) on our (the artists / songwriters) behalf while covering the artists and Tunecores Ass.  So, Given this massive shift of legal copy right ownership in the music industry the Corporate entity’s  and Corporate Labels major or minor are squirming.  They haven’t necessarily lost control , although the power they thought was theirs is now shifting to the rightful owners.  Their balls are just getting smaller and smaller..they still work,  and the artists ….well , make that music publishers/artists/song writers have just got a ticket to the seat that is rightfully theirs.  The corporate entity’s business will still work , but they won’t be able to play the ” Artist at mercy of the big Label” card.  Whether the label is big or there independent.  Tunecore is providing Transparency (clear/simplified way to get paid) for the creators and simplifying the name of the game.  The Music industry , Tunecore & there services , & the creators/music publishers equal for a balancing out and great way to reward ourselves.  I certainly am very grateful for Tunecore and all associated staff , They are doing a lot of work for the sake of the artists protection and equality.  I don’t think that fear is tunecore’s motivator.  It’s just simply a matter of being aware and an integral part of doing business during this shift in the industry.  Jeff , your certainly a part of an organization that i will never forget. I most certainly appreciate the risks all of you are taking, and highly appreciate the time and energy that go into keeping Tunecore strong.  All the best.

  • kaveeka

    According
    to what I’ve read teaming up with my comprehension of things, “Jeff”
    is saying that SOPA or PIPA were good ideas. However, if passed in
    their original versions these bills were so badly written, that
    taking or misconstruing the language amalgamated with outrageous loop
    holes would ultimately empower entities i.e., RIAA, MAJOR LABELS and
    other hostile parties…to destructively include legal operating
    websites and helpful services like Tunecore, CD Baby etc.., in the
    line of fire with the ultimate goal of shutting down any business
    that helps the independent Artist. These enemies of music will
    therefore, throw them into the “Copyright infringement” and
    “Pirate” categories to kill and destroy all competition.
    Their basis…whether or not someone else other than them–have
    the right to distribute an Artists works??? We’re talking about
    careers and big Money here.. Yep!

    Well,
    who in the “Sam Hill!!!” gave RIAA or Record Labels the
    right to distribute a Songwriter’s “Song” or an Artist’s
    “Performances” in the first place…But, the originator’s
    of that Intellectual work which became Art! Do not the
    Songwriters, Composers and Artists have any say? If not then
    who? Indeed! If we then are the “Originators of that
    “ART,” Then it is us who gives the right to a party,
    an entity, a business or a person to distribute our music! That’s
    who!

    To
    that end, what was experienced and suffered by “Djaz1.com could
    happen to Tunecore with the passage of such a “SOPA/PIPA”
    bill in which event it then happens to you…the Tunecore Artist. So
    then just how much money does the average indie artist have to
    distribute their Art for Sell to the World? Our world wide out
    reach of distribution would decline to a bitter end!” Of
    course except for those who get a recording contract with a “Major
    Label with the RIAA’s blessing!”

    Therefore, these
    malicious “Bills” disguised as Copyright Protectionist
    Instruments, which are litigator tools for the future infringements
    on our rights as Artist and free people…need to be recognized as to
    what they really are. Then, attacked–stopped and destroyed before
    they become “Law!” Which would give them the teeth
    to end most of the starving artist modestly funded careers!

    I
    read this blog when it first came out a few years ago. None-the-less,
    I let it slide away. I think it’s time to follow up and keep up with
    what’s going on in the legal Arena. That World of Legalities
    with hidden chameleons that may positively or for the Art of Music’s
    sake…negatively affect me and my intellectual creations. I
    must be able to prosper!