I feel compelled, after this issue has come up in recent discussions, to share a warning re: the tempting draw of uploading one's music to an internet platform....And there are hundreds of them, all promising exposure  for the artist's music.

I touched on this subject delicately in a response/article to the question which was posed here on Tradconncect re: selling your music on and off line, where I expound on the state of selling one's music....And generating income with your craft/musical talents.

Working for the last 2-3 years as musician, artist, and manager for Smitty's Kitchen (http://smittyskitchenmusic.com/ ) I have been winding my way through the music industry, with some help from my son, who works in it.

My exerience has been that the internet is a useful tool, but a dangerous one, as well.  I have also watched the music industry change drastically in the last 2 yrs.  

It is almost impossible for an independent artist to depend on cd sales since one can now download music for pennies, or free.  An artist can livestream their music once they have built up a fan base and have a "name"....And that takes time.  Music liscensing is the best way to make money with music....And the music industry has been quick to recognize and pounce on this fact.

So, in uploading one's music to a platform, and there are hundreds, the vile clause in the terms of use which says, "you give us the right to sublicense any music you upload, without any royalties or payments due to you", or something similar to that, can be found in just about every platform.  By agreeing to the terms of use, which contain this clause, the artist says, "OK, you can use my music however you like, and not owe me any payments for any licensing deal you make with it".

The terms of use are usually very long and cumbersome to read, and almost always in very small font! 

There are a few very nice platforms such as this one, Tradconnect, where one can safely upload their music and share information with fellow musicians, but note the word "few".

So, beware, be savvy and be careful....And read through the terms of use of any platform before uploading your precious heart and soul, i.e. your music!

Cynthia Smith

Smitty's Kitchen, http://smittyskitchenmusic.com/

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Hello Cynthia and all,

I am by no means anyone qualified to speak to the legalities of copyrights in any of the creative mediums. I would like to provide some helpful links for here in the USA, while other countries may have their own methods for copyrights. One suggestion is to utilize your local library (or nearest), especially the librarian with lots of copyright experience. I have found the local library and even the local university libraries very helpful. Here are a few basic links:

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/copyrightmystery/#

http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formsr.pdf

http://www.copyright.gov/

Once you go thru the copyright process yourself the process should get easier. About the music licensing, I would suggest searching for a lawyer or creative organization that offers some help. Just discussing the topic and making people aware that creative efforts are not "free" and that it is one's "livelihood" helps.

Just my thoughts, and be well,

Bernard

Thanks Bernard! 

I have used the US copyright office.  I probably would not do that again.  I would continue to use the method described above....But that is my experience and not advice.

We do have a lawyer, as well.  He has assisted us in the past re: a music licensing agent with whom we considered signing on, which was opted against for a number of reasons.

The best experience is experience.  One has to wiggle one's way through the industry, but as I stated before, "Artist, beware of the internet platform". 

Thanks very much for understanding that an artist's creations are not "free".  One just needs to be aware of the traps.  Read the fine print....All of it!

Cynthia Smith

http://smittyskitchenmusic.com/

 

OK....A fan of Smitty's Kitchen has an account with Spotify.  (I refuse to open such for reasons stated before.)  He informs me that Smitty's Kitchen's music is on Spotify for streaming, not downloading as was supposed.  He says that he pays a US penny for each "stream".  After checking my CDBaby account, I see that Spotify only pays .01 (sometimes nothing at all) of that US penny, via CDBaby, for each stream. 

Which brings me back to the point of "Artist, Beware...."  It is obvious that if the internet platforms can make money via the artist's music, they will gouge the artist to the point of lifelessness, without mercy, whether it is through downloading, streaming or licensing....But there is a measure of protection against having one's music licensed without payment to the artist in simply avoiding the signing of a terms of use with the platforms.

Cynthia Smith

Smitty's Kitchen http://smittyskitchenmusic.com/

 

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