The Project

The Kickstarter project for the documentary is coming along! Over $2000 pledged by 50 people! (That is $40 on average) But I’d like to see a lot more people help out on this. It should be really cool. I’m super interested to know what I’m doing for sure!

I recommend the $5 level today… Come one, FIVE BUCKS!? That’s like… not all that much – and you get to be a part of awesome. :-)

Take a look at all the cool stuff you can get if you pledge more than $5!

There are problems with ContentID… again.

For some reason, there is a slew of new claims against my music – I can’t reply to all the emails coming in, but I’ll try to give the updates here.

Stormfront: Is being claimed. I’m not sure by who or on what videos…

Nothing Broken: Is being claimed by Orchard Music for “Liv Montgomery-Verbalicious Vocabulary System: Have Fun Learning 750 Vocabulary”. I’ll be contacting them later today about the issue.

Exhilarate: Is being claimed by CD Baby for “Gianluigi Cangiano-Admusic”. Why? I haven’t a clue. I suspect it is such a musical pile of train-wreck that ContentID just matches it against anything!

in fact…

Who Likes to Party: is getting claimed by the SAME PIECE OF MUSIC! I haven’t a clue what to do about this. They didn’t use any of my music. The only thing you can do if you get one of these is to dispute the claim!

Dear YouTube, I think Gianluigi Cangiano broke your system. Badly.

Dance of Deception: Is getting claimed as “Wolv4tron-Church Of Madness”. Again, I don’t know how or why. They seem genuinely dissimilar. Dispute these claims!

Mining by Moonlight: Is being claimed as “Rudy Lim-The Inspirator: Creative Entrepreneurship (feat. Donny Pramono)” by Believe Music. I’ve been looking for a while to find contact info for Believe Music (specifically the Believe Music that is responsible for this claim) and haven’t yet found it. Please help out! I would like a phone number for the claimant, but I’ll take an email address.

So – That’s where everyone is today!

OCT 1 UPDATE 1: Thanks to all who tracked down Believe Music to me! That helped a lot. They have been contacted.

OCT 1 UPDATE 2: Orchard has been contacted and are looking into it.

OCT 1 UPDATE 3: I was informed that “Stormfront” is being claimed by RouteNote. I will be contacting them today.

OCT 1 Update 4: Believe music removed the asset. Mining by Moonlight is clear (or will be soon)!

I screwed something up!

Back in my post “Fun with Indemnification“, I used this phrase in my English translation:
You don’t ever pay me damages for any reason.

This was a bit of an overstatement. Just because the indemnification is not explicit in the contract, that doesn’t mean it can’t be invoked. (yes, that was the simplest I could make that statement.)
If the licensor did something malicious with the licensed music, and you were sued for that – you would probably be fine. The licensor did the awful things.

Which brings us to the next bit! If the contract says nothing about an issue, it is up to a judge to figure that out.
So, asserting (as I did in my English Translation) the negative case because of its absence is not correct.

I’m going to say it was for dramatic effect. :-)

This post may have been assisted by someone who may be an actual attorney. I will say nothing in the positive or negative sense about that.

Fun with indemnification!

I am Not a Lawyer

I am not a lawyer, but I do deal with a LOT of contracts. Today we are looking at a contract from an unnamed US cable television channel, and why it is awful. Here’s the excerpt:

Licensor shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Licensee, its officers, directors, consultants, employees, successors, licensees, agents and permitted assigns from and against any claim, demand, action, damages, loss, expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other liabilities arising from actions brought by third parties arising from any of the following: (a) any breach of any of the representations, warranties or agreements made by it hereunder;
(b) a claim that the use of any or all of the Licensed Material infringes any intellectual property right(s) of such party; and (c) any use of the Licensed Material consistent with the terms hereof. Licensee shall promptly notify Licensor of any such claim. Licensor shall bear full responsibility for the defense of any such claim.

blah, blah… Let’s simplify it a bit.

Licensor shall indemnify defend and hold harmless Licensee, its officers, directors, consultants, employees, successors, licensees, agents and permitted assigns from and against any claim, demand, action, damages, loss, expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other liabilities arising from actions brought by third parties arising from any of the following: [because of]
(a) any breach of any of the representations , warranties or agreements made by it hereunder;
(b) a claim that the use of any or all of the Licensed Material infringes any intellectual property right(s) of such party; and
(c) any use of the Licensed Material consistent with the terms hereof.
Licensee shall promptly notify Licensor of any such claim. Licensor shall bear full responsibility for the defense of any such claim.

In English this time:

I pay you damages if I lied or screwed up on this agreement or forgot something. I pay you damages if someone claims ownership to my music. You don’t ever pay me damages for any reason.

Okay, now it is easy to understand… and clearly awful. This is asymmetrical indemification. If something goes wrong, I pay you – never the other way around. The best thing to do in this case is strike the entire clause. This works fairly often.

The next best thing is to alter the clause

  • from “any breach” to “any breach… resulting from gross negligence”. This way, if you forgot that your bandmate actually holds 20% of the copyright to the piece, you won’t get financially smashed into the dirt.
  • from “a claim” to “a valid and legitimate claim”. This way some yahoo can’t just “claim” that they own your music… resulting in financial smashings again.
  • to include reciprocal indemifications where they pay all of your fees if something goes wrong.
  • other stuff: there are various other things you should probably change as well, but I’ve gone on too long already.

This works almost never. Indemifications can be dangerous and their lawyers know it. People sign contracts like this every day. People are also screwed by contracts like this every day. Please read and understand any contract before you sign it!


Are you a lawyer? Did I screw something up? Let me know!
kevin@incompetech.com

More progress on the Bad Claims Front

I finally got a hold of someone at Altafonte music, a company that was claiming about a dozen of my pieces (from what I can guess – on a few thousand videos). They were rejecting disputes without review… and that’s never a good thing.

Happy ending! As of this morning they should have released all of the claims!

Not so happy part… I think they’re keeping all of the money. I have no idea how much it is. Certainly not enough to worry about.

Big thanks to Miguel for getting everything taken care of so quickly!

Untangling the False Claims

A bunch of people have written me recently about their YouTube videos getting claimed by TuneSat. So I called TuneSat, and I sent Mark over at TuneSat some information about a claim.

The assets were attributed to another company that uses TuneSat; Audiam. Mike from Adium found my music, stopped the account, and released all of the claims. I’m still not sure who uploaded my music claiming to represent me… but I’m working on that with Mike.

The good news is, all of the erroneous claims that looked like they were coming from TuneSat should all be released.

——

UPDATE! This was caught very early by you all! There were only 481 claims total (most of them being for “The Complex” and “Call to Adventure”). The claims were only active for about a day. All is well again!

How to: The Music Business

Flock of Giraffes
I get a lot of requests for people wanting to know how to “get into the music business”. Some people are honestly confused – which is understandable, because I’m actually IN the business, and I am still confused. This document is for all of the people who make music – and want to make music more.

This document is not a happy/flowery/you-can-do-it document. But, I understand negativity turns people off, so I’ve included the positive (and very very wrong) version of things as well.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE