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.


APRA and the money.

APRA (Australian music rights association) contacted me yesterday. They have money for me because a TV station aired a program that had my music in it. $460AUD.

The producers of the show correctly licensed the music from me, and no one had to pay for the use… but the TV stations have an agreement – they pay a yearly fee, and that gets divided up among the music rights holders and disbursed through APRA.

I asked if they could give the money back to the station. They said ‘no’. So, now I’m trying to get the money to give back to the station that didn’t need to pay it in the first place.

Here is exactly how simple that is:
1) Sign up for APRA*
2) Collect money
3) Send money to TV station

*Signing up for APRA is a problem. It isn’t difficult, but it is a problem. When you sign with a rights collecting agency like this, they get to do things for you. Things that I don’t want done. For example, as a “benefit” they get to demand money for the use of my music. Wherever they think they can legally get the money, I’m sure they try. That is their job.

Lucky for me, I can “opt out” of a variety (possibly all) of their collection efforts.
– public performance
– broadcasting
– streaming
– live performance
– film
– background music
– radio
– tv

In order to keep the CC license, I would need to opt-out of everything… including the things where they are already collecting money!

Now it looks like this:
1) Sign up for APRA
2) Opt out of everything**
3) Collect money
4) Send money to TV station

**Opting out requires 3 months’ prior written notice – to be effected on July 1 or January 1. The July deadline is gone. So I could sign up in September, immediately give the 3 months’ notice, and be all good by January!
From what I can tell, this would give APRA three months’ worth of free reign to go after people for money – which is exactly what I do not want. Also, this process can cost about $200AUD.

So now…
1) Sign up for APRA
2) Pay APRA $200 to…
3) Opt out of everything
4) Hope that APRA doesn’t screw with people in the meanwhile***
5) Collect remaining money
6) Send remaining money to TV station

***We have now run into the territory of “really unacceptable” and “potentially asinine”.

Option, The First
Do nothing. Leave the money with people who collected it on my behalf without my permission. This money will go back into the pool of random money and be given to other composers for no apparent reason.

Option, The Second
Try to actually get the money and give it back to the people who didn’t need to pay it in the first place, while possibly screwing up licensing for everyone else.

I seriously dislike this portion of my world.

Great Publicity

“Will you score this incredibly complicated action movie I’m filming for my 6th grade film class? It’ll be great publicity for you because my whole class will see it – and you’ll be in the credits!”

That’s what I deal with all the time. Great publicity and $10 will get me lunch*.

Publicity Guy

If you are a content producer, please do not try to sell “publicity” to anyone. I get the “publicity” sell continuously – and what it generally means is that the product is abysmal.

Professionals understand which projects will increase their profile and which ones will not. No need to mention explicitly.

Now that I’ve annoyed everyone who has ever sold “publicity”, I’m going to go back to my music-hole and work a bit. I’ll probably not get much publicity by doing that, though. hmm…

*Please donate $10 for Kevin’s lunch.


Well, I’ve been falling behind on my emails – but I’ve just hatched a plan to help everyone in a MUCH more timely manner.

You can ask questions or post your thoughts and comments at the Support-o-matic!! (Available under the “Contact” link on the top of every page.)

Also! I got minions to help!

Randy Morton – EndlessGrind78 at YouTube
Chris Wager – Wagerbomb at YouTube

I’m also going to be answering the support tickets.

The Harry Fox Agency and the Public Domain

Okay, everyone – check your videos!

I just got off the phone with the Harry Fox Agency. We have a working plan to get things straight for the future!

If you have had a claim against your YouTube videos from the HFA while using my music, please email me the link to the video (subject line HFA).
It does not matter if you contested the claim or if the claim is still active.

These are some known pieces they have claimed, but there may be others.
– Also Sprach Zarathustra
– Cello Suite #1 in G
– Sheep May Safely Graze
– Wagner Bridal Chorus
– Egmont Overture
– In the Hall of the Mountain King

Alternately, if you are a YouTube searching God – and you can find examples of these claims on something that is not your video, that would also be wonderful!
I only need three or four examples per piece, but I’ll take all you can find.

After we get all of this sorted out, I’ll start working on “Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society”.

Thanks everyone!

– Kevin