Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Copyright Common Sense

There has been a lot talk about new music rules for cheerleading.  There are no bright lines in copyright but our point of view is clear*.

You can mix music you own
When you buy something (be it physical or digital) you can do what you want with it at home. The courts have always supported this. Millions of people mix their music and thousands of companies sell tools to remix music. No one has ever been sued for mixing their own tracks. It's common sense. You can read this excellent article by Jessica Litman about your personal use rights.

Legitmix mixes music you own
Legitmix doesn't sell music.  We sell instructions (the Legitmix file) you can use with the Legitmix software to recreate a mix on your computer with your own copy of the original songs.  You have the right to mix songs you lawfully own and Legitmix simply enables this right. You can learn more about the Legitmix technology here.

You can mix music in a public space covered by a PRO license
DJs perform mixes to hundreds of millions of people a year. The clubs, bars and stadiums were they perform pay a performance licence (ASCAP, BMI, etc...) for the music used in the venue. No DJ has ever been sued for performing a mix.

Sound alike covers are bad music and don't pay artists
Sound alike covers are a poor imitation of the real thing. Their only purpose is to avoid paying the original recording artists. Covers are bad for the cheer brand. Imagine going to an NFL game and hearing covers. Worse, the artists who are copied in a sound alike covers are not paid. Cheerleading is an art and the industry should respect artists.

You can't distribute a mix made using covers
Cover songs are made under a statutory license that allows an artist to sell their recording of a composition. It doesn't give them or people who buy the cover the right to sell mixes of that cover. So while you can mix covers for your personal use, you can't distribute the mix without permission from the composers.

Legitmix is the only solution that pays all artists
We built Legitmix to be an equitable solution for monetizing remix. In the last 12 months, cheerleaders have purchased over $160,000 worth of iTunes tracks to recreate mixes. That money is distributed to artists and composers by Apple (via labels and publishers). Legitmix is on track to be paying millions to rights holders in a couple years.

Learn more about the Legitmix technology and business model:

Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/b/49bcb05a-d9b1-46ba-a351-72fa815ce312

Billboard: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1564970/legitmix-founder-omid-mcdonald-explains-his-plan-to

MIT: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/425958/legitmix-ends-the-music-sampling-deadlock/

*This information is meant to provide further insight on our point of view. However, this information should not be construed as legal advice. If you have specific questions or concerns related to copyright laws, we encourage you to speak with an attorney.