Anonymous asked: Hypothetically, if someone wished to contact you about an original score for a YouTube video, willing to pay if necessary, what would be the best way to contact you?
I rarely do outside work anymore because that’s not my passion, ‘ForOrchestra’ is my passion.
With that said, my contact is walt@fororchestra. Or feel free to go to my contact page if you prefer to direct message me via Tumblr.
FWIW, my original music is Creative Commons NC 3.0, so feel free to use those all you want on your Youtube videos.
Releasing My Stems and Creative Commons?
This week I’m releasing my first true original song. It’s called “Dare to Transform” and it’s epic in soundscape and length.
I understand that a lot of remix forums, Youtubers, and many other groups of people are constantly scouring the web for cool content, but usually end up dry. They want background music but don’t want to get sued or taken down, or maybe they just want to express themselves with a remix.
So I’m thinking:
1.) Should I release my orchestra stems?
2.) Should I release the MIDI file?
3.) Should I release the sheet music?
In my song posts it’ll probably say “iTunes Bandcamp Amazon Stems Other”.
Obviously, that means you’ll be able to download the song for free, but I’ll still make it available for purchase should anyone want to support me. To be fair, I feel strongly that even downloading my music for free and remixing it is supportive.
Does that work? Or is it a waste of effort?
t-jam3s asked: Hi (: I'm a big fan of your music and I'm wondering what of your music, if any, is royalty free or is allowed to be used in our own work? Cheers
Sue My Way Out Of Starvation
The other day I posted about someone who remixed my Gangnam Style Orchestra with the original, which I loved. And recently ScrewAttack mistakingly used my music in a commercial video without my permission. But these instances happen all the time, and I’ve learned that not everyone understands music law. In addition, I’ve learned that the reason why these happen in the first place is because they love your work. They simply wanted to share it, not steal it.
But what people don’t know is that I can legally sue for up to $250,000 per offense. I come across people “illegally” downloading and remixing my music without my consent or compensation on a daily basis. I see it everywhere - on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Anyway, if I had to guess, I’d ballpark that I’ve seen about 200 offenses just in the past year. So let’s do the math:
200 offenses x $250,000 per offense = $50 million
Think about that: I could retire tomorrow, rather than starving at $500 a month.
I have some strong thoughts against that, and why I think suing is wrong in many cases, so let me explain:
I’ve been guilty of stealing, too. When I taught music lessons online, I used Google Image search to find thumbnail pictures to use on my blog. Much later I then discovered this was copyright infringement, so I stopped doing it. But that made me more understanding of what others go through. Ignorance doesn’t mean you’re a criminal, it just means you had no way of knowing.
And it’s not just me who sees this happening. Browse Pinterest or Tumblr for 2 minutes and you’ll see a bunch of pictures, videos, music, and original articles that were ripped off from the original artist without compensating them. That’s why I’ve learned to appreciate and be attentive about compensating the original artist - because I’m seeing it from both angles.
It’s taken milleniums, but art has always naturally advanced towards one thing: being open and collaborative. And it seems we’re finally there, which is an insane time to live in and experience. However, I don’t own the entirety of the songs I arrange because they’re cover songs, not originals. So I can’t do remix contests or lots of other cool ideas I’d love to do with you all.
We live in a remix culture. We live in a shareable culture. Word of mouth today is on steroids - that’s why I am one of the few who feel that the music industry is stronger and healthier today than it’s ever been (for both Major and Indie labels). It’s also why I find these times to be so exciting.
So how powerful is this new world and it’s parallel remix culture? Well, let’s take Gotye ‘Somebody I Used To Know’. When Walk Off The Earth came along and made their 5 peeps 1 guitar cover song that now has over 137 million views, this is what happened:
Everyone scattered to find the original artist. Twitter blew up. Facebook blew up. Tumblr blew up. Gotye’s original song and merch sales went through the roof. It was on radio, TV, online, played in elevators, mashed up, illegally downloaded, and was everywhere. And then thousands of people around the world started to cover Gotye songs (without realizing they needed permission).
So what did Gotye and his publisher do? Rather than go on a sue-spree, he actually mashed up other people’s music too and witnessed this amazing culture himself!
That’s also why Psy ‘Gangnam Style’ is as popular as it is. Sure, it’s a great song and video - but it wouldn’t be where it is today without the parodies and sharing. The internet has brought it into their ecosystem, so today you’re not getting your song covered or shared once by Sting who has 10 million fans. Rather, it’s getting covered by 1 million people who each have their own super-small niche circles. And here’s the important part - those are hidden circles that you could never find or get into. It’s the long tail, and it’s the most powerful thing in the world.
The thing is that when you post something to the world, it’s the world’s to use, remix, make fun of, buy, steal, splice up, critique, download, share, derive from, and so much more. I’m not saying all of those are legal, I’m just saying that’s the reality of what happens.
But along with this hysteria and beauty is a new territory that very few know what to do with (including lawmakers). While it’s important to protect your work now more than ever, I’ve learned not to always be on the defensive because it’s crazy for everyone, and I think that the more we talk about it and strive to understand it together, then the better we’ll be as a whole.
At the end of the day I’m just an arranger who likes to write music and work with other musicians. I draw my muse from other people, just as they draw from me - and that circle of inspiration and collaboration is what I feel art is all about.