Rose
GoodDemos
 

Frequently asked questions.

Since I do not have a list of frequent questions, I have no actual FAQ to present here as yet. However, I have asked myself some questions and I have visited some useful FAQ sites. You can email your questions to: webmaster@gooddemos.com.

Questions I frequently ask myself.
Have you ever noticed that questions on some FAQ pages read like they were composed by the company sales and/or marketing department rather than actually being compiled from frequently asked questions? OK, this is a yes-or-no question. I present it here to emphasize the purpose and function of FAQ sites and to distinguish between customer-generated faqs and company-generated faqs. I also present it because I noticed that this "Questions I frequently ask myself" section is a company-generated faq.

What is the purpose of the GoodDemos Web Site? The main purpose of this site is to provide a resource for artists. Most of the resources you will find on this site are available elsewhere on the web. And in much more detailed and comprehensive form. So why do I bother? Maybe something here will inspire or lead you to something you might have missed otherwise. Artists with scant resources or material to pursue the big-leagues may still find options to further their prospects in the long term. For example, I subscribed to the Taxi service for a time and found that the $300-$400 per year was too much to sustain while I was developing my songs up to big-league standards.

There is, also, the local angle. I am interested in the resources and opportunities in and around Berkshire County, Massachusetts. See openmikes.org and bandmix.com for open mikes and artists in your area.

Why use this site when you can simply search the web for the links and resources yourself? First of all, the links are provided as reminders that most of the information is already available elsewhere and need not be duplicated on GoodDemos. Secondly, GoodDemos provides a combination of links targeted to the amateur music artist. The idea is that more professional artists already have resources beyond the scope of GoodDemos. Thirdly, a search of the entire web will find relatively few resources specifically targeted to the Berkshire County region of western Massachusetts.

How many artists are actually making a living from their music? I do not know, so I speculate. There are three basic ways for an artist to make money from their music. [1] perform, [2] sell their recordings and/or written material & [3] teach.

[1] Performing. For this an artist needs venues, that is, a place where someone is willing to pay them to play.

[2] Selling recorded and/or written material. This is the area with the most highly developed infrastructure (middlemen) for the manufacture and distribution of artists work. Consequently, it is the area with the greatest potential for exploitation - by pirates both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the music industry. There are plenty of heavy hitters to protect the music industry from the outside pirates (such as the The Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA) ASCAP, BMI & SESAC.) But who protects us from the pirates inside the music industry? (see below.)

"Virtually all artists (95%) depend on these [recorded music] fees to make a living." (RIAA piracy may2006)
--- The RIAA is referring to music that has been produced by the recording industry they represent.
"The Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA) is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies.... RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States." (Emphasis added)

Who protects us from the pirates inside the music industry? Be careful. If and when you are offered that holy grail of a recording contract - read the fine print. A common clause in those contracts states that the company has exclusive rights to all of your future work, including performances. They may not even allow you to perform for free with your friends at a public place. I am not suggesting you turn down the offer. Just get ye to a lawyer pronto; preferably a lawyer familiar with the music industry. Unfortunately, those of us outside the music industry have scant resources to protect ourselves from the huge legal structure that the music industry has built to protect their own interests. What they want from artists is an increase in their bottom line. Your enjoyment of your art may not be high on their list.

Isn't it legal to share public domain music across the Internet? Yes. That is what public domain means.

Is it the RIAA's business to force Internet providers to block royalty-free or self-published works? More to the point - Is it feasible for web sites to provide a method for sharing music offered directly by musicians (free or otherwise)? There is a great deal of legally available free music that is not in the public domain. Most of this music has been specifically authorized for free download and sharing by the copyright owners.
"There are currently over 240 million users downloading and trading files legally on file-sharing networks. You can ... legally download music from over 850 bands [and] over 20,000 live concerts..."(allcoolmusic.com/legal.htm may2006)
But, The Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA) frowns on the ability to download any music because they are afraid of the potential effect on the recording industry's bottom line.
"That's why we are sending a clear message that downloading or 'sharing' music from a peer-to-peer network without authorization is illegal, it can have consequences and it undermines the creative future of music itself." (RIAA news may2006- This is a dead link. I leave it here to show RIAA's position before they lost the sharing battle.)

The "authorization" that the RIAA refers to, above, comes from United States Copyright law, not from the recording industry. Sometimes the authorization comes directly from the artist and sometimes you are authorized to download the material because the copyright has expired.

Now RIAA is focusing on piracy. In my oponion, that is where their efforts belonged in the first place.
"Our goal with all these anti-piracy efforts is to protect the ability of the recording industry to invest in new bands and new music and, in the digital space, to give legal online services a chance to flourish."(Piracy: Online and On The Street RIAA:link March 2010)

Doesn't RIAA and the recording industry have a right to protect their interests? Of course! However, it is not necessarily in their interest to protect your interest. That is up to you. Having a wonderful song is not is not all it takes to attract and satisfy the interest of the recording industry. Having a recording contract is not all it takes to persue your love of music and pay the bills.

 

Where's the Money? Read this article.
What is "Authority"?
Useful FAQ sites.
United States Copyright Law.
taxi.com/faq This is a good example of a usefull faq put together by the company sales team.
Search of public domain at wikipedia.org.