Tommy Funderburk used to be a copyright troll whose company, Payartists, sent legal threats to people accused of copyright infringement, though they didn't represent any actual artists (the closest they came was in representing Frank Zappa's widow).
Funderburk's new startup, Muzit, uses the same Bittorrent surveillance software and DMCA process to send letters on behalf of musicians, but these letters don't demand money -- instead, they invite fans to collaborate with musicians, offering them membership in fan clubs and asking them to sign up for mailing lists.
Funderburk says his company has "eliminated the word ‘pirate’ from our vocabulary" and that their watchword is Fans not Foes." Muzit's listed clients include "The Mavericks and the estates of James Brown and Isaac Hayes."
As Torrentfreak notes, this is certainly a preferable twist to sending invoices to fans, but it's not clear that this is legal under the DMCA, which makes no provision for advertising messages in legal notices.
“Recently The Mavericks used Muzit TRACE to encourage people to sign up for their fan club by offering a free giveaway of an autographed guitar. In this campaign, they were able to reach out to around 200,000 new fans,” Funderburk tells TF.
The Mavericks are happy with the results of their campaigns so far and see them as an ideal tool to reach an audience which they haven’t been able to connect with in the past.
“We were blown away. We had no idea we had this whole other world of fans sharing our music on P2P. It works and it sure beats the hell out of an email sign up sheet at the door,” Raul Malo, leader of The Mavericks, says.
STARTUP LEVERAGES DMCA NOTICES AS ARTIST MARKETING TOOL [Ernesto/Torrentfreak]
Steven Boyett writes, “Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that’s me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, […]
Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C’s move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web.
Timothy from Creative Commons writes, “The purpose of copyright is to empower — not frustrate! — creativity and knowledge production. Nowhere is a balanced copyright more important than in education. But 15-year-old EU copyright laws don’t take into account modern digital and online teaching methods, tools, and resources.”
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]
Thinking of a business idea is the easy part. Doesn’t even have to be a “good” idea, you can still get people to throw money at a non-existent venture, but to do that you need to at least have something even resembling a viable business plan. Why doesn’t anyone do it then? Because building that semi-viable […]