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]
Businesses like Adobe Stock use large, visible watermarks to deter copyright infringement; a new paper presented by Google Researchers to the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition shows that these watermarks can be reliably detected and undetectably erased by software.
US court records are not copyrighted, but the US court system operates a paywall called “PACER” that is supposed to recoup the costs of serving text files on the internet; charging $0.10/page for access to the public domain, and illegally profiting to the tune of $80,000,000/year.
Semihandmade started out as a Los Angeles cabinetmaker called “Handmade,” but when they got a commission to design aftermarket doors for a cheap and surprisingly robust set of Ikea kitchen cabinets, they realized that they could supply excellent-looking, high-spec kitchens at a tiny price by just manufacturing replacement doors for Ikea’s ubiquitous cabinetry.
Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]