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]
Reason's December issue celebrates the magazine's 50th anniversary with a series of commissioned pieces on the past and future of the magazine's subjects: freedom, markets, property rights, privacy and similar matters: I contributed a short story to the issue called Sole and Despotic Dominion, which takes the form of a support chat between a dishwasher […]
An Australian developer named Mark Watkins painstakingly reverse-engineered the proprietary data generated by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and created Sleepyhead, a free/open piece of software that has become the go-to tool for thousands of sleep apnea sufferers around the world who want to tune their machines to stay healthy.
Denuvo bills itself as the best-of-breed in games DRM, the most uncrackable, tamper-proof wrapper for games companies; but its reputation tells a different story: the company's products are infamous for falling quickly to DRM crackers and for interfering with game-play until you crack the DRM off the products you buy.
Ever wondered what it takes to make the transition from amateur photography to a full career? If you answered “a better camera,” you’re half right. Before you get the equipment, get the know-how to use it with the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification. Taught by experienced pros, this course is geared towards shutterbugs […]
Anyone can learn piano, but don’t tell that to the bored kids who had to endure hours of “Chopsticks” and similar drills in their music lessons. Today, there’s a better way. Pianoforall lets you jump right in to discover what makes music fun, leaving you eager to learn more. In a simple but innovative approach, […]
There are two times you never want to just “eyeball” it: Conducting brain surgery and matching shades of paint for your walls. Whether you’re painting or repainting, make sure you’re never just “close enough” to the color you want. Not when the Nix Mini Color Sensor can scan and match any color perfectly. Small enough […]