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#583005 - 02/05/08 03:02 PM Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!)  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Congrats Brian on bringing in "Our Stage" as a new community partner! What a great resource for JPF members and the artist community at large.

Nice combo to have both music AND video contests under "one roof" with monthly opportunities to enter and chances to win. I can see this bringing some exciting activity to our MP3 Feedback forum. For example, folks there could help each other "polish" up some of their best songs before uploading to Our Stage.

It would also be great to see Daniel Palmer appear at our next JPF song awards show! Would make for some great photos while the song "We're all in this together" is playing in the background, maybe capture that on video! LOL

As a suggestion, I'd like to see Our Stage expand their genres or "channels" as they call them. They have a great start, but hopefully they'll add a few more as their traffic and demand increases. Here's some channels I'd like to see them add:

Music:
Children's Music
Classical
Contemporary Classical
Film/Symphonic
Holiday/Seasonal Music
New Age

Vidoes:
Advertising/Promotional specialties
Educational/Lessons
History / Historical Themes
Political
Student projects (maybe under "short films")

Let's see what others say!
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
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#583066 - 02/05/08 06:29 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Moker Jarrett Offline
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Moker Jarrett  Offline
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I read Brian's post, and visited their site, it is a great thing for artists, opportunity is always a welcome thing. As primarily a writer myself now, I didn't really see a place where I would fit in, but I may have overlooked something, it seemed a place for the artist to show their performance , and I am more in the "here's what I write category" now. Partnerships for the good of JPF is always a welcome thing though, and someone please correct me if I missed something, my eyes aren't what they used to be, come to think of it , niether are my ears...ha...MJ

#583067 - 02/05/08 06:32 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Sounds like this may really be a great deal for those who perform. I'm not sure it brings much to the table for those of us who write lyrics or melodies... or both... and don't consider themselves performers.

To my way of thinking... there is only one contest. The "Charts" where the big boys and girls are plugged into the income stream big time... along with the songwriters who provided them with the opportunity for that success.

Good luck to those of you who can use this new "vehicle."

Dave

#583068 - 02/05/08 06:39 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Our Stage is one of the most interesting concepts I've seen on the web. Having a tournament style contest exposes the fans of one act to every individual competing act. It opens Our Stage members to larger audiences than any other model of which I'm aware.

Michael, I like your suggestions. I'd hope many would be adopted in the future.


All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583092 - 02/05/08 07:39 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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tbryson Offline
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I have used it and I thought it was a great way to have my song critiqued without having people take a shot at my stuff...it is fair and anonymous...there were over 700 entries in my catagory...my song made it to #70...that means my song was thought of as at least more liked than 90% of all the songs...or it made it into the top 10% of all those songs...it made me feel good...this way no ones feeling get hurt by a harsh review...you still can post your lyrics at JPF and work on it and get crits...then when the song is ready to record go to the Ourstage site and have at it...the voting will let you know where your stuff fits in...

#583117 - 02/05/08 08:35 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: tbryson]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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Though I imagine that a poorly sung song will not do well in their voting, I think if you can at least pull off a quality vocal performance and it's a great song, that you could do well. Teddy gives a great example of how you can get a sense of where the song ranks. Since it's all free, even for a pure songwriter, getting stuff up there offers more feedback and if you have a brilliant idea that connects, who knows what could happen. And even as a pure writer/non performer, if you are seeking commercial success, then this is a motivator to get someone who can sing to demo your song and give it a whirl. If you can't compete on that site, how could your compete in the industry? It seems like a friendly feedback engine and for those with strong recordings, perhaps a way to win some attention and opportunities.

I will have Daniel check any and all comments from folks. They are hungry for feedback and seem very receptive to improving their site. Daniel's already registered here I think.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#583122 - 02/05/08 08:42 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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I definitely would support a "New Age" category; a Comedy/Novelty might be a good idea too. "Classical" I'm not so sure about, but "Contemporary Classical" or at least "Film Score" maybe.

I think generally speaking, what I'm not liking at the moment is how the Electronic category specifically is too broad. The #1 track is basically an unprocessed female vocalist over a simple sampled beat and several synths. It's not really a dance tune - sounds like a pop or indie tune to me. Then the #2 is new age. Then you have very harsh club/techno songs competing in the same category, then you have MY material which is not really any of these categories.

There is always the risk of over-classifying, which is what happened to Garageband imo (electronic, dance, techno? what's the difference?) but I think it might not be a bad idea to have "Dance (Electronic)" and "Downtempo (Electronic)". The latter might even be able to cover New Age too, killing two birds with one stone.

Last edited by Andrew Aversa; 02/05/08 08:49 PM.

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#583124 - 02/05/08 08:45 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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I bet we'll have over 100 genres this year. (or close to it). I plan to work with them on improving and expanding their genre listings. I think we have a great handle on the subtle differences and how to categorize stuff which I know they're still working on.

Brian


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jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#583125 - 02/05/08 08:57 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: tbryson]  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Originally Posted by Ted(TeddyJoe)Bryson
I have used it and I thought it was a great way to have my song critiqued without having people take a shot at my stuff...it is fair and anonymous...there were over 700 entries in my catagory...my song made it to #70...that means my song was thought of as at least more liked than 90% of all the songs...or it made it into the top 10% of all those songs...it made me feel good...this way no ones feeling get hurt by a harsh review...you still can post your lyrics at JPF and work on it and get crits...then when the song is ready to record go to the Ourstage site and have at it...the voting will let you know where your stuff fits in...

Wow Ted, thanks for sharing!
I wasn't aware that some JPF folks may have already posted some of their songs at Our Stage. And you got top 70 out of 700 entries, that's pretty good!

We could certainly use Our Stage to get some meaningful feedback from an unbiased worldwide "marketplace" of fans, especially since we'd be exposed to people that have never heard of us (yet) and therefore can judge only by what they hear and not by our personality or fame, etc.

MP3 Forum idea...
I'd love to get something going on our MP3 boards where each month we could all pick or maybe "vote" for a song (from among us songwriters) that might have the best shot at winning the next contest at Our Stage. Of course we can individually decide which of our songs (if any) to upload, but I thought it would be cool to get everyone's input... like of all songs posted for the "Our Stage" pre-contest review, which song/s for each genre (channel) might have the greatest chance of winning. That might prompt some writers to specifically upload those songs.

Then they could report back their contest ranking(s) and maybe some of us will win the cash prizes! It could be a fun thing to participate in! Maybe cash-prize winners could donate 10% (or whatever) back to JPF to say "thanks guys for helping me pick my winner!" Of course all donations would be only suggested and purely voluntary, but I bet most folks will be more than happy to "recycle" a bit of their booty! grin

Due to the sheer size and numbers of JPF members, I bet we could "stage" more winners than almost any other musician's group in the world. Somebody's got to win, so why not us? grin

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com
#583127 - 02/05/08 09:01 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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Besides genre, I do have one other suggestion, something that my girlfriend actually brought up. According to their FAQ, the earlier you enter in the month, the better shot you have at winning, because you will have more opportunities to be judged.

While this is pretty much fine if you plan ahead, I think it would be a nice idea if they had a system which prioritized judging of songs with lower reviews (I'm assuming the system is just random right now.) Thus Song A, entered Feb 1, doesn't have an arbitrary advantage over Song B, entered Feb 7. Not a perfect solution of course, and there really isn't much of a problem to begin with, but it would still be a helpful addition.


http://www.zirconmusic.com/ - Award-winning music/albums for video games, film and TV!

Impact Soundworks - Cutting-edge sample libraries for Kontakt
#583130 - 02/05/08 09:07 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Larry Williams Offline
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I like that they recently changed the site to allow you to select the style of music that you're judging.

The main problem I've run into is that sometimes the submitter will choose the wrong category for the song. I've judged a number of the "pop" category and I've used the "Off Topic" button to mention the song should be in some other category like R&B, Blues, Rap, or Electronic, or whatever, but that's really nothing that OurStage can do to prevent, I guess.

I would also like to see an instrumental category other than "electronic". "Electronic" could be anything from techno, trance, garage, D&B or disco to "Switched-on-Handel", or an electronic movie score, for instance.

I didn't see a "Smooth Jazz" or "Melodic Jazz" category, only "Jazz". There should also probably be a Jazz-Fusion category.

I've already got about a half-dozen songs in my "Favorites" there and will support the artist by purchasing some of them once I get a few more listed.

I would be curious to see how many artists have sold more than 20 downloads/month.

I'm also very curious to get an idea of the demographics of the voters. Are they mostly under 25, over 25? Musicians and other artists mainly, or what percentage are just fans of music?




#583138 - 02/05/08 09:15 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa

There is always the risk of over-classifying, which is what happened to Garageband imo (electronic, dance, techno? what's the difference?) but I think it might not be a bad idea to have "Dance (Electronic)" and "Downtempo (Electronic)". The latter might even be able to cover New Age too, killing two birds with one stone.

Andrew,
Good ideas, but I just thought of an approach that would be closer to how JPF "creates" genres during their song awards process. I don't have it perfectly 'pinned' yet, but I'll share my idea for openers, and possibly it could be quit revolutionary if done right, so here goes...

Let the judges decide...
Why not let the fans, judges and voters decide? Let's say I upload a song and I'm not sure exactly where it fits best, or maybe that "channel" doesn't exist yet. Why not have a pre-staging area where people could hear songs from some broad general (or maybe NO) categories, but then let the voters decide how it should best be "tagged" or which channel it should BEST fit into?!

I know that most of your songs are electronic/techno/pop or whatever, but maybe the ONE song I would vote for might strike me as some other category. In the end, the majority votes rule, so if 90 out of 100 put your song in "pop/electronic", then so be it. I don't think artists would worry as long as they're getting exposure and making some sales!

Anyway, so that's my "vote" for having a dynamic on-the-fly category system. I think this would also work great for the video contests! Just enter content (music or videos) on a "wide open" basis, as with the JPF awards, and then let the fans/judges decide!

Ok, that was just my "2 cents"! cool

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com
#583169 - 02/05/08 10:07 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: May 2006
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Moker Jarrett Offline
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Moker Jarrett  Offline
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jacksonville, fl
I get alot of pro demos done and am pitching those in Nashville day in day out. After reading Brian's post I'm thinking that as the writer it's ok to submit those pro demo'd songs into judging, providing that all work on the demos is done as work for hire and the writer has all rights to market and network the song. Once we get past worktape, your'e right Brian I'm not the one singing, the Nashville demo guys I'm hooked up with do that alot better, so I can compete. Who would be the one to ask for clarification on this?

#583185 - 02/05/08 11:13 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Moker Jarrett]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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If I understand the question, I think you're perfectly fine to enter the songs. This isn't really for sale even, so technically it shouldn't violate any demo versus master issues. If you wrote the song and own the demo/recording, it's yours to do whatever you want with as far as I am aware.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#583191 - 02/05/08 11:35 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
I'm pretty sure you're right, Brian, if you're not selling it, it's a demo. Now I don't know what Our Stage's policy is about having a different singer?

If you can do this, that will make Our Stage a powerful tool for the songwriters.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583227 - 02/06/08 12:55 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Moker Jarrett Offline
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Moker Jarrett  Offline
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Thanks men. That's exactly what I'm looking for Mike, more powerful tools for the songwriter.

#583230 - 02/06/08 01:03 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Moker Jarrett]  
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niteshift Offline
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niteshift  Offline
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I think it's a good idea in priciple. It will tell a writer exactly where his work stands in regard to popular taste. It will also give a current standard view of where the bar lies, both in terms of writing and performance, as well as production terms. I think the only downside may be that it maybe come a victem of it's own success, and any work put up may get lost in the noise. Another good tool for the toolkit.

cheers, niteshift

#583242 - 02/06/08 01:38 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: niteshift]  
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tbryson Offline
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tbryson  Offline
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On my block
Mine was a pro demo...they don't care if it is someone else singing it...it is yours...you paid someone a flat fee...it is just your song and the people vote for it...and you can also vote in your genre but not on your own...the more voting that goes on the more the songs move up or down...it is really quite simple...

Moaker..I'm sure you have lots of recordings...throw up an old one and see what happens...vote on some others ...it really is no big deal...

#583248 - 02/06/08 02:05 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: tbryson]  
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Larry Williams Offline
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How about if you activate the option to sell the song for $0.99 as a download and it's a demo? Now you've crossed the line, right?


#583255 - 02/06/08 02:14 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Larry Williams]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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It depends on several things. Did you use Union players? If so, then unless you have a contract or agreement that these are masters and not demos, you'd need to change the terms and pay them appropriately. If it's not union players, then I am not aware of any responsibility for demo versus masters. It's always been my understanding that the issue really involved union work.

But I will defer to the real expert on this, Mike Dunbar.

Brian


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#583271 - 02/06/08 03:03 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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It all depends on your contract, has nothing to do with it being union or not. If your contract says it's a "demo" then you're not supposed to sell it. IANAL, but I'm certain there's a legal distinction between a "demo" and an item for sale. You might remember in the old vinyl album days, some albums had holes drilled in the jacket corner that missed the record? This was so it would not be sold commercially, the record company could account for it differently.

The union contracts for recording designate if it's a demo or a master of a limited pressing master. If a demo house's contract or product designates "demo," then they are intending it to be one. Of course, some demo houses make no distinction between demo and master, this is a lawsuit waiting for a spot on Judge Judy. I recommend that folks get a "work for hire" from the demo house.

Besides all this, Our Stage, in its agreement, states that they have the right to see written proof that the work is available for sale, union or not.

Hope that helps.

Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583274 - 02/06/08 03:10 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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Mike,

Who in the real world, if not using union performers, has a contract written up for someone to play on a demo? Does it happen, sure.. now and then. But is it common? No, not that I have seen out there. Rarely would it even occur to someone to draw up a contract if they had a buddy play guitar on their recording. I don't even often see contracts (again, outside a union) for recordings on full blown album projects. There's sometimes a contract with the producer and artist, but not so often with the musicians involved.

Maybe I am totally missing something, but that's been the reality I've seen over the years. That said, if a contract of some type exists, it trumps everything else anyway and would already be spelled out alleviating the need to wonder.

Brian


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#583280 - 02/06/08 03:25 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Brian, I don't recall writing "written contract." Every sale has a contract, written, verbal, or transactional. If folks want to offer a recording for sale, I'd recommend a "work for hire" agreement from all the musicians and the producer.

Folks might find the word "demo" on their cd or on their receipt or on their check. they might find a definition of "demo" on the studio's literature. The name of the studio might be "Joe's Demo Studio." If Joe sues, that would lend some weight to a "he said, she said, we said" argument.

It's the "Whiter Shade of Pale" theory that's made the "work for hire" increase to the point where it will soon be the norm, even with a union contract.

Again, however, it's a moot point. Our Stage's terms and agreement say that they have the right to see written proof that the recording is free to be sold commercially.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583290 - 02/06/08 04:23 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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Interesting. Do you think that there's an assumed contract with people who play on a recording which guarentees rights in a similar way that there's an automatic equal split of songwriting credit unless a contract exists to the contrary? Maybe there is, but if so, I've never heard of it before. We need a lawyer in here to fill us in, though I am not sure if Stu would be up on this topic.

Brian


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#583291 - 02/06/08 04:24 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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Some additional feedback, via girlfriend! (www.jilliangoldin.com - wonderfully talented, classically trained soprano who does new age/ethnic fusion music as well as studio vocals)

A penalty for people who miscategorize songs. She has been listening to the "World" category and keeps hearing rap/hip-hop with absolutely nothing to do with world music; no ethnic instruments of any kind, etc. People who do this should definitely have some sort of punishment for clogging the system. She ran into no less than FOUR rap/hip hop songs in just a handful of minutes, plus a rock/blues song...

Last edited by Andrew Aversa; 02/06/08 04:29 AM.

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#583292 - 02/06/08 04:45 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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I gave them similar feedback early on and I know that Daniel took it seriously and they're working on improving the categorization. I think that's a major issue that they need to fix for it all to work smoothly. It's one thing to hear a really bad song and have to get through it. But it's actually worse to hear an out of genre song, even if it's good, when you wanted to hear something else. I'll make sure he's reading these suggestions and I have a bunch of things that folks told me via the feedback of our 30 due diligence crew.

Brian


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#583294 - 02/06/08 05:02 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Interesting. Do you think that there's an assumed contract with people who play on a recording which guarentees rights in a similar way that there's an automatic equal split of songwriting credit unless a contract exists to the contrary? Maybe there is, but if so, I've never heard of it before. We need a lawyer in here to fill us in, though I am not sure if Stu would be up on this topic.

Brian


According to U.S. business law, when contract terms are omitted (or a written contract is not present) the industry standard is generally applied to any given situation when a dispute arises. For example, if you sell beef, and you have a contract with someone to provide them with 100 pounds of beef per month, but do not include a price for the beef, it is assumed the person will pay you the standard (fair market) price for beef. If you neglect to put a term of delivery, then you are expected to deliver the beef within an amount of time that beef is typically delivered in.

This often works in conjunction with the concept of an implied contract, wherein behavior and standards can create a contract between individuals without words being spoken or written on paper. This happens all the time. You might walk into any old barber, sit in a chair, and then hand the barber a $20 bill. No explicit offer was made that the barber would cut your hair. But the act of walking in and sitting on the chair is behavior implying that you want a haircut and will offer a reasonable sum for one. Implied contracts are just as valid as any other kind.

So, in the case of musicians recording for a demo, the question is not whether there is an implied contract - there is - but rather whether or not the industry standard is when it comes to them getting rights.

I don't know anything about demo recording, so I don't know the answer for certain. However, when it comes to studio musicians in general, the standard is that they are work for hire, so I can't imagine it would be any different because they're recording for a demo.

Last edited by Andrew Aversa; 02/06/08 05:03 AM.

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#583302 - 02/06/08 06:14 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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niteshift Offline
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When hiring studio musicians, I have never used contracts. If playing a session, it is quite obvious that you are a service, are paid for that service, do not hold any rights to the recording, nor to the copyright, end of argument. It's a work for hire arrangement, and the recording is the sole property of the producer.

cheers, niteshift

#583311 - 02/06/08 06:57 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: niteshift]  
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Larry Williams Offline
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When I hire a session player (especially someone I don't know), I will have them sign a single-page "Work for Hire" contract before I hit the record button. This is at the strong and repeated urging of my attorney. That contract specifies that they will receive no additional compensation after that day regardless of whether the song makes any money or not.

I think Work for Hire contracts are unnecessary if you and a writing partner are performing all the parts. If you want your buddy to play guitar on your song and want to make money from it, I think it's wise to ask him/her to sign that little diddy. You may not make any money from the song, but what would happen if it suddenly started making a few thousand a quarter from some movie or TV placement, and it was the cool guitar part that brought it attention? Friendships have ended in situations like that.

My post above that generated some discussion was basically geared towards the songwriters who will pay a production company or producer to have a high quality demo done in Nashville using "B" list union players (guys who aren't necessarily first call, but still get plenty of major label work). They will have been paid the demo rate per the local Musician's Union rate sheet, but the recording will be near-major label quality. There are more than a few studios that are used for both demos and for masters - depending on who books the room.

However, the Union perspective is that the musicians worked for a "discounted rate" on the assumption that the song will not be sold - it was a demo. It's not that the musicians will get backend royalties (it was still a work for hire), it's that they would have been paid differently (more) if the song had been presented as a "master". I think the likelihood of "getting caught" isn't high since the song probably won't be selling in the 10's of thousands, but it does open the door to some unwanted attention by the Union and you probably don't want to go there.

I'm simply saying that if OurStage (or any other site) got a reputation for selling demos made with union musicians (as downloads), then the legal guys might want to get involved.

Maybe I'm off base and this is done all the time at Soundclick, CDBaby, and other music download sites, but I still think there could be a legal liability.

What do you think, Mike?




#583386 - 02/06/08 12:30 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Larry Williams]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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I think this. It's a moot point. As I wrote earlier, Our Stage has stated in their terms and conditions that they insist that folks have written proof, and they reserve the right to ask for this proof at any time.

The other theories and so on are interesting, but have no relevance to Our Stage.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583388 - 02/06/08 12:41 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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I will say this, however.

Last night I entered my song "Mama's Dancing" in the acoustic section of Our Stage. It entered at 434. This morning it is 153. smile


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583407 - 02/06/08 02:07 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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I use a number of studios to demo for me, some send me a release work for hire form with each demo I receive, some give me a signed form stating that all songs they demo are works for hire and free from any future claim, free to be used for any purpose.

I hope that covers me.

#583408 - 02/06/08 02:07 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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I use a number of studios to demo for me, some send me a release work for hire form with each demo I receive, some give me a signed form stating that all songs they demo are works for hire and free from any future claim, free to be used for any purpose.

I hope that covers me.

#583465 - 02/06/08 04:51 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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Actually this is VERY interesting, but as Mike says, it's off topic at this point and I am sorry we've veered so far off the topic of Ourstage. But taking Andrew's comments at face value, it sure it intersting to think about what is industry standard, and expecially when it comes to stuff that happens on the web. Who in the heck knows what is ACTUALLY indutstry standard. (After all, what if the standard is to screw people over?). So, moving on, I am very happy so far with all the glowing feedback we're getting on OurStage. Please keep giving us and them feedback on the service and how it can be used and improved.

Brian


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#583479 - 02/06/08 05:32 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Yes, very interesting points raised on this top of recording and right's ownership. In my case, I have a "mix" of talent resources that I've managed over the years to create my recordings. They include: a few "for-hire" vocalists, one or two volunteer singers, one guitarist (Rob Cambell) and a drummer (Sub Studio), but these comprise less than 25% of my total material.

The rest is all my own work recorded and produced in my own studio. For the situations where I paid other musicians, the "proof" is with my payment checks. Obviously, strictly "works-for-hire" and nothing else.

Most of my songs are now officially registered with the U.S. copyright office and my CD (with 16 tracks) is posted at CD Baby for official retails sales, distribution and licensing.

On several songs I also have a lyrics co-writer in which case the split is a basic 50/50. We all have "split letter" forms on file, but (strangely) it's rare that anyone insists on actually signing and filing them, though the option is always open; so it's more like an "implied" agreement, plus it's usually mentioned by phone or maybe in an email.

Regardless, the 50/50 split is probably one of the most standard practices in the songwriting industry.

If I have a doubt about contest prize "splits", I would simply contact my co-writer or collaborator, before uploading to Our Stage, to agree on our prize split. Most likely it will be 50/50, so of course we'd both have equal incentive for success.

Beyond what I described above, I'm not sure how I would best "prove" to Our Stage that I'm the actual author, composer, copyright owner, producer and true authentic owner of my own music. At the very least, I'd be willing to sign a document that states that indeed I am the true and original copyright owner and publisher of any song in question, for example, if it won a huge cash prize or something. Nice "problem" to have, eh? wink

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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#583560 - 02/06/08 08:54 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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I'm at 148! I'd slid back to 161 earlier, but now I've made a comeback. I'm the Our Stage Comeback Kid!

I'd like to thank all the little people, the munchkins, Mickey Rooney, Herve Villachaize, Paul Williams, Johnny Puleo.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#583585 - 02/06/08 09:37 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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I think this is one of the good things (of many) about OurStage.. it can give you a little positive nudge without charging you money for it.. and since it CAN'T just be your friends doing it (or the friends of others) it makes it a lot more valid. Someone obviously felt positively about your work.

Brian


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#583626 - 02/06/08 11:06 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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Sitting in the 30s with two of my tracks from Antigravity. It'll be interesting to see where they go; they each are #1 or #2 on Garageband in their respective categories.


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#583700 - 02/07/08 02:02 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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I've been checking out some of the videos and there's some really great animators involved there. Their scripts aren't so great, but it's clear their talent visually is there. It would be interesting for some of those lyric writers here with a storytelling angle/expertise to work with some of the animators there. I think that's a whole new art form just waiting to be developed for our lyric only folks.

Brian


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#583715 - 02/07/08 02:17 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Yes, great idea Brian!
And of course after the lyrics & story have been developed, the next step would be to add music and vocals to sing the lyrics.
That would make for some very cool collaborations!

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
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#583804 - 02/07/08 10:42 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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niteshift Offline
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OK, took the plunge with 2 songs, we'll see what happens. I like the voting system, just random songs placed up against one another if I see it correctly. Very hard to manipulate, and should say something about your own tracks in a genre compared to every one elses.

cheers, niteshift

#583809 - 02/07/08 10:57 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: niteshift]  
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Lynman Bacolor Offline
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I submitted my songs too.

I think this is the best among the rest. No one can rig the system.

BEst thing to do is have the folks critique our songs first, to several boards fine tuned everything when all is good submit the song for monthly contest.

Goodluck folks!!!

Lynman

#583880 - 02/07/08 03:22 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Lynman Bacolor]  
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tbryson Offline
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I could use a simple work for hire form...if someone could pm me maybe I could get them to send a form via email...also hint about how to fill the thing in...thanks

#583908 - 02/07/08 04:31 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: tbryson]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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OK, this is absolutely atrocious. I've been judging World entries for the last 10 minutes and I have yet to encounter a song pair where one of the songs was not an outright violation of the category. TONS of hip hop & R&B. A bunch of MIDI film scores. Some ambient trance with no ethnic instruments at all. What the hell? The "World" category at least is so crippled that it seems like there are hardly any legitimate entries whatsoever. I have literally gone through 10 songs straight that are all CLEAR violations. This needs to be addressed immediately as it is a serious problem.

Last edited by Andrew Aversa; 02/07/08 04:35 PM.

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#583930 - 02/07/08 05:20 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Moker Jarrett Offline
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they're offline now for about the last 20 minutes, growing pain glitches is my guess, I judged about 8 or 10 country showdowns, they were all country songs atleast, a few of them pretty good. Saw a Chuck Crowe song pop up on there, way to go Chuck...I put two in the hat we'll see what happens...Moker

#584082 - 02/07/08 11:04 PM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Moker Jarrett]  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Good point Andrew!
I think something needs to be done about these "evasive" kinds of category listings. I believe there must be a better approach waiting to be developed; something that allows the majority of the voters (judges) to decide exactly what category a song should best fit into, or at least if there's a serious doubt or question.

Solving the "misplaced channel" problem:
Let's say you hear something that obviously should be in a diff. channel, then you could suggest (in the voting process) that it should move to channel "x" from a pull-down list. The options would include everything available, so that would make it easy for the OurStage admin team to manage.

If more than 50% of the voters suggest a diff. channel for any song, it automatically MOVES over to that channel.

Within a few days, every song on the site would pretty much be "slotted" into the best (most appropriate) channel without it "punishing" artists for not knowing how to best categorize their entries. Same goes for videos and to go one step further, OurStage could also allow "write-in" channels to help create NEW channels on-the-fly according to popular demand.

For example, they could offer write-ins for primary or sub-genre channels. I think this better accomodates music in creative new styles and formats. This is needed because the best artists have always helped create new styles which haven't been defined before, at least not until after a lot of artists have started to copy them. Since that is part of the creative pattern, why not encourage it rather than bottle-neck it?

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com
#584101 - 02/08/08 12:00 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Michael, just an aside, but I love your Bach quote.

My favorite Bach quote is actually from Leo Kottke: "Bach had twenty children because his organ didn't have any stops."

#584150 - 02/08/08 02:07 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 17,942
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 17,942
Indianapolis, IN USA
Actually we discussed the genre classification problems with them prior to going live with the community partnership. They are aware of it. This is the EXACT reason we do not allow artists to choose what genres they want their music in in our awards. Musicians are HORRIBLE as a group in determining or even understanding what genres of music they make.

This site is still new. They have been going through a lot of growth very quickly and I think they are contemplating how to improve things, without exerting undue influence on the process (i.e. keeping it democratic). I've always felt that all the digital sites fall short when music isn't classified properly. I get a lot of flack for that from people who say they want to do away with all "genre" classifications.. that's stupid to be blunt. Genres are aids to help people find music they are in the mood for and want to hear. We need to make it easy and pleasant for people to enjoy our music, especially when they don't know who we are to start with. Why make it a random and very unpleasant experience to people forcing them to hear music they may even hate, let alone don't want to hear. Anyone who things genres are a bad thing have a fundamental flaw in their entire understanding of how people consume music. When you have unlimited choice in music you need some help to find what you're in the mood for or what you like, and even more than that, you need help AVOIDING that which you don't like. If you hate rap, why should you ever be forced to hear it? If you hate country, why cram it down someone's throat?

I think we can actually help them over the course of time with the subject of genres. They have a lot of improving to make but the way I see it is that part of our partnership is to offer contructive feedback and suggestions for solutions to our partners. I do that often with our other partners and vice versa. It should be a two way street and when we partner with folks, I want to help them succeed because that only helps us in return in the short and long run. Let's work with them to improve on what they need help and enjoy what they're doing right. I agree, they have too few actual World Music songs in the system to overcome all the miscategorized stuff. Perhaps artists felt they could sneak in a win due to lack of competition, even though it's in the wrong category.. we all KNOW that musicians are capable and willing to do anything for attention and perceived success. I'll definitely ask them to check out these comments and I feel confident that they'll find a way to improve this one flawed area in their system.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#584153 - 02/08/08 02:15 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,036
ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,036
Ft. Myers, FL. USA
I couldn't find a way to switch genres' in the edit section. I originally chose "acoustic" before I found that they had a "singer/songwriter" genre.
It really doesn't matter much because my submitions would fit both, but I would prefer "singer/songwriter". Ben

#584178 - 02/08/08 05:33 AM Re: Our Stage - New JPF Community Partner (Feedback!) [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,297
Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,297
Lake Elsinore, California
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Actually we discussed the genre classification problems with them prior to going live with the community partnership. They are aware of it. This is the EXACT reason we do not allow artists to choose what genres they want their music in in our awards. Musicians are HORRIBLE as a group in determining or even understanding what genres of music they make.

I'll definitely ask them to check out these comments and I feel confident that they'll find a way to improve this one flawed area in their system.
Brian

Brian,
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us about these "genre" matters. I'm happy for the partnership between JPF and OurStage. I agree that in time things will be improved, even if it's only one (slightly) flawed area. Overall, OurStage is still ahead of the "game" on most of what they're doing, so with a bit of patience, feedback and brainstorming, I'm sure it will come together and get perfected! I bet that's what everyone's hoping, wishing & praying for, so let's keep at it.

Also, I'm very glad everyone here's being so open, honest and cooperative about sharing our thoughts, experiences and suggestions. Music contests involve thousands of people, so it effects the WHOLE community. Glad to see so much progress being made in such a short time!

Meanwhile, I'm encouraging everyone on these boards to continue sharing your thoughts and constructive ideas. That's what'll make the difference between "their stage" and Our Stage! LOL

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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