Is MySpace a waste of time?

I recently received an email from a customer who had heard me talk about the importance of MySpace but thought that MySpace was a waste of time for his act because he wasn’t getting any gigs from it.

Here’s his email and my reply below:

Hi Kenny..
I have a my space site and it does nothing at all for us!..I dont
even visit the site because we have never booked the first gig
off of the site. I have friends that brag on the site but as far
as me its a waste…
Thanks
Barney

Hi Barney

A MySpace link is far from a waste of time – it’s just that many artists don’t understand how Search Engine Optimization works so can’t see it’s value…

Many artists make the mistake of thinking that MySpace is only a place to advertise their act and get work from, so if they find that they’re getting not getting many or any gigs coming in from their MySpace
page, then they automatically assume it’s not working for them.

What they forget is the immense VALUE of having an in-coming link from a highly ranked website like MySpace.com pointing to their main website, and how much that helps their main website rankings….

It’s exactly the same with our free page builder service at the MP3 Backing Trax YourSpace section (http://www.mp3backingtrax.com/yourspace ).

MP3 Backing Trax, like MySpace, is a VERY highly ranked website on Google and the other search engines, so an in-coming link from MP3 Backing Trax to your main website has immense value and will help your main website (where most of your bookings do come from) achieve higher search engine rankings.

Regards

Kenny

Music copyright issues

I recently received an email from a gentleman who had a business idea which involved creating parodies of songs.

His question was about the legalities of doing this – a copyright minefield if you don’t get the music and permissions right!

Here’s his question (and my answer below):

Hi Kenny
For a few years now, my wife and I have been composing new lyrics to
well-known songs, and using backing tracks from companies like yourselves
to give a performance to a friend or relative at their special birthday or
anniversary. We print the words off to distribute among the guests or put
them on a screen, and print off and frame the song as a keepsake. The
songs we have done have been the highlight of the celebrations, because
they have been well known songs, but made entirely personal to the individual
or couple concerned. We find out as much as we can about them, find out their
favourite songs, and then re-write the lyrics to one of them. It occurred to me
that, bearing in mind how enthusiastically these songs have been received,
there would be a market for others like them, provided that:
A – It is legal, or can be made so.
B – The right market can be found. Your website has personalised ‘special song’ sites advertised,
but I don’t think I’ve seen anything that personalises songs to this extent. I don’t want to go to
the trouble of designing a website if it’s a legal non-starter, but what do you think? I’d appreciate
your opinion.
Thanks,
Paul

Hi Paul

There are two copyrights attached to every piece of music. One is to the performer and the other is to the writer (you can find more information about this at: CLICK HERE“>http://www.mp3backingtrax.com/article2.htm”>CLICK HERE and
CLICK HERE“>http://www.mp3backingtrax.com/article32.htm”>CLICK HERE).

The copyright due to the writer is controlled by the MCPS here in the UK and you can apply for a licence from them to use their members work so that’s not a problem.

Unfortunately, we, MP3 Backing Trax (who are the performs on the backing tracks), will only grant permission to use our backing tracks to singers who are using them to try and promote themselves and make it in the music business.

We wouldn’t grant permission for anyone to resell them or use them to build a profit seeking business (the copyright we hold as the performers of the backing track music states that the backing track can only be used for personal use.

So, the only way to do what you’re intending to do is to create the music entirely yourself (ie not from a backing track) and obtain a licence to use the original authors song from the MCPS (http://www.mcps.co.uk).

The Personal Tune link we have on our website is run by one of our employees here at MP3 Backing Trax, Robert, and the songs he sells are entirely his own compositions – music and words, so he holds both copyrights (they are entirely his own work) and therefore he doesn’t need any licences whatsoever.

If you created the words and music to the parodies entirely yourself you wouldn’t need any permissions either.

However, the problem with what you are trying to do is that you are using other peoples work (i.e. the work of the person who has written the song and the musicians who recorded the music you are using for that song) and you therefore cannot use either unless you obtain permission from each…

Hope this helps!

Regards

Kenny

UPDATE – Kenny adds…

Most backing track companies refuse to let you use their backing tracks for any other purposes other than personal use.

Although our licencing is the same as all other backing track companies we at MP3 Backing Trax want to help you get ahead in the music business, so we WILL grant you permission to use our backing tracks at live gigs and to record an album to sell at your gigs, as long as you ask us first and obtain permission.

We WILL NOT grant permission for you to resell our backing tracks or use them in any kind of profit making way.

Remember, intellectual property rights are restricted to the owners and it is not legal (nor is it fair) to profit in any way from someone elses work without obtaining their express permission and compensating them for doing so. Even we, MP3 Backing Trax, have to pay royalties to the original authors for EVERY backing track we sell! No-one is exempt – it’s the law, and the penalties for copyright infringement (music piracy) can include imprisonment.

You have been warned!

Getting started in the music business

A young lady called Parry emailed me today asking how she should go about getting started in the music business.

Here’s what she asked me (and my reply below):

Hi Kenny
I’ve decided I want to start singing professionally, however I have never performed
as a vocalist before. I know nothing about the equipment side. What i do need is to
be self sufficient when on the road? I intend to start in small venues to begin with –
do you have any suggestions as to what equipment would suit my needs I am computer literate but not too technical.
Regards
Female in distress!

Hi Parry

The great thing about the music business is that it’s a real labour of love – making your living by singing has got to be one of the most rewarding an best jobs in the world!

I’ve written an article about the equipment you need to get started at:

CLICK HERE“>http://www.mp3backingtrax.com/article16.htm”>CLICK HERE

I’ll also add you to my email list where every month I send similar articles, free reports and other software tools etc to help get your act off the ground….

Regards

Kenny

FOOTNOTE:

If you would also like to be added to my email list to receive all sorts of help, advice, software tools, free reports to help you make it in the music business etc (PLUS an introductory discount on all backing tracks you purchase), make sure you sign up at:

 CLICK HERE“>http://www.mp3backingtrax.com/discountcodes.htm”>CLICK HERE