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Startup Turns Illegal Music Remixes Into Cash for Everyone

Over the last few decades, electronic music has grown at an electrifying rate. Now, all someone needs to qualify as a musician is a computer and some software to mix up songs other people made.

Capitalizing on the changing times, a new startup is hoping to mix up the music world of remixing by bringing order to the current chaos. The company, MetaPop, has created a new platform for not just the fans and creators of remixes, but also for the music labels that spend countless dollars on lawyers trying to enforce their copyrights.

What's a Remix?

Simply put, a remix is a song that has been altered from its original recorded state. Frequently, remixes will speed up or slow down sections of a song, or cut, splice, or overlay sections of music from other songs, in order to change the original. However, sometimes, a remix can be something as simple as changing the audio format from stereo to surround sound.

Legality of Remixes

Although musicians and other artists are inspired by each others' works, there is a legal distinction between being inspired and stealing another's creative work. When it comes to remixes, generally, the original copyright holder can claim that a remix violates their rights if the remixer did not obtain permission to use the original.

However, determining how much and when a remixer should pay is frequently a contentious issue, and potentially a copyright holder can deny permission. Additionally, if a copyright holder discovers that their work has been remixed without permission, they may not have any real recourse other than paying attorneys to get the material taken down, as individuals who actually make the remixes might not be able to satisfy a legal, monetary judgment against them.

MetaPop Minds the Gap

The big problem that artists and music labels (the usual copyright holders) have when enforcing their rights against remixers is the cost. The startup MetaPop found a way to potentially turn the lost revenues and added costs caused by remixers violating copyrights into a potential stream of revenue for copyright holders and remixers (and the startup, of course).

MetaPop works by allowing artists and copyright holderss to authorize their music via the MetaPop platform to be remixable. Then if a remixer uses music authorized on MetaPop, the original artist, or copyright holder, will be able to track that use, and will automatically receive 70% of the revenue generated by the remix. The remaining 30% is split evenly between MetaPop and the remixer.

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