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Should artists be able to make money through pony.fm?


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This is a question that I wish to open up for discussion. Should artists be allowed to put a price tag on the songs they upload? Or, provide an option for users to donate upon downloading a song if they chose to do so? Bandcamp does this. You can choose to put no minimum price on your downloads, so users can either download them for free or donate to the artist. 

 

I don't see many downsides to this. You could listen to any song on the website for free, but artists could choose to either ask for a donation or require payment upon attempting to actually download it. 


What do you guys think? 

Edited by SCS
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I think you are over looking the legality of this idea. It would be very nice to be able to allow artists to offer their songs for purchases, however, it would likely require legal attention. Lawyers cost a lot of money. A great many songs are based on, sample from or are remixes of songs owned by Hasbro. The very nature of pony.fm causes all songs on the website to be somewhat related to Hasbro's IP, My Little Pony. I am sure there is a way, but it'll require a lawyer and other kinds of protection just to prevent the website from being taken down immediately. I don't think that a lawyer is in Feld0's budget, but I guess only Feld0 could know that.

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If I remember correctly the website is not meant to be used commercially in any way. It just opens way too many cans of worms due to the fact that My Little Pony is Trademarked.

 

I also think the website is meant to be used as an Archive rather than a store, so forcing users to purchase anything doesn't seem to fit in. I still believe that asking for Donations should be allowed, but that is not the same use case and shouldn't be handled by the site anyway.

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I think you are over looking the legality of this idea. It would be very nice to be able to allow artists to offer their songs for purchases, however, it would likely require legal attention. Lawyers cost a lot of money. A great many songs are based on, sample from or are remixes of songs owned by Hasbro. The very nature of pony.fm causes all songs on the website to be somewhat related to Hasbro's IP, My Little Pony. I am sure there is a way, but it'll require a lawyer and other kinds of protection just to prevent the website from being taken down immediately. I don't think that a lawyer is in Feld0's budget, but I guess only Feld0 could know that.

 

Yeah, I forgot about that part. I guess it works on Bandcamp since their site isn't directly intended to host fan material for a trademarked show. 

 

 

 

If I remember correctly the website is not meant to be used commercially in any way. It just opens way too many cans of worms due to the fact that My Little Pony is Trademarked.

 

I also think the website is meant to be used as an Archive rather than a store, so forcing users to purchase anything doesn't seem to fit in. I still believe that asking for Donations should be allowed, but that is not the same use case and shouldn't be handled by the site anyway.

 

Yeah, I see what you mean. Based on what Bohtty said, though, I don't know if we should even allow asking for donations, at least not on the pony.fm site itself. Technically, since it is fan material for a trademarked show, artists shouldn't be receiving any compensation for their work.

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On the note of making money from music: I will say that ideas *are* in the works for something of this manner. However, if it comes to fruition, it will most likely be a separate entity from Pony.fm. You might hear something about it in a few weeks. No guarantees.

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Yeah, I see what you mean. Based on what Bohtty said, though, I don't know if we should even allow asking for donations, at least not on the pony.fm site itself. Technically, since it is fan material for a trademarked show, artists shouldn't be receiving any compensation for their work.

Donations aren't a compensation. They are funds to assure the artist can continue making content. You could call it a no return investment, but in the end, legally a donation and a payment is not the same.

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Donations aren't a compensation. They are funds to assure the artist can continue making content. You could call it a no return investment, but in the end, legally a donation and a payment is not the same.

I can't claim to be a lawyer, but I feel that if Hasbro didn't like it, that they could still cause trouble. I don't ever expect companies (especially their legal departments) to act like adults or even play fairly. Theoretically I believe that Hasbro could attempt to sue pony.fm for donations. That is all they would need because they could easily stall and win that way because there is no way we could hold up financially against Hasbro.

 

That being said, I've seen a lot of songs that are their completely their own song with the only connection to the show being it's inspiration. Silva Hound, for example, sells "MLP" music that are not remixs of anything, but are instead inspired by certain characters in the show and the fandom. Sim Gretina also does this and I am sure there are more. I've already seen a lot of these kinds of songs on pony.fm and it would be neat if they could have the option to sell them.

 

If the money ever becomes available it might be worth it to get some legal consultation on the matter. Perhaps something can be worked out that pushes the responsibility for the content onto the user similar to the way youtube protects itself from users posting copyrighted material. 

 

At the very least you might want to consider adding soundCloud and Bootcamp links to the profile/individual song/album pages. 

Edited by Bohtty
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I can't claim to be a lawyer, but I feel that if Hasbro didn't like it, that they could still cause trouble. I don't ever expect companies (especially their legal departments) to act like adults or even play fairly. Theoretically I believe that Hasbro could attempt to sue pony.fm for donations. That is all they would need because they could easily stall and win that way because there is no way we could hold up financially against Hasbro.

 

What? That would be like suing google because they link to the TPB. No offense, but I don't think that anything here is part of a reasonable thinking process and instead is based upon presumptions of the 'evil coporation' that is Hasbro. And, you cannot 'sue' just because you want to and are not happy. ( Then again America... ) But either way an user asking for a donation so they can keep themselves alive and by providing their paypal email address is hardly ground for any case. As long as the site doesn't actively encourage it there is no problem as far as donations are concerned.

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I can't claim to be a lawyer, but I feel that if Hasbro didn't like it, that they could still cause trouble. I don't ever expect companies (especially their legal departments) to act like adults or even play fairly. Theoretically I believe that Hasbro could attempt to sue pony.fm for donations. That is all they would need because they could easily stall and win that way because there is no way we could hold up financially against Hasbro.

 

That being said, I've seen a lot of songs that are their completely their own song with the only connection to the show being it's inspiration. Silva Hound, for example, sells "MLP" music that are not remixs of anything, but are instead inspired by certain characters in the show and the fandom. Sim Gretina also does this and I am sure there are more. I've already seen a lot of these kinds of songs on pony.fm and it would be neat if they could have the option to sell them.

 

If the money ever becomes available it might be worth it to get some legal consultation on the matter. Perhaps something can be worked out that pushes the responsibility for the content onto the user similar to the way youtube protects itself from users posting copyrighted material. 

 

At the very least you might want to consider adding soundCloud and Bootcamp links to the profile/individual song/album pages. 

 

 

What? That would be like suing google because they link to the TPB. No offense, but I don't think that anything here is part of a reasonable thinking process and instead is based upon presumptions of the 'evil coporation' that is Hasbro. And, you cannot 'sue' just because you want to and are not happy. ( Then again America... ) But either way an user asking for a donation so they can keep themselves alive and by providing their paypal email address is hardly ground for any case. As long as the site doesn't actively encourage it there is no problem as far as donations are concerned.

 

I'll do some explaining on the subject of legalities once 1) more work is completed on my aforementioned project (mentioned earlier in this thread) and once 2) life settles down on my end. (I'm just too busy to make a full response at the moment.)

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What? That would be like suing google because they link to the TPB. No offense, but I don't think that anything here is part of a reasonable thinking process and instead is based upon presumptions of the 'evil coporation' that is Hasbro. And, you cannot 'sue' just because you want to and are not happy. ( Then again America... ) But either way an user asking for a donation so they can keep themselves alive and by providing their paypal email address is hardly ground for any case. As long as the site doesn't actively encourage it there is no problem as far as donations are concerned.

I would not put it past Hasbro to find a way to sue a website that they do not like especially considering the fact that it is heavily linked to one of their IPs. If the website put up any official donation button or link then it would be considered encouraging I would think. If the user put the link in the description of their song then I'm sure there would be no case. I personally would like to see something a little more in depth than just a donation button that sends the user to a third party website. I am certain that there is a way to legally sell content on pony.fm while also being safe. Unfortunately finding out what exactly that way is will likely cost money, especially if a legal document needs to be made...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Judging from Bohtty's replies, I think it would be safest to avoid tying donations or compensations with pony.fm in the slightest. However, I'm pretty sure neikicorn was saying that donations would be entirely separate from pony.fm, and handled independently by the artists, which I don't see a problem with, just as long as they don't do it through the pony.fm site. 

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While I'd love to see some form of money making process: "It's better to be safe than sorry."

I've already worked out a pretty solid method of letting artists earn money from their work (without getting into legal trouble), but for now, it may be best - and perhaps even easier - to simply let artists link to their Bandcamp pages.

Unfortunately, that also kills off any plans that Feld0 had for helping pay the bills for this project.


Besides, this is a relatively young project; revenue streams seem like something that would be best left until there's a more mature site in place. (Feld0: we can always discuss this later on Skype if you want.)

Edited by CloudFyre
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Sorry for not replying to this thread sooner.

 

I would more than love Pony.fm to be a site that artists can legally make money from pony fan music on. Operative keyword: legally.

 

CloudFyre and I have discussed the issue at length before, and it looks like I can make it happen, at the very least, for fully original fan songs (ie. nothing that uses sound clips from the show or is remixed from an official song). If at all possible, I would like to do it using a legitimate license from Hasbro to do business with their IP.

 

At the minimum, it would be nice to offer artists a means of accepting personal donations via Pony.fm. Any kind of monetary transaction between artists and fans on Pony.fm will, in all likelihood, happen with me taking a cut from it for Pony.fm.

 

However, until I'm able to sit down and do my due diligence in legal research, Pony.fm will remain noncommercial, and there will probably be a hard ban on linking to external sites like Bandcamp or PayPal where users can pay the artist. Allowing any of that would be allowing artists to indirectly make money from Pony.fm by using my traffic to make money for themselves and a third-party that has nothing to do with Pony.fm.

 

Separately, I plan to have some kind of donations button to make donations for Pony.fm's upkeep; however, these will not come with any kind of rewards or perks attached so as not to imply that the donor is "buying" anything.

 

 

tl;dr: I want to do this, but I won't do it until I'm absolutely sure I can do it right. I hope that's fair.

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Sorry for not replying to this thread sooner.

 

I would more than love Pony.fm to be a site that artists can legally make money from pony fan music on. Operative keyword: legally.

 

CloudFyre and I have discussed the issue at length before, and it looks like I can make it happen, at the very least, for fully original fan songs (ie. nothing that uses sound clips from the show or is remixed from an official song). If at all possible, I would like to do it a legitimate license from Hasbro to do business with their IP.

 

At the minimum, it would be nice to offer artists a means of accepting personal donations via Pony.fm. Any kind of monetary transaction between artists and fans on Pony.fm will, in all likelihood, happen with me taking a cut from it for Pony.fm.

 

However, until I'm able to sit down and do my due diligence in legal research, Pony.fm will remain noncommercial, and there will probably be a hard ban on linking to external sites like Bandcamp or PayPal where users can pay the artist. Allowing any of that would be allowing artists to indirectly make money from Pony.fm by using my traffic to make money for themselves and a third-party that has nothing to do with Pony.fm.

 

Separately, I plan to have some kind of donations button to make donations for Pony.fm's upkeep; however, these will not come with any kind of rewards or perks attached so as not to imply that the donor is "buying" anything.

 

 

tl;dr: I want to do this, but I won't do it until I'm absolutely sure I can do it right. I hope that's fair.

 

This sounds good to me. I like the idea of donations and compensation if it would be entirely legal, as to avoid pony.fm being shut down.

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