Radiohead: Pay Us For A Chance To Make Our Songs Better

from the not-that-appealing dept

It's been clear for quite some time that Radiohead more or less stumbled into its position as "embracing" new music distribution models. The band has admitted that the idea of doing a name your own price download offering was suggested by the band's manager just before they put the album online. They didn't really think it through, they just did it. And, since then, it's been clear that the band doesn't quite grasp the wider economics of what it's doing. It never made sense for the band to get rid of the download offering, but it did. And now, the band is getting some publicity for asking its fans to remix a new single from the band, apparently a song the band has struggled to complete for quite a while. However, the details are anything but fan friendly. Fans are asked to buy the five separate tracks (bass, voice, guitar, strings/effects and drums) and only once all five have been bought are they given access to a program to mix the tracks. And, as a bunch of readers have sent in, the terms are not particularly friendly -- basically saying that the fans have no rights whatsoever, Radiohead gets everything and no one should expect any prizes for participating. In other words, this is Radiohead getting fans to pay the band to do its work.
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Filed Under: contest, radiohead, remix


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  1. identicon
    Eric, 2 Apr 2008 @ 2:21pm

    Not exactly totally accurate representation of the

    While Radiohead may be doing this "as they go," they are still at least trying to embrace the fact that they need to market themselves in a different way--not least because they get no radio play whatsoever in the U.S. to speak of.

    In terms of the claim that the users have "no rights whatsoever," I think that's misleading. Radiohead is simply saying that they retain copyright to the song that they created, and that while the users can have free-reign using the stems to mix the tracks for the contest, they don't have the right to make money off of it by using them in their own recordings for sampling. Seems pretty fair if viewed in the correct context.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that if you did a little digging, you might find out that maybe Apple has its hands in this deal, since you download the tracks from iTunes, and you mix them in Garage Band--two products I'm sure Apple doesn't mind having in the limelight for the duration of this contest.

    Finally, it says pretty clearly that users do NOT have to user Garage Band to mix the tracks, only that they will receive a code to get access to a pre-set Garage Band file to work with the "Nude" tracks.

    Sorry, but this post seems to me to be more about whinging than analysis.

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