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BuskerLabel Launches Crowd-Funding For Upcoming Music Under Creative Commons March 3, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Creative Commons, Digital Music, Digital Music News.
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BuskerLabel announced the public availability of its crowd-funding platform for releasing music albums online under Creative Commons license.

BuskerLabel, a self-funded startup based in Rome, offers an innovative platform to the music business by focusing on the excitement and anticipation that precedes an album’s release.

In return for pledging cash, fans can get early access and listen to a stream of the entire album uploaded by the artist. Upon release, they are rewarded with a high-quality “lossless” tracks download and a public acknowledgment with their name displayed on the album’s page.

Any artist can start the fund-raising phase with the simple action of uploading tracks and choosing a release date in the future. Artist offers a single track for free as a promo. Based on this, users can decide whether or not to make a pledge using BuskerLabel’s own virtual currency, called a “Koin”. One Koin is equal to one Euro and can be purchased conveniently using PayPal. After giving one or more Koins, fans gain the privilege to playback a stream of the entire album. If a person does not like the album, the fan can withdraw support in the last five days before release.

On the chosen date, the album is released under a Creative Commons license allowing all Internet users to freely download and share tracks for personal use. Creative Commons licenses maximize the legal diffusion of music by bringing more and more fans to the artist for subsequent releases and, most importantly, for live tours that depend mostly on the “brand awareness” of the artist’s name.

BuskerLabel passes on to the artists 80 percent of the collected money immediately following the release date.

BuskerLabel is different from existing fund-raising online services because it goes beyond simple donations for already released music. Instead, it deals with produced music that is ready for distribution.

As most of the major labels complain, releasing music in digital form is a critical moment, since it starts a huge wave of downloading and sharing activity. Licensing under Creative Commons allows music lovers to share tracks legally. In addition, the fans that pledge money effectively grants them the status of co-producers. BuskerLabel blends these two factors aiming to turn former copyright violators — so called “pirates” — into True Fans.

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