Case Studies/Beatpick study
Creative Commons was the inspiration for BeatPick.com and not the contrary. I thought that it was the perfect legal framework for the label I wanted to create: it would give us the possibility to decide which rights to grant and which to retain on our music. — David d’Atri
Beatpick bills itself as a "Fairplay" music label. This, according to founder David d’Atri, means the following:
- 1. Fairer to the public because it allows people to try before they buy, as well as pay a low price in order to download the music in a variety of high to perfect quality digital formats. BeatPick.com also encourages music sharing and allows music to be re-downloaded after it has been bought.
- 2. Fairer for businesses because they get quick and easy access to music licensing prices and contracts, and have an accessible system with which to license music day or night. They also have transparent access to music licensing with equal prices for all artists, haggle-free.
- 3. Fairer for the artists because they sign a non-exclusive agreement that can be terminated anytime, receive 50% of any earnings on their music, are not forced to sign obscure and unfavourable contracts, benefit from free advertisement for their creations and they get their music in film/tv and other commercial projects.
- 4. Last but not least, BeatPick.com runs a fair system that encourages millions of students, soon-to-become professionals, amateurs, DJs and professionals, to use music for free in their non-commercial projects. We love people who remix, podcast or create multimedia projects with our music and disseminate it on the web. We believe this is truly a resource for innovation and sharing of information, as well as a key in assisting our business and increasing the earnings of our artists.
- 5. Fairer for store owners: we are launching a pilot project in Italy under which public and private spaces will be able to acquire the right to diffuse our music in their premises without having to pay the collecting societies (SIAE in Italy). We have ratified an agreement with FIIS (Italian Federation of the Sport Centres) which will present their members with two membership options: web radio or external hard disk with music manager software. This is the first time in Italy that a private company becomes a direct competitor of SIAE therefore liberalising a market. It seems fairer that public and private spaces have an option to choose the organisation that offer the service most appropriate to their needs. Owners of large public and private spaces can save up to 70% on SIAE fees.
As of October 2007, BeatPick represents around 120 artists with over 3,000 music tracks. In addition to BeatPick’s London base, the company has recently opened an office in Rome, Italy as a result of being partially acquired by an Italian software company.
Beatpick splits earnings 50/50 with artists or labels. This agreement is non-exclusive and can be terminated anytime. Beatpick believes the core of their business lies in music licensing. From d'Atri:
- Professionals listen to our music, then pick which works best for their production and they are only just a few clicks away from getting a legal contract and WAV file for the music they have chosen. We also help professionals with no time to search for the music they need. They send us an email with their request and in a few hours they are emailed a link to download a number of songs to choose from. Once they have decided on a tune they write back to us and we send back a licensing agreement via email. We also provide clients with access to our catalogue free of charge. They get access to our ftp and from there they can download anything they want. They can simply download over 3000 tracks divided by genre to their hard disk. We are also planning to offer membership deals and supply clients with a hard disk full of music.
All of the music on Beatpick is licensed to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. This allows Beatpick to retain licensing rights for their music which in turn allows them to generate profit for themselves and their artists (they have a 50/50 split).
Beatpick uses a CC BY-NC-SA license because they believe "it is the best CC license for businesses because it balances the need to make a living with the need for advertisement. It helps to get your music noticed via sharing, remixing, and use in non-commercial projects without losing the possibility to earn money from people that are willing to pay for your music. This license applies perfectly to us and has allowed us to create our business as it is."