I don’t earn money with music (now), but I’m not a pure hobbyist. I’ve got academic training, and I consider myself as an ambitioned amateur at least. Some time in the future, there might come gigs and maybe more ambitioned recordings. Some time in the future, I might look into selling my music.
Friends of mine are trying to make some money with music. I have been in an independent metal band before, and later, I organized a small series of non-profit low-to-no-budget disco events with friends – so I’ve seen some of the plights of musicians as well as music users. I totally see that music rights management societies could be a good thing for musicians.
Unfortunately, the only German music rights management society, GEMA, is broken, unfair, intransparent. A lot of musicians feel being a GEMA member would do (or does!) them more economic harm than good.
But there’s hope. The Cultural Commons Collecting Society (C3S) wants to become an alternative. A fair, flexible, Creative Commons-aware European music rights management society.
The foundation of C3S would topple the German “GEMA-Vermutung” (the assumption that any music used in public is subject to rights management by GEMA unless proven otherwise – which GEMA makes as hard as they can; that means even for playing Creative Commons licensed music only at your event they can send you a nasty bill) by the way.
And the good thing is: you can be part of it. C3S is currently running a crowdfunding to raise the money needed for founding, but also for developing the software for a more exact and fair calculation of royalties.
I’ll be supporting this initiative. Because music rights management in my country is broken and needs to be repaired.