CLOUDKICKER Absolutely Okay With Label Printing Band's "Unauthorized" Vinyl
Earlier in the week we posted about the company Blood Music printing earlier Cloudkicker releases onto vinyl without his permission. I say "his" because Cloudkicker is just one dude, Ben Sharp, in case you weren't aware. Anyway, the printing by Blood Music is completely legal because Cloudkicker's music is licensed under Creative Commons, which basically means as long as the music is attributed to him you can do whatever you want with it. Hence the "unauthorized" in the headline… aren't semantics fun?!
I reached out to Sharp via email to see how he felt about the whole thing and his response was nothing short of really informative!
"I think it's a great outcome for the Creative Commons experiment. These were albums that I had no intention of pressing myself, so a third party took the initiative and did it for me. To be totally clear on this: Blood Music did not owe me a cent and I would not be bothered if they hadn't payed me. They deserve the profits because they took the financial risk in seeing a hole in the market and trying to fill it. If I have a problem with that then it would be my fault for being neglectful or ignorant of fans' needs.
Someone asked me, 'What if people start making bootleg copies of all your other material?' and I would be cool with that also. I already sell my merch at what I believe to be slightly lower than market value so that more people have the ability to buy it. If some other entity wants to try to fill a niche that I'm not, they are either going to have to duplicate what I'm doing but undercut me on either material or price, which means they will make lower quality products or not make very much profit. Or they will innovate in a way I can't imagine and end up on top, which means I will have to match them or fall behind. In any of these scenarios, the fans win by having more access to Cloudkicker merch, and I win by getting more exposure."
He seems to be taking the whole thing in stride, which makes sense considering he makes it sound like this was his intention for Cloudkicker all along- music for people to do whatever they want with. Our own Rob Pasbani also got a response from Blood Music via email as well, because we pretty much had to know what was up with this whole thing. The whole statement can be read below, but basically Blood Music donated a bunch of money to Sharp along with vinyl and CD pressings.
"People also seem confused about this – but we donated $600 to him, as well as 120 CDs (we pressed them on CD as well) and 20 LPs (5 of each color of each record).
We're also in touch with Creative Commons and offering them a donation.
Obviously, we didn't have to give anything to anyone – but we thought it was fair and happy to oblige.
We donated $300 just on The Discovery alone through Bandcamp – which we think may be the priciest digital download of all-time. :)
Thanks again! Cool to see the word spread."