ALL PRODUCERS PLEASE READ
Mar 25, 2009
Why Sound Tags Dont Work When Selling Hip Hop Beats
Posted By Slantize On 10th August 2006 @ 14:24 In General Sales Advice Comments Disabled
Music piracyÂ is everywhere, beginning with the phenomenon of Napster andÂ evolving into the widespread power ofÂ Bittorrent. The question has been raised by artists and record labels all throughout on how to prevent music piracy. The answer is, simply put, you cant. We are in the Information Age today data is transferred at the speed of light. Unlike the days of exchanging cassette tapes or vinyl records, we now can easily access music files through aÂ wireÂ in a matter of seconds.
Yes, beat jacking is often a problem.Â ForÂ a beatmaker, especially in hip hop/rap, he or she does not want his or her beats being stolen by an artist, without proper consent or compensation. A popular method to prevent theft of hip hop beats is to use a technique called sound tagging or vocal tagging. This is when a short vocal clip is placed throughout the beat, to prevent someone from recording their vocals over it. The vocal clip usually says something like YoureÂ listening toÂ a beat by XYZ. Contact email@example.com to purchase a lease, and is typically looped throughout the music every 20 seconds or so.
Although it does effectively discourage users from recording unconsented vocals on your intellectual property, it also discourages listeners from continuing to listen to your music.
Sound tagging is a double edged sword. One side offers protection against jacking of beats. The other side people dont bother jacking them because the vocal tags are too annoying to listen to.
Therefore, we must weigh our costs. Is it worth having that an annoying loop to prevent people from downloading and spitting over your beat, or claiming it as their own? Lets take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of sound tagging your beats:
Prevents rap artists from recording over your beats without paying or obtaining proper permissions
Prevents scammers from downloading your rapÂ beats and claiming them as their own, and/or reselling them to other customers
Provides an advertisement to listeners and informs them about where to listen or get more of your music
Lower replay value and discourages listeners from promoting yourÂ music through distribution or exposure
Annoying and discourages listeners from wanting to listen to the beat in its entirety.
At first it may seem like the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. But this is untrue. You must consider the probability and ratio of people who will jack your beats or resell beats compared to the ratio of people who legitimately want to just enjoy your music. Sound tagging, in its essence, is taking part of the enjoyment out of listening to your beats because of the sudden vocal clip that cuts into the mood of the music.
The chances of someone stealing your beats is very slim. Most hip hop musicians who truly believe in becoming successful or take their work seriously will not jeopardize their reputation or career by infringing on rights. Performing over your beats without your consent is strictly against the law. The majority of hip hop musicians, if they truly enjoy your work, will pay you for what you deserve. And if they cannot afford it, they will most likely ask you if they can use it with your permission first. Those who jack yourÂ rap beats and rap over them to make a quick buck or to resell your rapÂ beats do not last long in the industry. They will remain as nothing but amateurs as long as they do not proceed the legal way, or know how to pay respects where respect is due.
Furthermore, if these people who steal your rap beats and make money off of them without your permission and they start banking some big money or gets with a major record label, then perfect its lawsuit time for truly