LegitMix is a hugely exciting new venture that I’ve been hearing an awful lot about in bits and pieces. So, today I signed up, and I’m still figuring it all out, but I’m looking forward to using it. From what I gather, this is a platform for mix making, be it a remix, a lengthy one with multiple tracks, mash-ups, mixtapes, DJ sets, etc. Choose a “mix” and the LegitMix software taps into your music database to search for usable files to recreate an existing file or make something original. If you don’t have a track in your library you want to use you can purchase it through the LegitMix site easily. This allows you to distribute your mixes or utilize them in your work (music documentaries, movies, art, etc.) legally and finally the conundrum of who makes money in the age of the dissemination of information is solved.
So, the main purpose is to solve the above problem and also, largely, to circumvent the need for licensing to use music for your projects. LegitMix serves as a sort of middle man so that you don’t have to blow your whole budget on copyright costs from record labels. The fees on the LegitMix site are really reasonable. If you sell your track you make a 70% commission. They have made the program super accessible and compatible with all sorts of browsers, servers, and operating systems.
The news right now is that Diplo has utilized the program to create a mix full with access to all the tracks used plus the track listing, which in and of itself is great. Anyone who has a 45 minute mix on their computer from a DJ they love has faced the often failing challenge of identifying a sound byte so good it gets stuck in your head for days. This solves that problem and offers a way to deliver it into your computer’s belly and your head.
Currently, I’m having issues getting past the “Settings” feature of my LegitMix account but I’m hoping to really get down to the bottom of this thing. As a consumer, as a DJ, as an artist, as a blogger, as a record label executive, whatever, this is big news. This is another step toward ending all the griping about the fallout of the music industry because it’s too easy to download everything for free. That fact will still be true, but perhaps this is amongst the first steps to figuring this internet world out and making it a better place for artists.
The LegitMix blog catalogs the accolades and highlights some of the mixes made.
Below: A breakdown of their mission in simple terms. It’s their job to say it better than I can, so here it is, straight from the dog’s mouth (or whatever the saying is…is anyone else a little brain melty over this heatwave?)
The Math of the Mix
Legitmix is a simple-to-use browser-based software application. Artists use it to create Legitmix files for their works containing other people’s copyrighted source music. The Legitmix file contains no audio and can’t be played in any way. Fans use a Legitmix file, together with the Legitmix software, and their copies of the source music (in any digital format) to recreate an artist’s work on their computer. If a fan doesn’t already own the source music, the Legitmix music store provides an easy way to buy it. The recreated work is identical to the artist’s version and is automatically imported into a fan’s music library along with their purchased source music.
Today, artists who use other people’s music in their work must negotiate distribution licenses. This often expensive and time consuming process makes it impossible for many artists to sell their music legally. Legitmix solves this problem by empowering fans to recreate the artist’s work on their computer using their copies of the source music. When a fan recreates an artist’s work using Legitmix, they are exercising their right to mix music they own for personal use. Legitmix delivers on the promise of copyright: to encourage artistic freedom while protecting a creators right to profit from their work.
Legitmix fosters a symbiotic relationship between artists and the copyright holders they sample— and music fans benefit. Artists, producers, and DJs create freely, avoid licensing headaches and profit from the sale of their Legitmix files and the associated source music. Musicians, labels, and publishers get paid when their music is purchased as part of the Legitmix process. Websites receive a commission when they refer sales. Fans get a convenient, legal way to support their favorite artists while building their music collection. Legitmix makes this possible by keeping a percentage from the sale of Legitmix files and source music.