Startups & Funding

Legitmix: Make Money From Mixes Without Clearances (And It Might Even Be Legal)

Legitmix-logoLegitmix is one of the most innovative offerings I've seen to date.  It allows you to create legal, monetizable mixes that include copyrighted work without getting clearances. I'm going to focus on what it does but, if it survives future legal challenges, which may well come, and if it works properly with large numbers of users, Legitmix seems likely to be a huge success.

Legitmix Empowers Artists

Here's a great summary of what Legitmix does from their homepage titled "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."

Mix creators can sell their mixes via Legitmix. Copyright holders get paid when music is sold via Legitmix's music store and websites receive commissions on sales resulting from their referrals. Is this not a really smart solution to clearance and copyright concerns?

Legitmix's first public release was a Diplo/Mad Decent 40-minute set. However, last week El-P dropped "Rush Over Brooklyn", with a sample from Rush's "Tom Sawyer", that is the first official single release using Legitmix.

You can request an artist account whenever you're ready. Here's the FAQ for more info.

As clever a workaround as this is, I believe Legitmix will end up upsetting a lot of copyright holders and somebody is going to take them to court because that's just how things work. But, if they can survive legal attacks, I believe Legitmix has a bright future ahead.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He currently maintains a writing hub at Flux Research and periodically blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. It sounds like mixers DO earn on markups. Kudos to legitmix for pushing legit remixes forward. I hope this works.
    What about purchase via streaming (soundcloud and what nots)?

  2. This is pretty sweet. Seems like a small way for people to make money. The music is not exactly available to the masses, but it can generate money in a domain that otherwise wouldn’t. I can imagine that song might become quite pricy depending on how many samples are used.

  3. Tripp, it’s set up so that people can sell the mixes.
    Patrick, they’re not paying for the samples. People don’t buy a traditional mix, they buy a file that pulls whatever’s sampled from the listeners collection.
    If the listener doesn’t own it, then they have to buy it. What I’m now wondering is whether or not it just leaves an empty aural space or stops playing at that point.
    I think it’s a little confusing because the El-P mix is available as a Soundcloud file which doesn’t really make sense unless they’ve cleared the samples.

  4. Seems an interesting service but useless in term of copyrightholders. Do you truly believe that people are going to legally download the song that contains a sample, even though they are not really interested at all on it? I´ve just made the test with Diplo´s free remix of Sleigh Bells Tell´em track:
    1. Download from here
    2. Run Legitmix and select Diplo´s track.
    3. Search engine found the SB song by its own.
    4. Recognize and play it.
    So this proves that anyone can donwload those songs from any source and just play the mix. It simply makes it more amusing or dreadful depending on your time schedule.

  5. Clyde, My understanding is the whole file won’t unlock unless all the sources are present.
    Patrick, I agree that it might get pretty expensive to buy a Girl Talk album, but I can’t help thinking how much better hip-hop used to be when they were crafting it with the sweet old soul samples. Maybe we could see some crated classics recovered? Maybe some unauthorized Prince mixes?

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