The good old American thrash metal group Testament have decided to pull a Queensrÿche, and sell out! Well, kind of... Where Queensrÿche were selling pretty much all of their stuff, and then asking for investments in their company, Testament are selling certificates of ownership for a few of their songs with varying rarity and perks. You can get early access to their album coming in 2015, you can join Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson for an exclusive online shareholder’s meeting, handwritten song lyrics, and a foil embossed certificate of ownership. Pretty cool, and it doesn’t cost an insane amount of money.
Here's the website on New York Rock Exchange
And here’s the video of Chuck Billy explaining the situation:
Well, the major difference between what Testament is doing and what Queensrÿche is doing, is that Testament are just doing it for the fun of it, at least it seems like. They’re not trying to crowd fund for the new album or anything. Also, these shares that Testament are offering have no monetary value. They don’t actually entitle you to make revenue off the sales of this song, which is what Queensrÿche is doing. New York Rock Exchange’s terms make everything quite clear:
“In order to make this possible, we've entered into agreements to acquire the necessary copyright ownership rights, which we're passing on to Shareholders. Our ownership rights are subject to some very important restrictions and limitations. Which means Your Copyright Interest is too.
- THERE ARE NO EXPLOITATION RIGHTS IN YOUR COPYRIGHT INTEREST. You do not have any right or authority to administer, control, or otherwise exploit the Song's copyright, including Your Copyright Interest.
- THERE ARE NO FINANCIAL RIGHTS IN YOUR COPYRIGHT INTEREST. You do not have any right to collect, receive, or request any income (e.g., royalties, license fees, etc.) derived from the Song's copyright, including Your Copyright Interest.
- THERE ARE NO ENFORCEMENT RIGHTS IN YOUR COPYRIGHT INTEREST. You do not have any right to prosecute, defend, settle, or otherwise compromise any claims, demands, or actions related to the Song's copyright, including Your Copyright Interest.
- YOU CAN STILL BE SUED IF YOU INFRINGE. You can still be sued for infringement if you make unauthorized use of the Song's copyright, including Your Copyright Interest, irrespective of laws, rules, and/or regulations that would otherwise prevent a co-owner from taking legal action against another co-owner for infringement of the jointly owned work.
- TRANSFER OR ASSIGNMENT OF YOUR COPYRIGHT INTEREST IS RESTRICTED. You may only assign Your Copyright Interest by transferring the Songshare registration at www.newyorkrockexchange.com. Any other attempted assignment of Your Copyright Interest is absolutely null and void, and will result in an immediate revocation of Your Copyright Interest.
- YOUR COPYRIGHT INTEREST IS REVOCABLE. The New York Rock Exchange may revoke Your Copyright Interest at any time for any reason, with or without notice. Upon such revocation, Your Copyright Interest will automatically transfer and revert to the New York Rock Exchange by operation of law (i.e., voluntarily and without the necessity of a written instrument). You forever release and hold harmless the New York Rock Exchange, its successors, assigns, attorneys, agents, licensees, past and present officers, directors and any third parties furnished, engaged, or affiliated with the New York Rock Exchange (including participating artists), from any claims arising out of, or related to, the New York Rock Exchange's revocation rights relative to Your Copyright Interest.”
So, pretty much, it’s like buying a song on iTunes for $100, but you get a certificate that says you actually own it. It’s kinda collectible, but it’s not good for very much else. Chuck Billy also talked about what it’s like to be a metal band in the NYRE during an interview for the site, saying:
"What I feel about [being] one of the first metal bands being offered shares on the New York Rock Exchange, it's actually very exciting for me, being a metal musician of 30 yers, through all the struggles to get metal put on the map," adds Billy. "This is an opportunity to actually get fans around the world to be a part of what I do and what I give out to people and express myself. So I'm very excited to be able to share what my creations are to the world, through the New York Rock Exchange, and get me a little one step closer to all our fans."
You can watch the full interview here: