Ways To Protect Your Finished Release?

Assuming you’ve done all the hard work. You’ve got a track done. Once finished how do you:

-Professionally burn to disk so that files are protected?
-Upload a protected sound file?

You mean making copies, or secure your files so that no one can steal from you?

For option 1: Tried dropbox?
For option 2: DRM.

Resist the temptation.

Unless you are eager to alienate your potential listeners, do not put any restrictions on your music. As I think of it, if you fail to profit from your art, you’re doing it wrong. You must gather certain fanbase before you can decide to go strictly commercial.

For every artist out there - you may do it for living, but don’t do it for money. Otherwise you’re not an artist, you’re a businessman.

You must encourage people to reward you for your hard work. Ask for donation, provide single tracks rather than the whole album. While all that effort may be in vain, being all hard ass on pirates will not get any cent either, unless you also enjoy suing more than making music.

Also, be prepared for the fact that sometimes an attempt to monetize your art ultimately fails. Accept life, it’s a property that’s universal to anyone that tries anything.

That’s just IMHO, more from consumer perspective, too. Excuse my rambling.

Oddly, as a writer, artist and a musician (my friends joke that all my chosen professions are profitless) I totally udnerstand waht you mean… But I’m not a communist. I agree partially with everything you said - partially. My reason being: Although I am wary that despite any/all efforts to protect my work, all sounds can be resampled. Of course they can. But you know when you buy an album physically and you make the mistake of opening it in windows explorer and there’s that wierd small file that claims to be a ridiculously small kb? I love that! I’m not saying I started this thread in order to ‘appear’ professional. I am actually wanting to to understand the professional aspects of a release. I will upload one of my six tracks on my EP for example onto sondcloud and throw it everywhere I can… but I would hate to have my first ever production that is nowhere near finished to be seen as something people can just throw around freely. By all means I want everyone to enjoy my music, but like everyone I think, I want to be respected for it. and as such I want to protect things like the simple artist label lol, so that people know its me. My EP when it’s done I’ll be selling for pittance. If it was money I would BE a businessman. I enjoy the art of music production and tyhe joy it can bring, but want to be credited also. Selfish. Yes I think so. But actually, I can take that criticism with a pinch of salt.

God I rambled lol… Sorry haha I was not intending to write so much

Dropbox is from what I gather an online file host no? I actually meant a physical CD ROM (sorry if that wasn’t clear) and DRM… I did google it, it just came up with digital rights management. It’s obviously exactly what I want, but would you care you elaborate on your knowledge as yo how I may do so?

I think the only solution is to make it very accessible and sell it through all possible marketplaces, your own website, iTunes etc.

There is always one problem with very talented artists - because of they talent and focusing on work - they are bit separated from reality ;)

Are you conscious that following with DRM idea you are becoming communist? ;)

No - I am not joking at all. DRM assumes that YOU know better how your fans should treat their private property - your artwork after buy transaction.

OPS, I forgot, with DRM there is no private property - because YOU are the GOD. And you are smarter than listeners.

I have never bought any album protected by DRM. And I will never do (well, never say never - at least I am not going to)… There are two reasons - first - I am not pretty sure If I would be able to use it (Linux user here), second… There is a long story story about “DRM vs freedom of use”… And I am not big fan of Wikipedia, but you can read some facts here:

In January 2007, EMI stopped publishing audio CDs with DRM, stating that “the costs of DRM do not measure up to the results.” [12] Following EMI, Sony BMG was the last publisher to abolish DRM completely, and audio CDs containing DRM are no longer released by the four record labels.[13]

and so on.

Please read this:

and look here:

http://us.7digital.com/ and here: http://www.7digital.com/

Independent on music taste - artists like “Britney Spears”, “Chase and Status”, “James Blant”, “Nero” - I assume that you heard about them.

Starting with DRM will limit number of potentially recipients of your artwork. Its like with painter - you are buying picture, because you want to put it into bedroom. During night, couple of guys coming to your bedroom and relocate painting to toilet or kitchen - because they want to ;) Sounds silly bit right?

I hope you will reconsider your approach :yeah: :)


Artists need to eat too :drummer:

You can always do something like what I did. Still create music, make a company and work in the industry when possible. During the downtime, get into something close to music creation.

For me I work at a AAA video game company as the senior audio director / sound designer / music producer. That’s my void filler if is slow in the industry.

Best Regards,

Unless you are a studio musician putting in the hours to play while someone else records, or have a job like Dezacrator’s, then making money in the contemporary music business has nothing to do with protecting your finished release. For every successful band, there’s four dozen other people involved that have nothing to do with the band. These people will need to be paid. Your hobby tracks are far from the mark. Google “publicist” to start.

Please read the following manual:


The best “protection” is to license your work accordingly, participate in your music scene, and hope for the best. This article and ensuing discussion should be read with that in mind.


Good luck.

In soviet Russia, DRM breaks YOU!

Stupid joke, sorry. But seriously, man. There isn’t an ideal music protection thing. Against every hack there is a hack. If you’re talented, you will be payed. If there is a low demand, do it like thousands of other people do. Dezcrator here f.e… Even Andrew Sega basically used to do the same thing!!! He worked at Microsoft for a short while as a programmer for Freelancer and at the same time composed the OST for that game.

Quoting Sean Tyas (DJ Mag #46):
“…illegal downloads, though annoying on one hand, can be a massive acceleration to people getting exposed to your music.”


EDIT: wth did i just write…

Have to disagree. There are many, many indies out there that record, mix, master and release music with the need for dozens of people to be involved. Teh Internet and the likes of SoundCloud/Twitter/forums have helped to alleviate this


Big Question: Are you going to be ripped off? If so, to what damage? 10s? 100s? 100,000s?

Any protection can (and will be) hacked. It’s a challenge and as long as they keep coming, they’ll get hacked. Just look at computer software…

Now, Metallica were a very small band in the Bay Area of San Francisco in the metal unfashionable late70s/early 80s. There was no internet. The publicity was word of mouth (or rather by 5th generation cassettes). They enjoyed great success and so did other other bands riding on the New Wave of heavy metal. Then the internets. Then Napster. And then they whined…

“We’re so rich BUT we could have been richer if those mullet-headed dweebs bought MOAR of our stuff”. Biting the hand that feeds; drunk guys in a garage or at a world’s stage? Some bands embrace bootlegging of gigs (U2), others encourage remixes (NIN)

It’s a well known thing in software development that those who steal will and would never have bought your stuff in the first place. Lost sale or free publicity? Only you can decide that based upon statistics

The simplest way to protect your music is by sending a master via registered post to yourself. Or use a family solicitor to hold it in there safe with a signed statement (they might do this for free if you have wills, deeds etc with them). I have actually found some banks will help

At least, you can prove that you wrote a piece of music first. Can you afford to take an offender to court? It costs megabucks and if you’re against the likes of Coldplay, no chance. Joe Satriani got a mega payout, but for a relatively unknown with not that much money, won a very large case but it’s very, very rare

Bottom line is: If you like writing music and it is good, then people will buy it and you will be rewarded (money? fame? sex? some or all of them?), but thinking about things like DRM for an unestablished artist is a a step too far

In general, it’s a case of “better to have 10% of 10000s than 0% of nothing” I’m afraid

Rock bands make money from touring and t-shirt sales, not from record sales. There would be no “90s UK rave scene” without bootleg cassettes. I’m not saying that I like it, just the way that it is

In any case, I wish you the very best of luck! Just make sure you clear your samples!..really! ;)

@bluszcz I am intrigued as to how you deem DRM as communism. Surely it’s capitalism at the extreme ie you buy my stuff but you don’t really own it and if you lose it, you have to buy it again. Maybe not for this thread… ;)

not much to do with protecting your music, but in regards to spreading it round has anybody heard of or used Zimbalam?

found them the other day, havn’t used them but think about it for a future release…

they take care of spreading your stuff to all the digital distributers (itunes et all) and collect payments for you. price is 35 € once for an album - seems fair imo.

doesn’t help with getting known but at least you don’t have to deal with all the distribution malarky.


your point is valid, and i can appreciate your romantic view of the artistic profession. however, be aware that, in modern (visual) art at least, the last thirty or so years have been a steady progression from artist into artist/businessman. artists have been teaching themselves how to make a living in a western economy, and have learned to treat their work as business. you could argue that makes them less ‘artistic’, but in my opinion their work does not suffer from it. take a look at Andy Warhol, or Salvador Dali. they managed to combine the two perfectly.
if you think about it, it’s only a smart thing to do. i used to live my life idealistically, hating capitalism and society and whatever, but at some point i realised that you cannot escape that system, because it is your reality. so you need to deal with it. when Andy Warhol started pissing on a piece of metal and selling that stuff as ‘oxidation art’, that was a brilliant way of combining the two and still being remaining true to his artistic self. make fun of the system, exploit the system, use the system.

i would focus more on making something sooooo shit hot that eeeeeveryone in the world is going to want a copy,…

cos unless you have that,… copyprotection of any kind will only do harm to you as an artist.

if what you have is soooooo amazing, then no matter how many times it gets ripped or how many torrent sites its on,… you’ll still get the credit as the guy who made that shit hot track, and who knows what money making respect building doors might open for you as a result.

Simple: Don’t release your stuff. You are now totally protected.

This is actually much-much better PR than DRM’ing your track.

Especially ironical is the fact that the same guy who wants to DRM his first tracks, also created this thread few days ago: Methods For Sampling :rolleyes:

ha, didn’t notice that…

If the boiling point is about respect, perhaps some questions about how humans give and receive respect would pave a different path other than protecting a sound file.

I dont release my output and play it back for friends at game nights or keep it only for me (most of my tracks have intime sampled material).

For family members i make sometimes a track as a present for birthdays. I like to open renoise with my childrens and let them play around at the keys while i am more the technically support.


I’ve really started something off here… Oops lol I just thought I’d just say I really agree with everything you are saying. Of course I’m no Metallica, christ I’m not even a poor busker. I was simply asking for a bit of knowledge. I did not expect this kind of response, I have SOO many links to look at in this forum alone, so give me a little time to look through them and I’ll respond as hoenstly and as objectively as I can.

Do you slow down for car crashes? Yes I did create that thread, all artists use samples from clips. I wasn’t talking about sampling someone else’s music and claiming it as my own. It isn’t ironic at all… Both are beginner’s questions. I am a total beginner. chill man

That sounds so joyful :) fair play

fu53b0x did mention this at the end of his thread also, which validated my initial deduction.

Communism is quite the opposite of that… A communist, in theory would say I have no right to protect my works, because my works belong to the community as they are my equals and everything I own… they own… Hope I don’t sound too… You know lol

But thank you for all your information, I really appreciate your input. This was far more than I expected… Despite this political, economic approach to the thread, I would like it to be focused on the protection of files. By the looks of things I doubt I will even be doing it, but I STILL have not had a response about burning to CDs. Unless there has been… and I missed it. There was a lot to read.

Whether you sample someone elses music, elephant sound from discovery channel, or a Borg quote from Star Trek you are infringing copyrights, whether you claim it your own or not. But at the same time you try to avoid someone else sampling from your music at all costs. Kinda double standards isn’t it?

In all honesty, protecting your music is the last thing you should think of. As for a beginner, you should hope it spreads as much as possible instead.

About CDs:

Some major music labels tried to use DRM on their CD’s. For now they have stopped doing that cause they found it counterproductive. Pirates still get the music out, normal users have much more fuzz with the CD and are often forced to pirate the album instead to listen it on their portable media player.

Even most people who use computer rip the music to organize it better, to avoid wear on the original CD and to listen to the music, not the disk spinning in the machine. :)

Protection of files or protection of music?

Protection of file, as in DRM and the ilk, is (in my very humble opinion obviously) a bit no no. Unless you want protection as you are uploading for a specific user and only want them to be able to download/listen, and then you are talking encryption.

Protection of music: For example you don’t want to upload to Soundcloud, have some big band like Take That hear it and release a single that is so obviously your track it is undeniable. For this you need to Copyright your stuff. You will find many arguments on the 'net as to what is acceptable as proof of Copyright but it is generally agreed that just having the source files, with creation date pre-dating release of commercial (cover) version is not enough. Posting to yourself in a sealed envelope, as it will be date-stamped by the post office, is an oft-quoted method for those that can’t afford to leave with a solicitor with a recorded date etc etc. Have seen people argue that just posting to yourself isn’t enough though and have to admit I’ve never personally seen it be tried in court for proof of copyright. Remember even material under Creative Commons and similar licences you are still the Copyright holder, you just give certain permissions for how your work may be used etc etc, it doesn’t mean other people could come and claim it as theirs if they so wished.