I would like to make the following pieces of vital information perfectly clear in plain English:
- The contents of this website are copyrighted, and may not be used elsewhere without my consent. Just ask nicely!
- This is a highly subjective website, full of biased opinion. Please do not take it too seriously.
- As I do not believe in censorship, you may be offended by the opinions expressed, particularly in the forum.
- Do not attempt a similar journey based purely on information found on this website. Please double-check with other sources.
- Basically, do not hold me responsible for the accuracy of the information on this website!
Please be aware, when contributing in writing to this website, that:
- You are responsible for what you write, I will only remove unsolicited spam.
- The contents of this website are copyrighted, which includes your contribution! Whilst I will never claim to “own” the ideas you express on this website, I may, for example, use what you write as song-lyrics for the “global musical collaboration” (GMC).
Please be aware, when contributing musically to this website (to the GMC), that:
- The recordings you submit will become the legal property of Otherwise Records (www.otherwiserecords.com), officially a partnership. You will simply have to trust that we will look after your interests – Otherwise Records is a fiercely independent little record label run only by myself and my business partner Corinne Kempa, with equal shares. No money will be payable to contributors to the GMC.
- Otherwise Records will never claim to "own" the GMC (it belongs to everyone and no one!), but someone needs to control the copyrights in order to maximise the earnings to be spent on "charitable purposes" (see below). We will therefore be happy to discuss the handing back of copyrights to their original contributors after a reasonable amount of time, if the contributors wish to use their own contributions in their own musical works in the future.
- Otherwise Records will not make money from the GMC (though we will recover reasonable, direct expenses). We will publish our accounts to prove that all profits will be used for “charitable purposes” (see below). Otherwise Records is not a charity, though we may set up another company with this status in order to spend money “charitably” in the future, or change status.
- Otherwise Records will probably not be able to handle the charity-release on their own. We may have to join forces with a “big” record company, but we will fight to ensure that the proceeds are indeed used for “charitable purposes” (see below) and not just to make some fat cat even fatter.
- All the above relates only to the release of the music (i.e. as a CD or similar). Otherwise Productions (www.otherwiseproductions.com), an independent theatre, film and TV production company run by the same team, do intend to at least recover the cost of the journey and the post-production of the GMC from the documentary (working title “Humanity / Identity"). THE GMC WILL BE USED AS A SOUNDTRACK FOR THIS DOCUMENTARY! If you find this unacceptable, please do not submit any music. By submitting an mp3 file, you automatically accept this fact. But please bear in mind two things… Firstly, the documentary, when released at the same time as the CD, will be the perfect marketing tool for the CD-release! The documentary will therefore aid the success of the CD. Secondly, though an unlikely scenario, we will not keep any “obscene” amounts of profit for ourselves. After costs have been covered (roughly estimated at a minimum of £50000), we will donate a large part of the profit of the documentary to “charitable purposes” (see below).
- No money will be payable to subjects who appear in the documentary. They must accept that the footage will be edited. They must waive all rights of ownership of and compensation for the video and audio recordings, no matter how they are used.
Please be aware, when contributing financially through this website, that:
- I will not feel obliged to spend the profits from the sale of my CD (“Essence” – www.otherwiserecords.com) on anything in particular. Though you may reasonably expect it to be spent on this journey, the post-production and marketing of the GMC, and / or my future as a composer.
- Any money donated through PayPal will be spent specifically to support me on this journey, and to ensure the completion of the GMC. In the unlikely event of receiving more money than I need to make it around the world, it will be used on direct production costs and to support me during post-production, and then on marketing for the charity CD and the documentary, and the general running costs for Otherwise Records and Otherwise Productions during post-production (but not on wages!). If there is any money left after the completion of this project, it will be spent on a second trip around the world to distribute a share of the profits of the GMC to local charitable projects (see below). Beyond this, the money will be spent on my future musical projects.
- If I were to give up this project (which is not the same as completing the project with little or no “external success”), I will donate all money collected through PayPal to “charitable purposes” (see below).
- If I were to die or to become permanently incapacitated, all money collected through PayPal (not yet spent) will go to my business partner Corinne Kempa (who will then be the legal owner of all the copyrights!), if she wishes to complete this project. If not, she will donate this money to someone else who wishes to complete it, or to “charitable purposes” (see below).
What does “charitable purposes” mean?
As the world changes all the time, I believe that a charity cannot be chosen until the money is ready to be spent, which may be in 2010/2011. Firstly, a decision must be made on whether the music should be sold or given away for free. If released to make money, I would like a substantial amount of the income to be spent on a big, global, reputable charity dedicated to the fight against the inequalities in this world. This is a deliberately generalised statement, in order to keep most options open. My dream, particularly due to the nature of this project, would be to make the learning, playing and making of music easier and more accessible to a greater number of (particularly disadvantaged) people around the world, by supporting music in education, the setting up of music schools and centres, etc. But when you consider that people are still dying of starvation every day, the previous sentence seems perhaps rather hollow.
I will therefore leave this question open, for now. As stated before, neither I nor Otherwise Records will claim to own the GMC, we will simply control the copyrights. In exactly the same way, we will not own the profits from the GMC, only control them. I want the decisions on how the money is to be spent to be taken democratically by the contributors to the GMC through discussions and votes in a password-protected forum on this website.
I also hope that my experiences over the next three years will teach me how and where our money can be spent to have a local impact. Altruism only helps the helper; the only true value in charity is the practical result. I am hoping to come across small organisations and even individuals who are able to make a difference on a local level. Small injections of cash (based on a legal contract on how the money is to be spent, of course) should give practical, tangible results.
I may take a share of the profit from the documentary to fund a second a trip around the world, in order to distribute a share of the profit from the CD-release to local projects.
No matter what we decide, the way the money is distributed will be kept completely open, transparent, documented and accessible to everyone.
Update, March 2008: If all that wasn't plain enough, let me put it even more plainly: I don't give a shit about the money. The chances of any of these projects making money are very, very slim in any case, it's just not mainstream enough. Right now I think money is less able to solve problems in the world than a simple musical expression (unless we're talking about huge amounts for infrastructural projects). I'd either like to give the music away for free or to spend the proceeds on a big gathering of all the musicians in London, perhaps, for a once-in-a-lifetime musical performance. But, ultimately, we'll decide together.