Warning Is Tunecore A Scam

Posts 1 - 25 of 46
  1. 508776
    DaddyLongLegs : Sun 19th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    Hey everyone, I came across the advertisement on Looperman, which several of you have probably run into before, for Tunecore, a website that claims to distribute your songs via Itunes, Amazon, Emusic, etc and give you 100% of the royalties while you keep all your rights. I was so excited to sell my music as easily as Tunecore stated they could, but once I read their Terms & Conditions, (which I never usually do, but this time I felt like I should) I found this and got the eeby-jeebies:

    "" By clicking the "I Agree" button, you ("you") irrevocably grant to Company, throughout the world and during the Term (as defined below), the non-exclusive right:

    * (a) to sell, copy, distribute and otherwise exploit the "Recordings" (defined below) by all means and media (whether now known or existing in the future) through the any and all Internet consumer stores (e.g., "iTunes", "Rhapsody" and Amazon) now operational or hereafter available;
    * (b) to collect all income deriving therefrom; and
    * (c) use the name(s), photographs and likenesses, artwork images, biographical and other information provided by you or the artists whose performances are embodied on the Recordings in connection with the Recordings and Company's general business.


    Sounded very fishy to me and naturally I had to do some more research before I have such rights up to a website I barely knew. I found this:

    Tunecore - Biggest scam in music industry

    But doing more research, I also found this and this:



    Something shady seems to be going on with TuneCore and their practices. My conclusion from reading these articles is that Tunecore takes and sells the music without informing the artist that he or she needs to license his or her music in order to receive any royalties. They "hope" that the majority of artists overlook this, and are too poor to come up with the legal work once requested for it so that TuneCore gets to keep the royalties.

    But that's my limited take on what's going on since I haven't actually joined TuneCore. I know Looperman would never knowingly endorse a website that steals money from artists, so I wanted to bring this to the attention of everyone and see if anyone has had any good or bad experiences with TuneCore? I'd like to distribute my music and sell it so that I can make music my number one focus, but I don't know who to trust! Thanks everyone!

  2. 673599
    Metabolic : Sun 19th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    ive signed up to tunecore, not sent em any tunes or card details yet, thanks for the warnin man

  3. 636839
    simmerdown : Sun 19th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    if it sounds too good to be true....

    100% to the artist doesn't even make sense, they have to make money somehow, maybe as you said, they are counting on the high percentage of users who won't read the fine print...good lookin out there DLL

  4. 509462
    Unknown User : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    as far as I'm concerned, it's all a scam, viva la indie

  5. 673599
    Metabolic : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    @cadence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSq5gCztPp0

    thisll give ya a giggle

  6. 509462
    Unknown User : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago


    Makes me laugh

  7. 321761
    djctx : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    hi there, well the part of the agreement u have pulled up is actually fully legal, but the royality part is where it can get messy, the best thing to do before signing up to any of these kinda to good to be true places is to sign up for prs (royality collectors) this way u can collect all your royalites yourself ;) there nothing suss about the agreement as it is a standard agreement that u let tunecore sell promote rent etc on a non exclusive basis which is fine but from what i can see if u join tuncore your gonna get ripped off so stay away,best to go to well known labels yes they may get a cut but on the plus side they do have at least 300 stores including beatport etc

  8. 630386
    JoeFunktastic : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    CdBaby has been around for quite some time now and seems to have a better flow model in my opinion.


  9. 321761
    djctx : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    check out tunecore quickly just to see what is what, yeh defo stay away, there using the reverbnation style where u pay a fee to release, anywhere that asks u to pay to get your music released is a no go, plus i dont know if half the artists on there r actually on there, most would have thier own labels they distrubute through, eg ziggy marley would never be on there, cont touch with a tenfoot barge pole guys ;)

  10. 321761
    djctx : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    ment to write checked lol

  11. 636839
    simmerdown : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    check out bandcamp too, it's legit

  12. 321761
    djctx : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    this is one of the labels im with, they release on 300 plus stores plus r full on for psyhical release on vinyl cd etc, http://www.brmelectro.com/ this label is owned by a man many people knew when he was a emi record star (bruce ruffin) there r many more old timers shal we say helping out talent like yourselves :) hence why i know about signin with prs etc, this is the kinda place u need to find for releasing through, better safe than sorry i say, plus throught that ive now got links with a man called tim meyer and a name u might know well eric prydz :) trust me guys there is hope for people like us, im a prime example but plz dont sell yourself short on places like tuncore, if u want advice or even help to get a label deal, let me know at and ill be happy to help, ive already help 5 great talents in the last couple of months :)

  13. 630386
    JoeFunktastic : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    I'd also recommend the U.K. based company DittoMusic to anyone anywhere even if you are here in the United States of America.


    Also checkout their Ditto Music vs Tunecore summary.


  14. 321761
    djctx : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    yep band camp is a good one to as its direct selling from u to the consumer, i use that for my tracks i didnt release through labels :)

  15. 83445
    JohnBoutilier : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    A lawsuit might be beyond the reach of many individuals. but a class action suit might not. If enough people who had been vicimized by the site got together, they might be a little more willing to pay up. Also, with greater numbers comes the chance for greater success.

    Anywas, I would have been put off as soon as I read 100 percent of the money goes to the artist. Everything foe nothing just does not exist.


  16. 66575
    BlaqhstarrMusic : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    This is interesting. For the record I never signed up for any music distribution sites and from understanding, a lot of the independent artist who think that Tune Core is ripping them off is because they did not have the proper paper work. Tune Core expects the artist to have everything in check before distributing said music recording or lyrics. Before I sign up for anything I make sure I have everything in order instead of just blindly dropping of music to unknown mediums. All I'm saying is get your stuff together before you make that big step in to the market.

  17. 511508
    PeterWells : Mon 20th Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    I have to jump in here. I need to talk about who we are and what we do, but I don't want to come across as a big advertisement. Please understand, I'm just trying to show how it all works. First, the facts:

    TuneCore was started five years for one reason, to stop artists from getting taken advantage of. There is absolutely no reason why any artist that wants it should not have access to distribution, and they should be able to get i without having to give up any of their rights or revenue from the sale of their music. Almost half a decade later after we launched, by treating artists treated the way they should be, TuneCore is now the largest distributor of artists and music in the world.

    Each and every artist that chooses to use TuneCore receives 100% of the money from the sale of the music via non-exclusive agreement that they can cancel at any time. This includes TuneCore Artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Girl Talk, Joan Jett, Slade, Cheap Trick, Jay-Z, Drake, Aretha Franklin, MGMT, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Keith Richards, Ziggy Marley, Moby, Bjork, Dandy Warhols, Iggy Pop, Frank Zappa catalog, Jason Mraz, Soulja Boy, David Lynch, Better Than Ezra, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the over 500,000 that we are privileged and excited to serve.

    In regards to your posting, most of the information is not correct. Please consider this response an open offer to do a live webchat with us--we will broadcast real time via uStream, and anyone here can absolutely ask any questions they want. If this is something you would like to do, just write me.

    Now, about those "reviews" you link to. First, these are to the same person: a person who stated they had cleared all the legal rights to their music but had not and violated copyright law. In many cases people do not know copyright law, in other cases they do and willingly choose to infringe on it to try to make money. Either way, they're infringing, and some third party contacted iTunes and said the music was violating their copyright. So of course, Apple sent a legal notice to TuneCore notifying us that this person was violating someone elses rights. We in turn told the artist and, instead of responding to us, sadly, they decided to make things up and post additional false claims on blogs. We can't stop them, but I can at least tell you the truth.

    Yes, everyone gets 100% of whatever royalties the stores pay when their music sells. We feverently believe EVERY artist should have access to distribution and not have to give any of their rights or money for the sale of the music. We charge an up-front delivery fee: that’s it. Got a single you distributed into in iTunes AmazoMP3 etc.? For a flat fee of $9.99 it will be live in less than 24 hours, and we even provide an exlucsive iTunes Ping Artist Page and a streaming media player. For an album, it’s $49.99--that’s it. We believe its wrong to take money from the sale of your music. We make money by charging that fee, that's how we stay in business, and it's only fair.

    In 2009 and 2010 alone, TuneCore Artists sold over 180 million units earning over $100 million dollars--and every penney has gone out. I'm offering these stats not to make us sound great, but to prove we're legitimate.

    You write, "My conclusion from reading these articles is that Tunecore takes and sells the music without informing the artist that he or she needs to license his or her music in order to receive any royalties. They "hope" that the majority of artists overlook this, and are too poor to come up with the legal work once requested for it so that TuneCore gets to keep the royalties."

    With all due respect, that’s just completely wrong and an absolutely ridiculous business model. It is illegal to keep money from the use of people’s copyrights and to be honest, I could not have even made this concept up if I tried. We don't want our artists ignorant, and in fact, we have seminrs and presentations about copyright and or blog. We created booklets to help them understand how it works: http://www.tunecore.com/guides--free for anyone, whether or not they're TuneCore customers. An educated artist is the only way they can be safe in this business, it's part of why we created TuneCore, to give people the tools they need.

    Now, to the snippet you take from our Terms and Conditions. You didn't mention the length of the term, which is CANCEL ANY TIME and NON-EXCLUSIVE. Of course you're granting us the rights, but you can withdraw at ay time, no questions asked. Do the right thing, read the entirety of our T&C, it's all there in black and white.

    So let's do a video chat, live. Let's talk. You and all Looperman folks are welcome to write me with any questions.



  18. 370613
    EternalDefinition : Wed 22nd Dec 2010 : 9 years ago

    I have been with TuneCore for 2 albums now and as far as I can tell they are legit.

  19. 524564
    Anna1403 : Thu 13th Jan 2011 : 9 years ago

    Tunecore is NOT a scam. I've distributed music through them and know others that have, as well. When I was working for an indie label, while we were distributed nationally physically by the "indie" arm of one of the majors (WMG has ADA, UMGD has Fontana, Sony has RED, EMI has Caroline), we actually initially distributed our music digitally through Tunecore. We later signed a digital distribution agreement with the major, but actually made more money and were consistently paid faster by Tunecore. There are pros and cons to major label distribution systems, and I don't want to have a big label bashing rant, but the fact of the matter is that Tunecore is a great service that also has great customer service (as you can see from Peter's post). If you follow the industry, Tunecore does play a big role, has major relationships and has done (and continues to do) important things for the independent music community.

    As much as they do a great job with providing educational resources for musicians, it's ultimately actually not their job to educate you. It's YOUR career. You need to have at least a basic understanding of copyright law and royalty streams. There are plenty of ways to actually get ripped off in this business (but not by Tunecore), so educate yourself using credible resources. There are a bunch, but this one is actually quite good: http://www.artistshousemusic.org/.

    With regard to the person posting about PROs (Performing Rights Organizations) - they DO collect royalties on your behalf but:
    1) they collect public performance royalties (different royalty stream than digital distribution to online stores)
    2) they also have sign up fees (ASCAP, for example, is $35) - which are one time. They then collect your royalties on your behalf and deliver them to you. In that regard it's similar to the Tunecore structure and ASCAP is a more than reputable organization that has been around since 1912. (ASCAP is a non-profit, and there are lots of other differences, of course, but just wanted to note another one time fee only example)

    I know the music industry is a complicated place that, especially now, is changing every minute. But please, please, do your homework! As cliche as it may sound, "Knowledge is power."

  20. 553092
    greenhornest : Fri 25th Feb 2011 : 9 years ago

    tunecore is a ponzi scheme. waiting for 2 months to be paid is ridiculous and they also like to round up income from later in one month to the next month so they can delay payment as much as possible. They are taking a cut from each song sold too which they claim they don't. itunes only takes 10 cents per, not 30. My music is still up and running and I had no problem with them uploading it. They're just really milking every musicians tit that they can. bunch douchebags

  21. 83445
    JohnBoutilier : Fri 25th Feb 2011 : 9 years ago

    Of course it is

  22. 83445
    JohnBoutilier : Fri 25th Feb 2011 : 9 years ago

    btw from wikipedia

    A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.

    The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities. As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases. While the system eventually will collapse under its own weight, the example of Bernard Madoff's investment scandal demonstrates the ability of a Ponzi scheme to delude both individual and institutional investors as well as securities authorities for long periods: Madoff's variant of the Ponzi scheme stands as the largest financial investor fraud committed by a single person in history. Prosecutors estimate losses at Madoff's hand totaling roughly $21 billion, as estimated by the money invested by his victims. If the promised returns are added, the losses amount to $64.8 billion, but a New York court dismissed this estimation method during the Madoff trial.

    The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi[1] who became notorious for using the technique in early 1920. Ponzi did not invent the scheme (for example Charles Dickens' 1857 novel Little Dorrit described such a scheme decades before Ponzi was born), but his operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States. Ponzi's original scheme was based on the arbitrage of international reply coupons for postage stamps, however he soon diverted investors' money to support payments to earlier investors and himself.

    Knowingly entering a Ponzi scheme, even at the last round of the scheme, can be rational economically if there is a reasonable expectation that government or other person or organisation will bail out those participating in the scheme.[2]

  23. 375728
    Cybertooth : Fri 25th Feb 2011 : 9 years ago

    heard about that
    i dont give a damn about stuff like that anyways
    maybe ill sign on and get the lawsuit just for press, no matter how much, i can rise from that, small price to pay dont you think?

  24. 337508
    subSpace : Fri 25th Feb 2011 : 9 years ago

    my suggestion would be register with reverbnation they have a store that does the same thing and from what i have gathered they are kool to go with and sell music failing that there is this site i use it i have not made no sale yet but its free to post tracks for licencing and they take a fee off the overall selling price with out charging you in advance so to say i recommended this site highly as when you put a track up on this site you select a contract to go with it and you get a choice of free just check it out you wont be disappointed its free to join


    rolla g

  25. 337508
    subSpace : Fri 25th Feb 2011 : 9 years ago


    here is the link for that site

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