In October 2015 British singer Imogen Heap made headlines by publishing her song “Tiny human” with help of the Ethereum blockchain. A new website makes it now very easy to take a peak behind the scenes and see the contract code that governs the royalty contract. The website is called live.ether.camp and you can view the contract here.
This excerpt of the code for instance shows how the money from the sale of “Tiny human” mp3s is divided between Imogen Heap and her seven colaborators:
shares[“Imogen Heap”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 912500; //91.2500
shares[“Stephanie Appelhans”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
shares[“Diego Romano”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
shares[“Yasin Gundisch”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
shares[“Hoang Nguyen”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
shares[“Simon Minshall”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
shares[“David Horwich”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
shares[“Simon Heyworth”][‘DOWNLOAD’] = 12500; //1.2500
The revolutionary thing about this contract is it’s self-executing nature. This means that the payouts to the musicians are automatically and immediately executed in the instant that a download is sold. Ever heard of musicians being ripped off by the evil music industry? Well, if this sort of music publishing would take over, being ripped off would be a thing of the past. If you look closely at the contract details, you will see that the big music companies like Sony, Warner and Universal have no part in it.
The process of buying the mp3 in my opinion could still be improved though. The website Ujo, which hosts the song, asks you to create a wallet on their site for which you then choose a password. In the next step you have to charge your Ujo-wallet with the necessary funds (the ether amount that corresponds to 0.60 USD) and then pay the song from your Ujo-wallet. This was not how I expected this to work and I would prefer to pay directly from my wallet. However we can hope that this might be further improved, if this way of publishing music gains traction.