Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shhhhhh... Haystack Is Now In Beta

After almost two years grinding away in our startup sweatshop over by the Jacob Javits Center, Haystack is finally in private beta. With great pride (and a little trepidation) we switched the IP over from our dev servers at 5:42 yesterday evening.

Right now, we're in "soundcheck" beta mode- fixing bugs, polishing the chrome, and getting music content in from content partners, friends, and family. We will slowly be opening the service to the public. If you're in a band or from a label, we'd love to have you aboard. Please sign up for entry at the site. We promise that we'll let you in as soon as we can.


Anonymous said...

Mr Wilson,

I hope you had nothing to do with crafting haystack's terms and conditions. To quote:

"you hereby grant to, a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services."

The broad-ranging freedom this gives Haystack is amazing and ripe for abuse. I'm not talking about how providing free content helps promotions, more about your buddies insound creating compliation discs with band's songs on it and the artists not seeing a dime (which appears to be the loophole created here). And, while I'm sure it's not the intention had when writing the terms, it certainly does nothing to prevent haystack from doing that or worse to artists. Think back to the companies like Gator, which had no intention of using the data it stored about you for commercial purposes, that is, until times got bad and they needed to pay the bills.

I can't imagine any band that bothers to read these terms will sign up, and certainly none already signed to record labels. I mean, would you let one of your artists be subject to this kind of scheme? I wonder if you will be Billy Bragg's next target.


PS - The word Services is capitalized, but is not defined in the terms, making it hard to fully understand how unlimiting a power the website is trying to provide itself in possibly exploiting artists.

BW said...

That was an early draft of the TOS which made it to Beta. There is new language up there now.