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 Forum index » Discussion » Schmooze
Cheating in a music competition
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Heathen_HM



Joined: Jan 19, 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Cheating in a music competition
Subject description: What would you do if you spotted cheating in a music competition?
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.

I'm kicking off this discussion because I'm stuck between two views and would value new viewpoints, other opinions and advice.

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The Background:

I've entered a music competition being run by (let's call them) FamousBrand. FamousBrand are using (let's call them) AudioSchmodio facilities to run the competition - upload entries, etc. The competition rules state that:

(a) you must fully comply with all rules
(b) your entry is all your own work
(c) you must use the audio samples of Famous Artist provided by FamousBrand in your entry
(d) you have no rights to the samples other than for the entry, and no rights to further distribute them or the entry
(e) you pass all IP rights in your entry to FamousBrand

In addition, to use AudioSchmodio facilities you must agree to:

(f) not 'artificially enhance' the amount of plays you get via the AudioSchmodio facilities.


Within a couple of weeks of the competition starting there were already folks entering tracks that had been published before the competition audio samples were available, so it's hard to see how they could avoid breaking rule (c).

Other tracks were remixes of established chart artists' tracks, fully crediting the original artists, so not 'all their own work', and again published before the competition samples were available. There goes (b).

Entries were being offered for both free and paid download with open Creative Commons licences on them that claimed credit for the entrant, but no mention of the samples' owners or their rights or of Famous Artist. That's (d) and (e) gone.

Early in the competition entrants were spotted who had several AudioSchmodio accounts - for their different recording aliases, their company, and so on. They openly used the different accounts to play and even congratulate themselves on the great remix they'd done. There's (f) broken too.

(Others gained 'plays' at exactly the maximum rate they could be played by one person, over and over, for several hours until it was pointed out to them that they'd been rumbled - at which point the plays decreased significantly.)


The competition has been running for months, and I made FamousBrand aware of these problems a couple of weeks in. They replied that they'd investigate. They took action on some entrants, forcing them to stop offering downloads - but more people entered, and they started offering downloads again. FamousBrand said I should expect action 'soon' on the people breaking the rules. They said that those that broke the rules would not go forward to the judges.

A week before it closed, I reminded them, and pointed out that about half the entrants were still breaking one or more of their rules. They haven't replied.

They've now stated publically that ALL the entries will go forward to be judged.

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The Problem:

If I entered a competition that demanded three proofs-of-purchase for entry and I only provided two, I'd get disqualified - but here, I'm watching people that have ignored the requirements, the artistic constraints and problems of having to use the Famous Artist samples, being allowed to enter and be judged equally.

If I handed in an essay at college and had plagiarised the text, I'd get punished, but here people are claiming other's works - both the samples AND the tunes and lyrics - as their own without penalty.

If I ran for mayor and got caught stuffing made-up votes into a ballot box I'd get disqualified and arrested - but here, people are making their tracks look more popular without any comeback.


I'm torn about going public with this. Do I (A) try to shame FamousBrand into cleaning up the competition, or (B) keep quiet?

The worry is that moment I open my mouth about it FamousBrand are likely to get extremely embarrassed and so annoyed, and there goes any chance I have of possibly winning the competition.

I'm also torn about timing if I do choose to go public - do I (C) do it now, and scupper my own chances, or (D) wait until after, but then it'll maybe just look like sour grapes?

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So - what are your thoughts, opinions and advice?

What would YOU do?

.
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audiodef



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd ignore the contest, the brand, and everything about it. If it's all a big mess, it's not worth another second of my time. I wouldn't bother trying to report anyone, either. If the brand isn't capable of weeding out invalid entries - or perhaps if they don't even care - then again, not worth my time.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is most likely not a competition you would want to touch anyway. That being said, you should publish the details + the name of the famous brand. There is no point to have competitions if the party that arranges the whole thing also ignores the the rules they themselves made.
As for the brand itself.. that means nothing as the whole thing is a promotion event anyway and you are not dealing with real people here, but instead these are social media marketing experts.

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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would have ignored the thing anyway just based on the rules in the first place.

But on principle, it should be called out.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Music is not competition ... you could name and shame them, but that was foreseen and is part of the marketing plan; just forget it, and make your own music.
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DES



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would wait and see who they pick. If it's one of the suspect entries and especially if it's one you told them about early on, call them out on it. On a public forum or YouTube. Just make sure your facts are solid.

I personally believe most of these competitions are rigged anyways. Still, it can help other people down the line avoid wasting time with FamousBrand contests and products.

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Heathen_HM



Joined: Jan 19, 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

.
Hello again!

Thanks for all the helpful advice, which basically had a common theme of 'put it out your mind and move one', The only real difference was whether I should also name names - like me, you seem evenly split on that.

I took your advice to heart, and spent the last month ignoring the contest and getting one with writing and recording new stuff.

Thanks guys, that was excellent advice!
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