Bans, Cover Tunes, and Tips

March 29th, 2010

I thought it was about time that I addressed a few things concerning some of the rules on Figment since they seem to keep popping up.

Band & Album Bans:

The first thing is why we ban bands and albums.  Although all of this is covered in our Figment Intellectual Property Policy document, I realize most people don’t have time to read all of the documentation involved with our site.  We ban bands/albums for a variety of reasons – copyright/trademark violations, real bands posting on our site, and inappropriate, sexist or hate-based content among others.

Without a doubt the most common reason though is the use of copyright images or trademarked brands/logos.  I don’t think I need to go into a long discussion of why this isn’t allowed (suffice to say we’re not fans of receiving mail from lawyers), but before you go using an image for your next band or album consider the following:

1.  Is the image of a famous person, a real band or from a film or TV show?

2.  Does the image contain information regarding the artist or does it contain a website URL?

3.  Does the image contain a logo, character or mascot from an existing band or company?

4.  Does the image contain something that is graphic in nature – violent or sexual?

5.  Does the image contain something that promotes, glorifies or in any way supports a hate-based group or is racist in any way?  So no Nazi imagery, anti-gay or homophobic band names or songs, racial slurs, etc.

If your answer to any of the above is yes, DON’T use the image.  While there are some exceptions to this rule – by heavily manipulating the image and/or using it for satirical purposes – it really is pretty good guide to follow.  If you don’t follow our advice, chances are we’re going to ban your band or album.

You can also help us police these types of image situations by using the links at the bottom of every band/album page (located just under the song titles) that asks you if you think this band/album is offensive or a copyright violation or simply by dropping us a line using the feedback link at the bottom of every page on the site.

We also ban bands because they have the same name as a real band.  Since Figment is a site devoted to fake bands we don’t want to invite any confusion about whether the fake and real band are one in the same, and we certainly don’t want to invite any legal problems as the result of a naming issue.  So please do a google search on your band name (search on the band name plus the words “the band”) to see if anyone is using a band name before creating the band on Figment.

Every time we do ban a band or album we always send an email to the email account you’ve associated with your Figment account, so if you notice that one of your bands/albums has been banned please check your email to receive some more instruction, and if you have any questions about the ban please drop us a quick email using the feedback link at the bottom of every page on the site.

If your band or album has been banned you can easily fix it by visiting your dashboard page.  If it’s an album you released it will be back in your Albums in Development list, while banned bands will simply be in your Bands list.  Edit the band/album to fix the problem (name or image) and then click on the remove ban link under the band or album on your dashboard page.  When you request a ban removal an email is sent to our customer service department who will review the edited album, and if all is okay will remove the ban and your band or album will once again be displayed on Figment.

Again, if you have any questions on these policies please read our Intellectual Property Policy document or drop us an email using the feedback link at the bottom of any page on Figment.

Covers:

A lot of bands on Figment release albums with “covers” of songs by real bands on them.  We understand that our players do this because they love those real bands, and in most cases we have no issue with that.  However, we’ve noticed that more players are starting to release albums made up entirely of covers, and in some cases albums containing only covers by one band.  To us this is not in fitting with what Figment is all about.  After all, there’s no music involved with Figment, so it’s about creating song titles that sound as if they could be real and even more so that help create the image of a band and an album.

While we have no problem with the occasional cover tune on a Figment fake album, we have decided to ban albums made up entirely of cover tunes.  Why?  Simple, because there’s not much creativity involved in it.   While it does give us some insight into what bands might have inspired your fake band, there are plenty of other places on Figment to list those influences, including the band and album descriptions as well as on your profile page.  In the end, if we allow everyone to just write down their favorite real songs what’s next?  Copying real albums in their entirety?  This is not what Figment is all about.  If you want to create lists of songs you love, there are plenty of sites that you can do that on, we’re not one of them.  So again, if you want to have your band cover a tune by a “real” band you love – no problem.  You can even release it as a single.  All we ask is that you give the real artist the appropriate credit by listing their name in parantheses next to the song title.

Now, if you want to create a cover album containing songs by another fake band on Figment we have no issue with that as long as you once again give the proper credit and ask the Figment player who created the song for the rights to cover that song.  You can do this by leaving a message on their band page using the shout box.

As for any cover albums that have already been released, we reserve the right to delete those albums or leave them on the site as we see fit.  No lucre earned from those albums will be taken away from the player who created them as a result of their deletion.  Any new cover albums created as of this date however, will be banned and any lucre earned will be removed from the creating player’s Figment account.

We hope this post provides some valuable information that will help you navigate our rules and policies.  Again we encourage you to read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy PolicyCopyright/IP Policies and even our Lucre Program documents to understand your rights, the basic rules of the site and what we expect of our players.  We also welcome any comments or questions you might have regarding bans, our new rule concerning cover albums or any other aspect of Figment you’d like to discuss.

5 Responses to “Bans, Cover Tunes, and Tips”

  1. TMTYTF Says:

    In May, I’m planning on releasing a Stonekrank album composed partly of cover songs and partly of previously unreleased tracks from earlier albums, would this be okay since it won’t be entirely composed of cover songs??

  2. eric Says:

    Yes, although we’d prefer if you kept the cover songs to a minimum.

  3. frizbee Says:

    I completely agree with the current overflow of cover songs/albums. I have no problem with the occasional cover song (Eccentric Arcade’s first and most recent album both contain a cover track), but it does get a little old seeing so many album that are only about half original content or albums that are just entirely covers. There were two of those on the front page yesterday alone. Paying homage is one thing, but this site is all about creativity. And where’s the creativity in simply copying something that’s already been done?

  4. ChildofAlma Says:

    Agreed. I released a cover album of various bands by Fallen Records and gave proper credit to each of them. I wonder if it’s still there.

  5. TMTYTF Says:

    As far as albums composed of covers only, I’ve released two, one for Fragment Shelter and one for Firecharged! (released through the Arrogant Bastards fan club). I understand the site is trying to glorify creativity, but then again I feel like the two cover albums I have released were relevant and necessary. Sure they’ve been done before, but the way I composed mine there were a variety of covers from different bands I thought would reflect a certain band’s sound and image, but since this is starting to become a habit, I see why they need to crack down

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