Hey, this sounds too good to be true! And it also sounds like a MLM scheme. Is MLM legal?
There are legal MLMs, and there are illegal MLMs. Tell My Friends is a legitimate company incorporated in Singapore, a country well-known for strict, no-nonsense laws and enforcement. MLM activities in Singapore are governed by the Multi-level Marketing and Pyramid Selling(Prohibition) Act. The Ministry of Trade and Industry administers the Act., first passed in 1973, and revised in June 2000.the Government concurrently enacted the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Excluded Schemes and Arrangements) Order (hereafter, referred to as the 'Exclusion Order') to exclude legitimate businesses from the Act, such as insurance companies, master franchises, and direct selling companies which fulfill certain criteria. This Exclusion Order was implemented in June 2000.
Illegal MLMs are schemes where you have to pay a joining fee in order to receive benefits, and benefits received come from recruitment of additional participants. In other words, you are paying money for nothing.
Legal MLMs, on the other hand, does not require joining fees, and benefits received come from the sale, lease, license of a product or service. For Tell My Friends, these products are music, apps, games, ebooks, videos and so on.
Tell My Friends isn't exactly a MLM scheme, but more of a social network marketing programme. Typical MLM schemes involve paying a substantially large premium for a product, and require a minimum sales target to be met before benefits are derived. Tell My Friends is a straight, no gimmick programme that rewards commissions for every referred sale, and products are priced very affordably, mostly less than a normal meal at a fast-food restaurant.
Is it piracy? Will I be liable for sharing songs this way?
Unlike other file-sharing sites and services (some of whom where shut down during the SOPA/PIPA episode), Tell My Friends only sells songs from music labels, artistes and other owners of digital products who have given Tell My Friends distribution rights in return for an agreed royalty. When you buy, it is a legal, licensed copy. When you share, you are sharing a LINK that tells your friends where to get the legal copy from. The link is specially generated by Tell My Friends using our proprietary system that keeps track of who the referrals are, so that we can share the revenue from each sale with those who helped share it. The source of the file is always from Tell My Friends. Your copy of the purchased digital product is yours to keep, and in accordance to international copyright laws on “fair use”, you may make copies for your own personal use, i.e., on your OWN computer, portable digital media player like iPods and tablets etc. You CANNOT make a copy and pass to your friend, but you can pass them the Tell My Friends link, and encourage them to buy from the link.
Where does the money go to?
We firmly believe in our mission: Help People. Save Music.
We started Tell My Friends because we empathize with the plight of musicians and other creative talent. Nobody makes money with their music anymore, and it is tough putting food on the table with the beautiful talent that they possess. Tell My Friends source for material from artistes and work out a distribution license with them, including singers, composers, lyricists, publishers, societies, labels etc, and determine how much they would like for each download sale. TMF does not dictate the price, unlike other famous web stores. The principle is simple - the larger portion of revenue from each sale belongs to the people who created the product.
Typically, at least 50% of the revenue from the sale of each product goes back to the people who created the product in the form of royalty - sound recording, mechanical and communication royalties. That's how we SAVE MUSIC.
The next largest portion goes back to consumers who act responsibly by doing the right thing. About 30% of the revenue from the sale of each product goes back to consumers in the form of commissions. These commissions are at the disposal of our users - you can choose to keep the commissions for yourself, or you can choose to donate it to a worthy cause through our Secret Angel Programme. That's how we HELP PEOPLE.
The remaining goes to government taxes, transaction costs and TMF's administrative costs to run and maintain the system.
How does Tell My Friends save music?
TMF works closely with societies like Music Publishers Singapore (MPS), labels, publishers and independent artistes to negotiate and determine royalty rates for each sale, before the product is put up for sale. We also help promote local musicians by organizing events like concerts and performances, and making available their music for downloads.
Where can I find songs to buy?
Anyone can set up their own music store with your links. You can find songs using TMF as a platform on artistes sites, or fan-created sites like Grumpy Tomatoes http://www.grumpytomatoes.com, or music labels like http://www.MusicGalaxyRecords.net . You can also find links on Facebook, Twitter and shops displaying QR codes of TMF songs.