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The New Deal
by RegularJOE & Jared


Are we RECording?
Hit RECord.
Regular Joe here. It's New Years Day again, Twenty Ten, happy new year!
I have a New Year's Resolution I wanted to share with you, I'm calling it the New Deal.

HITRECORD.ORG is a project I've been working on for some time now, and this year, we're making some big changes.

As you might have heard, I've decided to make hitRECord into a professional production company. So on monday, january 4th, we're going online with our brand spanking new version four website, and introducing a new way, a new deal, to turn our collaborative creativity into professional productions and share the profits with the contributing artists.

In this RECord, I'd like to explain what we're doing, how it works, and why.

So without any further ado...


I've been an actor for 22 years. And thank you, thank you, and thank YOU, it's been going well recently. I've gotten to this point in my career where I have the opportunity to get projects off the ground, as opposed to being an actor for hire. Which means, it's time to start a production company. Which really, is something I've always dreamed of doing.

Now, in the last five years, as I was getting to do more and more movies that I really believed in and loved, I was also doing something else that I really believed in and loved.

I put up the very first version of on the same day that Mysterious Skin first came out in theaters. Well, theater, it was only playing at one.

Back then, it was just a single web page my brother and I put together to host some videos I'd made -- this was about a year before anyone ever heard of YouTube. Since then, the site's evolved through a few different versions, and now it's a place where I collaborate with a whole community of creative people: writers, filmmakers, editors, musicians, painters, photographers, candlestick makers.

We've been doing it for years now, we've sharpened our skills, and if I do say so myself, the stuff we're making has gotten pretty good. And in fact, I think we're ready to make things on a professional level. Which means, it's time to start a production company.

You might see where this is going. I find myself in the midst of this beautiful collaborative creative process. At the same time I find my career in the fortunate position to turn that creativity into professional productions.

I want us to make movies, I want us to publish literature and graphic art, I wanna curate live events, I want us to have a TV show, I want us to have a space, a venue for cinema and performance but also a studio for all sorts of creativity.

These are all things that we can make happen. But these goals are ambitious.
Just getting this new version of hitRECord ready, building the new website and drafting the new legal documents, I have spent a little over a hundred thousand dollars. Which I'm happy to do. If we want to accomplish things on the scale I'm envisioning, money's bound to be a part of it some way or another.

Now, I thought long and hard about bringing money into the equation with hitRECord. Being non-commercial was always a big part of its charm. We all know that money can be the root of all evil, but a lot of the greatest art of all time cost money to make, and definitely turned a profit. [DARK KNIGHT, SIMPSONS, SGT PEPPER]

Some of the things I hope for us to do will cost money. And I believe that the best way to achieve these goals is to become a legitamite for-profit company.
So I've spent the last year and a half working with friends, colleagues, agents, attorneys, from all over the spectrum ranging from Creative Commons to CAA to my dad. And we've developed a new kind of business model specifically tailored to meet the needs of hitRECord, the production company.


We use our website to work together on all kinds of projects in any type of media: video, audio, image, text, we call them all RECords. Anybody can contribute a RECord, and anybody can Resource, or sample somebody else's RECord and make something new out of it.

For example, if we were all gonna make a short film together, someone might write the story, someone else who likes that story might draw the characters, some one else still might animate those drawings, even more people might do a live action rendition, the music, the editing, the titles, the mixing and remixing, all coming from different artists from all over the world. [MORGAN M. MORGANSEN]

I participate on a regular basis. Sometimes I start collaborations, sometimes I just contribute. I'm always sort of around being the Director. And sometimes the drummer. [DRUMS]

And now and then, when I see something that I think will really work, I'll personally choose a certain something we've created together and use my position in the established media industry to turn it into a money-making production.

Now obviously, once money gets involved, you have to have a well-defined system of rules and regulations. We call ours The hitRECord Accord, and it basically says that everyone who joins has to legally agree to three things.

First thing, you give everyone in the community permission to remix your stuff. They're not allowed to sell it, and they always have to give you credit. But within hitRECord, we're gonna download it, sample it, mix it into Something else, refine it, revise it, reRECord it, and upload the new version. That's how we collaborate; getting remixed isn't considered theft on hitRECord -- it's an honor.

Second thing, when a RECord gets turned into a money-making production, the hitRECord production company will share what it makes after all the costs, fifty fifty, with everyone whose contribution made it into the final product. So, when you upload something to the site, you're agreeing to give hitRECord NON-EXCLUSIVE rights to make money with it. Non-exclusive, meaning we're not taking anything from you, you still own your stuff and you can still sell it however you want. It's just if my company and I can figure out how to turn a profit with it, we're allowed to do that, as long as we share those profits with you.

Third thing's pretty obvious, but worth saying. You gotta promise that whatever you upload to the site belongs to you, and just to you, without including anyone else