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RAS Request FAQ

FAQ Index
1.Will you play [current popular song] by [current popular artist]? It's awesome!
2.How do you decide which requests to use for songs?
3.Since other people request titles, who owns the song rights? What if it's a hit?!
4.Aren't you just stealing people's ideas?
5.If you use my request, then you make the song "for sale only," can I have a free copy?
6.Will you write some music especially for our site, film, project, etc.?
Frequently Asked Questions Printer  Printable Version
1. Will you play [current popular song] by [current popular artist]? It's awesome!

     Sure, but we continue to be baffled as to how you plan on hearing our stereo from so far away.

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2. How do you decide which requests to use for songs?

     The whole purpose and goal of RAS is not to fulfill every single request, but to provide entertainment to a larger listening audience through our art (which happens to be inspired by you!). That means when we actually do use a request, we try to make the song appealing to everyone, not just the person who requested it. Songs specifically about one's partner, babies, aunts, friends, surgeries, and relatives are highly unlikely to get chosen (unless we put a devious twist on it), because they would only mean something to the person requesting it.

That being said, the request selection process is mostly a matter of gut feeling on our part (sometimes it also involves a little luck -- the right request being physically, and readably in front of us when we're on a creative streak, for example). Benj likes to call it "music composed on a per-inspiration basis." He reads every request and gives them all consideration, but every once and a while a request really catches his eye and he gets to work. Particularly unusual or poetic requests tend to stand out, especially when a request possesses both qualities. Other favorites are requests that contain both subtle humor and fascinating insight. But don't be discouraged, and please don't dismiss your ideas if you feel they don't qualify! We need them unfiltered for the best effect and variety -- from wise to inane. As for Jeremy -- he checks the requests occasionally and chooses his requests in much the same way Benj does -- whatever interests or inspires him.

We will also tell you this: the more constraints you include in the request comments, the less likely the request will be used (this does not include stories or explanations). Sometimes we like to be able to branch out in unexpected ways from the original request title without any ideas holding us down. Also, RAS has a general policy of not using requests that include specific lyrics (unless it's maybe one line) -- so forget it. We're not in the "writing music for lyrics" business...it's just not fun!

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3. Since other people request titles, who owns the song rights? What if it's a hit?!

     We do. Or, to be more specific, Hollow Earth Productions does. Every time someone requests a song, they must check a box agreeing to our terms in order to actually submit it. Our terms essentially say that the content of their submitted request wholly becomes property of Hollow Earth Productions, for us to do with what we please. For more information on this, please go to the "Request" page, scroll down to the bottom and read the actual agreement.

Some people wonder things like, "So what if one of your songs becomes a hit? Will the requester be entitled to any royalties?" The answer to that question is no, since they legally transferred ownership of their request upon submitting it to us. It may seem like an evil scheme to steal people's ideas, but such an agreement is necessary for our survival. Without it, the whole RAS concept wouldn't work because we would be so bogged down in legal and contractual paperwork that we wouldn't have time to do anything else.

If you have a problem with this policy, the solution is simple: do not submit any requests. We get thousands and thousands of requests anyway. ..and lighten up! This is supposed to be fun. :)

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4. Aren't you just stealing people's ideas?

     We hear this from time to time about RAS -- that we're merely idea thieves, robbing people's prime creative ideas in a most devious way. And for what reasons? People who say such things probably suspect either a) that we want to profit off of other people's ideas, b) that we want to claim people's good ideas as our own, or c) that we're so unoriginal, we have to resort to "stealing" to write decent music.

Well, here's the answer to all that. We aren't stealing. Why? Because people submit their ideas to us willingly. That is, they actually want us to turn their ideas into a full-blown song. If they didn't want that, they wouldn't request something. We don't go around forcefully jumping into people's heads and sucking up their thoughts without permission. Believe it or not, our listeners actually submit their requests specifically for our usage, and on purpose. Now here's a puzzle for all you intrepid readers out there: why would anyone in their right mind actually hand over some of their creative thoughts to us, knowing that they won't get one penny out of it? What could possibly be their motive?

The motive is simple: entertainment. That's what Request-A-Song is all about -- providing a unique form of entertainment for our visitors. We didn't set this up as some sort of idea-trafficking scam. We set this up as entertainment for you, the average listener, but also letting you take part in our creative process by submitting ideas or song titles that we might use as inspiration for our songs. Believe me, we are perfectly capable of writing songs without you, and we could just as easily get our creative inspiration from random things we observe every day. Instead, we choose to get our inspiration from our audience -- for the sole purpose of your entertainment.

Here's another thing to consider. Upon your submission of a certain song title in a request, less than 1% of the song is complete (We do not use lyrics that people submit, only titles). It is then our job to interpret that title, to decide what it means to us. That is where our personal creativity comes in, writing the song's music and lyrics based on how we feel that day, what's going on in our lives, or maybe even what we ate for lunch. After that's done, we choose the song's instrumentation and begin recording the song, performing and producing it ourselves. Then we mix the song and master it into its final form. We put many hours of work into each song, and in the end, we feel satisfied that the songs we have created are wholly our own.

For questions about who legally owns the songs, etc., see the question above.

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5. If you use my request, then you make the song "for sale only," can I have a free copy?

     Yes. Make sure you put a real, long-term email address in the request form when you request a song, and we'll send you a free download of the song when we put it online. If for some reason you came back to RAS recently and found that your request was used, but the song is for sale only, let us know and we'll send you a copy. Keep in mind that the free download of the song we send you is for personal listening use only, like the rest of the songs you download or buy, and cannot be distributed. The RAS Download Agreement still applies.

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6. Will you write some music especially for our site, film, project, etc.?

     Likely, yes, but bear in mind that our services in this regard are not free. Still, you can drop us a line, and we may write you a song because we like you, your site, your project, etc. Or we could write a song for you in exchange for something non-monetary, like advertising on your site or other publicity opportunities. If you're interested, send your proposal here.

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