Stephen Brett is the brains behind Emeraz.com, a new Irish website that will allow musicians, singers and songwriters to copyright their work online and engage in collaborations.
Currently at the soft launch stage, Emeraz.com will use time-stamping technology to give a file a digital footprint, with a name and date attached to it.
Brett, who runs his own recording studio called FastLane Studio in Donabate, Co Dublin, said the idea to start the website came about two years ago because lots of musicians were asking him how to go about copyrighting music in an online era where it’s becoming increasingly difficult for artists to secure their creative rights.
“The only method I could tell them about was the one IMRO advises. Eventually somebody asked me ‘surely there must be an easier way. Do you know is there anything available online?’”
Brett says he couldn’t find one complete online solution for musicians to copyright their material.
“So I decided if we are to do this we have to make sure we are the absolute best. Once investors came onboard the planning and brainstorming began. It then took more than six months of development to get the website to the point where it is now.
“Because of the recording studio, I have been able to call customers and say, ‘get on the site, put yourself up there, test it out and see what you think’. Since doing that, we’ve had visits from 71 countries around the world. It’s amazing how these things can take off.”
Emeraz.com will start with the Irish market initially, but the website aims to attract international artists.
Copyright protection on Emeraz.com does not have to be just for music, says Brett, but it can also be for photos, online blogs, scripts or videos – any intellectual property that has a value.
Therefore, he says photographers, script writers, designers, artists, journalists, architects, poets and programmers can also use the website’s copyrighting service.
Currently eight partners are involved in Emeraz.com, with Brett and a few other partners running it on a day-to-day basis, while the remaining partners remain on the investing side.
“We’ve got people from legal, IT, networking, marketing and entrepreneurial backgrounds. We’ve got musicians, a producer and a sound engineer. We really have covered every angle within the team.”
Challenges starting out, says Brett, included sorting out a lot legalities and to make sure that Emeraz.com was a service no one else was offering.
“We had to do a lot of research. A lot of the legalities around copyright is quite involved and quite in depth.
“Since we’ve launched I think the next challenge for us is to get Irish people using the website, copyrighting their work and actually collaborating and writing songs with musicians from all around the world.”
And, finally, Brett’s advice for people who are thinking of starting a venture?
“If you don’t try you will never know,” he says. “I procrastinated with this idea for well over a year before I actually sat down and put pen to paper. My best advice to any young entrepreneur is to make the first step and if it is to be everything will fall into place for you.”
For further information, visit www.emeraz.com.