Yeah that looks like a good set of rules, apart from one .... covers. I'm not at all happy with this one. I'm not against folks doing covers, but I think we are skipping the wrong side of the line legally.
In fact, the reason I have been reluctant to publicly distribute the link to the StringZ e-album is because there is a cover on it, and to make it a public release, as 'producer' of the e-album, I would be obliged to declare this to MCPS, pay £20 to register the album regardless of the number of copies I hoped to distribute and regardless of the fact it is to be distributed free.
The fact that we are offering tracks for download means we could be viewed as producers or even broadcasters. This is no problem with original compositions as each individual agrees to share their tracks, and actively makes them available. But, I am pretty sure that, at least in the UK, recording a cover is no problem .. but to broadcast it or distribute without the copyright owners permission is against the law, and all individuals actively involved in the process of making the track publicly available are liable. In the case of V'ger, there would be no defence as it is now written in the rules that this is acceptable.
This might actually excuse the artist as the artist could point to that written rule, and V'ger, having written it would be easier to sue.
Chances are no-one will give a toss, and if anything, a cover arranged on a single synth will prob be regarded more as of benefit to the original artist than harmful .... BUT - do we want to take the risk??
Also, returning to the subject of artist name/kvr name, I would advise anyone who uses a famous artists name as their KVR name to assign their tracks to an original artist name.
Two examples spring to mind ... vanmorrison ( who has in the past entered his work under the name 'The Beatsoul' ... and prob should do that for future tracks with KVR name in brackets ), and New Kids on the Block.
The law relating to these? Well, you can call yourself what you like, but when you produce work, products, services, you should make sure that an individual or company has not registered that name as a trade mark ( and most established artists do! ) .... otherwise, you are, in legal terms, posing as that company or individual, and either seeking to earn what is rightfully theirs, seeking to earn publicity or credit based on their reputation, or seeking to misrepresent them in some way.... and will therefore be liable for court action - Oh, and trademarks are global!
Yeah, this is all pretty heavy, and as I said earlier, probably very unlikely to happen .... BUT, do we want to take the risk?
... other issue, a much more trivial point
... I can go with the secret vote idea, although it is quite exciting watching tracks move up and down in the race. if we go with that though, I dont see any reason why we cant still do reviews/comments .... I very often find more to write about some tracks which will not get any points, than tracks which will score highly. I think it is good to give feedback to each other, and the reviews also demonstrate that all the tracks have been 'actively' listened to.