Muse FAQ

The Muse database is open, transparent and constantly in-sync. There are no gatekeepers. Muse is not proprietary. It is an ownerless, automated, globally distributed, Peer-to-Peer network. You are not giving up your information to a specific company, you are putting it up on a public ledger to ensure everyone has the data required to pay musicians accurately and effectively.

At the moment, when you upload your data, you are actually typing it into a company’s private database. They now own that data and have full control over who can view it and who can edit it. With Muse, you are entering your data on a public database. Everyone can see it, but only you can edit and modify it.

A song’s information needs only be entered on Muse once and all future updates can be done on the Blockchain directly. Once on Muse, the information, which is updated in real time, is viewable by everyone.

All music services can ensure their data is always up to date by using Muse. These services can also use Muse as the means of paying the correct rights holders –instantly paid-out royalties.

Information regarding licensing can also automate the monetization of the associated song.

Muse can also act as a more secure version of the poor man’s copyright – mathematically proving that you wrote/composed/produced a song at a specific, time-stamped date.

Whether you are a publisher, a composer, a performer, a lyricist, a label, you now have one central place to input all your music related data. It is yours and only you control your section of it. It is a way for every participant in a song/album to coordinate openly and deal amongst themselves when it comes to copyright, licensing and royalty management data.

Licensing on Muse makes it much easier for people to become licensees, letting you earn more income than the present complex system currently permits. You can upload and update your data in real time, manage licensing conditions, receive payments directly and instantly while getting valuable data on spins and sales.

You even get a say in Muse’s internal affairs by voting for Witnesses (the nodes that maintain and keep Muse alive, constantly updating it to keep up with the ever changing realities of the music world). You may also cast your vote towards which streaming platform(s) you think should get perks from connecting up to Muse.

By creating a MuseID. Interface coming soon.

Muse is a Membership Organisation in the cloud – a Blockchain specifically tailored for the music industry – that aims to be the foundation of the music industry’s new ecosystem.

It serves as a global database for copyrights, a means of payment for all music related transactions (including royalties) as well as a tool to simplify licensing of musical works.

Its members are comprised of anyone and everyone that chooses to hold MUSE (the core units that make up the Blockchain).

Muse itself is made up of approximately 18 Million MUSE, the majority of which will end up in the hands of a global community of musicians, composers, lyricists, etc.

Normally, funds flow from consumer (or advertiser) to the music streaming and/or retail platform and then to the copyright holders. Often there is an extra middleman, such as a Performing Rights Organization/Society that collects your funds from the streaming platform so that they may send it to the proper rights holders.

Those PROs/PRSs take a cut for their service. To top it all off, the above system operates entirely through the inefficient and costly legacy banking system – think high fees!

Muse, on the other hand, allows funds to go directly from user to rights holders. No need to go through the streaming platforms, PRO/S, or any of the traditional banking system in order to receive your royalties. It all happens instantly, transparently and at no cost/fees.

Any streaming platform that decides to move its system to this new transparent way of doing business can (if voted-in by Muse’s members) publish its streaming history to the Muse Blockchain.

Muse then aggregates the streaming history of each platform and takes care of paying the appropriate royalties to the songs in question and their associated recipients (performers, composers, etc.). This in itself can provide valuable data to the musicians.

Please note that the following only applies for the royalties paid BY Muse itself. Streaming platforms can still pay their owed royalties the way they wish and at the rates they have settled on outside of this system.

Muse monetizes attention, the last bastion of scarcity. There was a time when consumers had to decide what magazine or album to buy. Nowadays each of us must decide which tab to close down in our web browser. Content is no longer scarce, time is.

Muse has a daily budget for royalties, which it divides equally by the number of daily active listeners.

Muse sends royalties to the songs (the recipients indicated within the smart contract of each song) each user listened to during the last 24 hours.

Muse calculates user attention per second. For example: If user Bob spent 200 seconds listening to Song X out of Bob’s 1000 seconds of total listening time today, then 1/5 of Bob’s “assigned” royalties will be paid out to the recipients contained in the Song X smart contract.

In other words, Song X captured 1/5 of Bob’s attention today, hence Song X’s copyright holders will receive 1/5 of the royalties Muse distributes. Had Bob spent 100% of his time listening to Song X, then 100% of Bob’s “assigned” value would have been paid out to Song X’s recipients.

Muse is the name of the Blockchain/network/database itself.

MUSE is the name or symbol used to describe the core units making up the Muse Blockchain.

Much like BTC is used to refer to the Bitcoin network’s units.

The amount of MUSE you own increases:

Distributed networks need to protect themselves from abuse and spam. Usually this is achieved by charging a transaction fee every time a user wants to make a change to the database – such as sending funds from one user to another, or for updating the information regarding the licensing of a song. Muse has no transaction fees.

Instead, only members are allowed to write onto the database: only users that have MUSE in their possession can modify the data and have it propagate throughout the global network. The more MUSE a member has, the more often he can modify the global ledger. An attacker trying to flood the Muse blockchain with spam to take down the system would need to purchase MUSE from the global community in order to do so. In other words, you would need to buy your own ship, before being able to sink it.

In regards to voting on internal issues, such as which Witnesses get elected to run the network and which streaming platforms get to publish their usage info to Muse, 1 MUSE = 1 vote. The more of the system you own, the more say you get in internal matters. This is your network!

Finally, to assist in identifying and preventing abuse from bots and fake accounts, your MuseID scoring counts (among other things) your MUSE holdings, reducing the chances that botnets take over the network. A botnet operator would essentially have to buy up a large quantity of MUSE in order to attack the system and pretend he is a reputable and trustworthy user.

There are two forms of MUSE or two places where your MUSE can reside:

  1. Regular MUSE, which is liquid and tradable – residing in a sort of checking account. MUSE can be converted into vesting MUSE, Muse Dollars, or traded.
  2. Vesting MUSE, which is locked up into a sort of savings account.

Only Vesting MUSE counts for most operations on the Blockchain. For example, your reputation score counts Vesting MUSE (and ignores your balance of liquid MUSE), so does voting and the amount of times per hour you can write to the database.

Transferring your MUSE to Vesting - If you wish to gain more influence in the Muse network, you must increase the amount of MUSE you have locked up in Vesting. Vesting is the process of instantaneously transferring your MUSE to vesting MUSE.

Transferring your vesting MUSE to MUSE - If you have any MUSE vesting, you can send them back to regular /liquid MUSE. The system will transfer 1/13 of your vesting MUSE, to MUSE each week for three months (13 weeks).

Muse allows everyone to know exactly who to pay for the use of specific content. But Muse members (those with a MuseID) can also use Muse itself as the means of payment. The internal currency of Muse is the Muse Dollar, which tracks the value of the USD. The Muse Dollar has all the benefits of cryptocurrencies: it's secure, global, instant, censorship resistant, fungible, etc., but without the volatility often associated with first generation cryptocurrencies. It is also transferred at no cost.

A Muse Dollar can be redeemed for approximately 1 USD worth of MUSE.

A Blockchain is a Peer-to-Peer network. It is a ledger that is distributed across the globe. When changes to the ledger occur (like transfers of value/ownership or writing of a new Smart Contract) the changes are included into a “block” of transactions/changes/updates. The new block is added to the previous block in a linear, chronological order creating a chain of blocks: a Blockchain. This means the entire history of events is recorded on the Blockchain and can be consulted – acting as a public record.

Unlike many other attempts at creating a global music rights database, in Muse the maintenance of content does not depend on trusting a central authority. Muse’s open, transparent and permanent nature makes it possible for anybody (artists, labels, publishers, royalty collecting organisations, etc.) to plug in for free and start building on top of a stable and solid infrastructure. Not being proprietary, there is no need to ask permission to anyone in order to use Muse. Artists and entrepreneurs can plug into Muse and benefit immediately from its use while offloading the costs of maintaining their own databases. Similar to the Internet, there is no need to “build your own Internet” or to plug into “someone else’s internet” in order to benefit from being connected to the world. Both Muse and the Internet are free and permanent networks that are open to all.

Previous attempts at a global database left it depending entirely on the whims and political/business decisions of the centralized entity that controlled it. It is much too risky for an entrepreneur to base his business model on access to a database that can disappear or fundamentally change overnight.

No. Bitcoin is the first Blockchain ever invented. It is an amazing innovation and it proved the concept that a P2P network can eliminate both:

  1. The need for strangers transacting with each other to trust one another
  2. The need to rely on a trusted third party to act as intermediary

Muse simply makes use of the innovation – Blockchain technology – that made Bitcoin possible.

There are a few issues with the current version of Bitcoin making it sub-optimal for the music industry’s needs. To list but a few:

Muse is a new generation Blockchain.

Much of the trust in Blockchains comes from the fact that it requires no trust at all. Muse is open-sourced and decentralized. This means that anyone has access to the entire source code at any time. Any developer in the world can therefore verify exactly how Muse functions under the hood. All payments can be made without reliance on a third party and heavily peer-reviewed cryptographic algorithms like those used for online banking protect the whole system. No organization or individual can control Muse, and the network would remain secure even if some of its users could not be trusted.

Extremely! Blockchain technology - the protocol and the cryptography - has a strong security track record. The most common vulnerability for all Blockchains is in user error. Wallet files that store the necessary private keys can be accidentally deleted, lost or stolen. This is similar to physical cash stored in a digital form.

The community also elected 'witnesses' to act as Muse’s governance body, making decisions on improving the platform.

The Muse blockchain requires a set of people to create blocks and uses a consensus mechanism called Delegated Proof of Stake, or DPOS. The people delegated to create these blocks are called witnesses.

Users with vesting MUSE can vote for witnesses of their choice. Instructions Coming soon.

It is a self-executing digital contract that uses Blockchain technology to document and verify the contract’s execution. In the case of Muse, a simpler way to put it is: programmable money and payments. A user can create a smart contract that contains instructions on how any funds sent to the contract should be distributed. Muse being a membership organization specifically tailored for the music industry, the first type of smart contract was called the Automatic Royalty Payment Splitter. The name should say it all, but as a simple walkthrough, take an artist uploading his new song to a music service that uses Muse.

He begins by entering the basic information about the song (title, album, artist, songwriter, musical composition copyright owner, sound recording copyright owner, ISRC code, ISWC code, Year of release, etc.), which all gets written up on the Blockchain into a smart contract. This part is what acts as a global database for music.

Next is where the Automatic Royalty Payment Splitter comes into play. The artists involved then tell the smart contract what is to be done with incoming funds generated by that song (funds sent to that specific smart contract) depending on certain conditions. Each and every party involved for each musical work can be taken into account: publishers, composers, lyricists, producers, performers, etc. Funds are programmed to be automatically split up and sent to each party accordingly.

The smart contract can even include basic licensing conditions. For example: Anyone wishing to use this song for X must send 100$ (on Blockchain!), anyone wishing to use this song for Y must send 1000$, and so on. A buyer could read the licensing conditions of a song and purchase the rights to use it through Muse directly. He would then be able to prove to everyone that he had the right to use the copyrighted material. Companies like Facebook or YouTube could then automatically identify and enforce authorized linking/posting. Without the smart contract there is no way for services to automate the enforcement of contracts.