“Given the wide range of applications, we now refer to our members as ‘creators’, rather than ‘creatives’,” Laudi says.
Creators can upload any documents they wish to protect to the PitchMark website – up to 50 MB. PitchMark digitally time-stamps the documents to prove the creators’ ownership and sends them a certificate. The documents are secured on PitchMark’s servers until the creator removes them. They can then send the documents to their current or prospective clients to view their work. If the client attempts to steal the idea, PitchMark will defend the creator by offering professional legal advice, ranging from cease-and-desist letters to litigation. Laudi says, “PitchMark is for everyone who wants to let their clients get the idea of what they’re pitching, without taking it.”
Everyone who can afford it, anyway. This level of protection comes at a premium. While the first PitchMark is free, each one will cost the creator $149 after that. For clients buying the pitches, a one-year membership costs $800. “Lawyers don’t come cheap,” says Laudi. “Even just to get a lawyer to write a letter to a customer who won’t pay costs at least several hundred dollars.”
Clients also benefit, however. In the past, creators tried to protect themselves through a combination of non-disclosure agreements and pitch fees – both time-consuming and often costly alternatives. PitchMark acts as a third party that replaces both of these options, saving buyers time and money.
Pitchmark hasn’t started marketing yet, but Laudi says it already has users from India, South Africa, United States, Istanbul, Australia, Bahrain, Kuala Lumpur, Barcelona, Bangladesh, and London.
How about a low-end solution?
At $149 per PitchMark, the company is clearly targeting professional agencies and well-established individuals. That’s fine and dandy, but what about all the struggling artists, independent musicians, and bootstrapping entrepreneurs? Those people don’t necessarily need a legal team behind them, just a trusted time-stamp and certificate as proof of their hard work. I would love to see PitchMark or another company offer a cheaper alternative to serve the less affluent market.