Anyone will be able to create, upload and sell Rock Band songs later this year when Harmonix and MTV launch the Rock Band Network.
Amateur and professional musicians alike will have a chance to see their songs in Harmonix and MTV Games' Rock Band later this year when the companies launch the Rock Band Network, a service that lets anybody create, upload and even sell (for real money) their music on Rock Band.
This means that everyone from established musical acts who want to see their music in Rock Band to unsigned acts that don't have the time or brand power to get into the game to your buddy who plays acoustic guitar and thinks he's the next John Mayer can be a part of Rock Band. If you own the rights and aren't completely technologically boneheaded, it can happen for you.
Here's how it'll supposedly work: Musicians will use what MTV Games is calling a "set of serious professional tools" to create their Rock Band tracks using their own master recordings and a number of Harmonix-supplied authoring plugins.
From there, you submit it to peer review by people on the XNA Creators Club as well as a community of Harmonix-trained developers, according to a report on Billboard.biz. The song(s) will go through checks for quality, explicit lyrics, copyright infringement and more. If your song gets the go ahead, it'll get posted on the Rock Band Network store (separate from the regular Rock Band store) where you can price it for 50 cents to $3. Creators will get 30% of profits.
Because of how closely the service is tied to the XNA Creators Club, the Rock Band Network is so far a 360 exclusive service (when it comes to selling and buying songs, not creating them), though Harmonix says that "select songs may also appear on PS3" and possibly Wii.
The Rock Band Network is currently in closed beta and will go into public testing (sign up at the official site) later this summer, with a full launch scheduled for later this year.