Thursday, February 28, 2013

Music Business/Law Tip - "Copyright Reversion"

In a publishing/songwriter agreement, try to negotiate for "reversion" of copyright after a certain number of years and/or if certain criteria are not met by the publisher (i.e., no licensing). Also, try to make sure that the contract does not say that the songs are "works made for hire", as that might disallow the right to "reclaim copyright after 35 year rule" in the Copyright Act for songs written from 1978 on. Ben McLane Esq

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Music Business/Law Tip - "Songwriter Key Income Streams"

The 3 primary income streams earned by a songwriter are as follows: 1. Mechanical Royalties: Currently 9.1 cents per song included on a CD or download. 2. Performance Royalties: From play of the song(s) on radio and TV. Amount varies depending on the volume of play, how many listeners, etc. 3. Synchronization ("Sync") License Fees: From the usage of a song in TV, film or commercail (i.e., in conjunctioi with a visual image). Amount varies depending on the company licensing, how popular the song is, how long the song is used in the spot, etc. Ben McLane Esq

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Music Business/Law Tip - "Buy Beats"

It is possible to buy or rent beats to incorporate into your music. There are companies/producers that will sell or license their pre-existing beats to you. There are 2 basic ways to handle this: Buy Out Exclusive Rights: This normally means you have to "purchase" the beat where you have it exclusively for any and all uses without restriction and never have to pay any more to the original owner/creator. Giving credit to the original producer/writer may or may not be a part of this deal. This is preferable so you don't have to worry about having to account or ask for permissions in the future. License: This may or may not be exclusive, and only lets you sell a certain number of units containing the beat or use the beat for a limited purpose. There may or may not be a back-end royalty due, and right to edit may or may not be granted. This is not the preferable way to obtain a beat, but its normally cheaper on the front end. Ben McLane Esq