Sunday, May 29, 2016

Music Business/Law Tips - "Buy A Beat"

A big business for up and coming producers is to create and sell a musical "beat" to an artist or label who can then add lyrics or a rap on top or remix it. There are a few ways this can go down: 1. Buy Out: For a fee, the producer sells his rights (work for hire). This means he/she may not even get a credit. Unless the check is large, it's always better to stay on as a credited writer/producer and get back-end royalties from sales/streams/licensing since you never know what track is going to blow up. 2. License: The producer retains his rights, but lets a third party artist use the beat in a new song (usually exclusively for a period). There may be an up-front fee involved, but always a back-end royalty and credit. There is normally a written agreement when someone buys/sells a beat. The producer needs to cover fees, credits (as a producer/writer) and royalties. The Artist or buyer needs to make sure he/she can use the beat without restriction in all media, the beat should be original (no samples/infringements) and has not already been given to anyone else. Ben McLane Esq