Songwriter Deals Passman, Chapter 18 Pages 250-272
Relationship to Publisher <ul><li>Publisher collects all monies except PRO money, which is paid to both the publisher and ...
Standard Contracts General considerations <ul><li>The publisher pays the writer 50% of what?  List of uses?  </li></ul><ul...
More general considerations <ul><li>Share of advances - usually publishers will not share advances with songwriters that a...
Songwriter’s Contracts and Income Sources <ul><li>Performance money, from ASCAP or BMI, comes to the publisher and the wri...
Contract, general considerations <ul><li>Charges against royalties:  company should only be able to deduct the following e...
Accountings <ul><li>Publisher’s typically pay 60-90 days after the close of each semiannual calendar period (not quarterly...
Term Songwriter Agreements <ul><li>Give publisher all songs you write during the term </li></ul><ul><li>Term could be tied...
Advances <ul><li>Depends on your track record, number of songs delivered, whether you have a record deal </li></ul><ul><li...
Delivery Requirements <ul><li>What you must deliver for the term to move forward, the term continues until you deliver the...
Prior Songs <ul><li>Does publisher get the right to your prior songs - make sure you intend the result you get </li></ul><...
Your Songs and Your Record Company Wants Them <ul><li>Do everything possible to resist giving up the publisher’s share in ...
But If You HAVE To Do It because you’re the pipsqueak and they aren’t <ul><li>It may happen that you will want a record de...
Making a Deal with an Affiliate Company to Recording Co. <ul><li>This might be a good idea (it’s a matter of choice), but ...
Joint Works - Collaboration <ul><li>What happens when you write a work with another person? </li></ul><ul><li>One of you w...
Creative Control <ul><li>Moral Rights - in most of the world the artist can any mutilations or substantial changes to her ...
Reversion of Copyright <ul><li>Publishers could voluntarily agree, in the contract with the songwriter, to give back the c...
Termination by Statute <ul><li>As a result of the 1976 copyright revisions, which went into effect in 1978, a right of ter...
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Songwriting, Considerations And Agreements Ppt

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Songwriter's drive the music business. When they write down or record an original song they are the publisher of that song. If they are going to sell those rights, including the rights to reproduce and distribute the song, they should be careful!

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Songwriting, Considerations And Agreements Ppt

  1. 1. Songwriter Deals Passman, Chapter 18 Pages 250-272
  2. 2. Relationship to Publisher <ul><li>Publisher collects all monies except PRO money, which is paid to both the publisher and the writer </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher pays the songwriter (“songwriter’s share”) and retains the “publisher’s share”, usually a 50-50 split </li></ul><ul><li>This relationship is governed by a “songwriter’s contract” </li></ul><ul><li>The “publisher’s share” can be shared by multiple publisher’s </li></ul>
  3. 3. Standard Contracts General considerations <ul><li>The publisher pays the writer 50% of what? List of uses? </li></ul><ul><li>Use a “catch all” clause: writer gets 50% of “all other monies not referred to in this agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Avoids problem of writer not being paid on new technologies or new uses (not part of the list in the agreement) </li></ul>
  4. 4. More general considerations <ul><li>Share of advances - usually publishers will not share advances with songwriters that are received from sub-publishers for their catalog </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: if the advance is for your particular song - then you should get half of the advance </li></ul>
  5. 5. Songwriter’s Contracts and Income Sources <ul><li>Performance money, from ASCAP or BMI, comes to the publisher and the writer separately and directly (the only revenue stream that is paid directly to the songwriter) </li></ul><ul><li>Printed Music </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheet music - pays little, 7 cents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folios - songwriter gets around 50% of what publisher gets (more for name and likeness folios) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All Other Uses - see infra </li></ul>
  6. 6. Contract, general considerations <ul><li>Charges against royalties: company should only be able to deduct the following expenses from a songwriter’s royalties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection costs (Harry Fox fees) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost of pursuing those who do not pay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpublishing fees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All other costs of administration, copyrighting, marketing are the publisher’s cost of doing business; different for co-publishing deals </li></ul>
  7. 7. Accountings <ul><li>Publisher’s typically pay 60-90 days after the close of each semiannual calendar period (not quarterly) </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts limit the period in which you may object to a statement - usually a year; three years max </li></ul><ul><li>Reserves may be held; specify percentage and liquidation period </li></ul>
  8. 8. Term Songwriter Agreements <ul><li>Give publisher all songs you write during the term </li></ul><ul><li>Term could be tied to delivery (term ends after delivery of a specific number of songs) or the term may be a specific period, with options </li></ul><ul><li>May be tied to a recording agreement, ending when that agreement ends </li></ul>
  9. 9. Advances <ul><li>Depends on your track record, number of songs delivered, whether you have a record deal </li></ul><ul><li>Advances could increase with getting a deal, again when the recording is released, and again if it reaches certain sales plateaus </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes future advances are based on a percentage formula of past earnings </li></ul>
  10. 10. Delivery Requirements <ul><li>What you must deliver for the term to move forward, the term continues until you deliver the minimum number of songs required </li></ul><ul><li>What you must deliver to get your advance - watch out for this, that you don’t get caught tying your advance to an album release that you don’t control </li></ul><ul><li>Beware that you may not control the rate at which your song is licensed, so you should receive credit for fractional compositions should count toward delivery requirement in proportion to your ownership </li></ul>
  11. 11. Prior Songs <ul><li>Does publisher get the right to your prior songs - make sure you intend the result you get </li></ul><ul><li>You could make an administration deal with the publisher to handle these songs, to last as long as the term of the songwriter’s contract (the publisher wouldn’t “own” the songs) </li></ul><ul><li>No cross collateralization between the earnings or advances for the old vs the new songs </li></ul>
  12. 12. Your Songs and Your Record Company Wants Them <ul><li>Do everything possible to resist giving up the publisher’s share in the songs you write to your record company </li></ul><ul><li>Unless they can truly monetize these songs and have a real live publishing affiliate </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, these deals are simple ways of the record company taking the property of the artist and paying less money for the use of it to the artist than they would otherwise </li></ul>
  13. 13. But If You HAVE To Do It because you’re the pipsqueak and they aren’t <ul><li>It may happen that you will want a record deal so badly that you will give up the ownership of your songs. But here are ways you might try to mitigate the damage: </li></ul><ul><li>Give the company a piece of the income, not the ownership, that is, lower the rate they’ll have to pay to use the song </li></ul><ul><li>Try to limit their participation to mechanical royalties on the particular record (no performance or print royalties) </li></ul><ul><li>Limit their participation in the songs to the earnings of your recordings of the songs (no covers) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Making a Deal with an Affiliate Company to Recording Co. <ul><li>This might be a good idea (it’s a matter of choice), but if you do it, consider the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Get separate advances for each deal </li></ul><ul><li>No reduced mechanical royalty rates under the controlled composition clause </li></ul><ul><li>The publishing company can’t pick up your option unless the record company does as well </li></ul><ul><li>Never let the earnings of your publishing deal be cross-collateralized with your earnings or debits of your record deal </li></ul>
  15. 15. Joint Works - Collaboration <ul><li>What happens when you write a work with another person? </li></ul><ul><li>One of you writes the words, one writes the lyrics, OR you both contribute to the words and the music, does it matter? </li></ul><ul><li>What if you’re not in the same room at the same time? </li></ul><ul><li>What if one person writes everything but one line in one verse? Are you co-writer’s of the song? </li></ul><ul><li>What if your agreement with your publisher requires them to own 100% of the song? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Creative Control <ul><li>Moral Rights - in most of the world the artist can any mutilations or substantial changes to her work, even after it has been sold </li></ul><ul><li>US doesn’t do “moral rights” for artists, so make sure the songwriter’s contract gives you approval to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make changes in music </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make changes in English lyrics or title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add foreign lyrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grant sync licenses (rare) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent specific uses (such as alcohol and cigarettes, politics, pornography) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use in commercials </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Reversion of Copyright <ul><li>Publishers could voluntarily agree, in the contract with the songwriter, to give back the copyrights at some point in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Triggered by if song is not recorded or commercially released or otherwise exploited </li></ul><ul><li>If it earns less than a certain amount </li></ul><ul><li>Recording/release promise should have a time limit, triggering reversion if not met </li></ul><ul><li>Repaying the advance to regain the song </li></ul>
  18. 18. Termination by Statute <ul><li>As a result of the 1976 copyright revisions, which went into effect in 1978, a right of termination was created </li></ul><ul><li>35 years after a transfer of exclusive rights, you can get your copyright back by giving a notice of termination to publisher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first year notice can be sent is 10 years before the 35 year expiration date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The last year that notice can be sent is 2 years before the last possible effective date (5 years after the 35 year term) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Works for Hire: no termination rights because there was no transfer to terminate </li></ul>

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