Many artists I work with have a tough time understanding the different copyrights in a song, and the revenue streams that flow from them. I don’t blame them. Our copyright system has developed in bits and pieces over decades, so there are layers of complexity at play here. In every recorded song there exists two main copyrights: one in the … Read More
For some reason, the last week has seen me drafting or negotiating a ton of agreements between Artist and Producer, outlining what percentage of record sales the former will pay the latter. And yes, records do sell sometimes, so this can be important. If your record “goes Adele” and sells 25 million worldwide, you’ll rue the day you coughed an extra percentage point to your producer without reading this first.
For more on whether a producer should receive a percentage of record sales and/or songwriting points (or neither), read my previous blog post on the topic. Once it is determined that they will receive a % of record sales (which is normally the case), the next question is: what amount does that percentage apply to?
In recent years, one of the questions that I’ve been asked most by my artist clients is: how much of my SoundExchange royalties should I give my producer? As we examined in my article here, it is industry standard for music producers to be paid a percentage of an artist’s record sales (known as “points”). Industry norm is between 2-5% … Read More
A Band Agreement is likely the most important agreement you can sign in a band. I say this based on my years as both an entertainment lawyer and a band member. It costs relatively little, and could save you thousands upon thousands of dollars (and a great deal of headache) years down the road. Yet most bands do not think … Read More
After years of hard work, you just landed your first record deal. Amazing. Now the record label sends over the contract and it’s thirty pages long. Yikes. Here are the main points to look for in a record deal and what to avoid. 1) How Long is the Term? This is a good starting point: how long will you be … Read More
So, you’ve found the perfect producer for your upcoming recording project. Great news. Now the producer sends over a 10-page contract full of legalese regarding record royalties, songwriting splits, SoundExchange revenues, producer advances and more. Before you enter the studio, here are some key points to look for and understand: 1) Who Owns the Masters? First and foremost, you should … Read More
Bands break up all the time. And band name disputes often follow. Sometimes one or more members want to continue using the band name, as was the case with Pink Floyd in the 1980s when both Roger Waters and David Gilmour were touring with two different bands under the name Pink Floyd. Similarly, Axl Rose famously duped his band-mates into … Read More
In light of the many high profile plagiarism cases making headlines in the music business over the last few years (Lana Del Rey, Led Zeppelin, Robin Thicke, Sam Smith, etc.), it felt like the right time to examine the topic of songwriting from where we all sit: the drum throne. All of the above instances of alleged plagiarism involved similarities … Read More
Your newsfeeds might be buzzing with the news that Radiohead are suing Lana Del Rey over her song “Get Free,” which they say plagiarizes their 1993 hit “Creep.” Lana Del Rey tweeted yesterday: “It’s true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by “Creep,” Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing – I offered … Read More
I get asked this all the time. Do I need a record label to help my career? It used to be that a record deal was the holy grail of the music industry; the brass ring that all artists worked towards. This is no longer the case. While record deals are still a vital part of the music industry, their … Read More