What constitutes music plagiarism? The line between inspiration and plagiarism is a fine one, and is the crucial distinction when it comes to music plagiarism. As I examined in my article here on the Robin Thicke vs. Marvin Gaye trial, everyone from Shakespeare to the Beatles to Sam Smith has been accused of stealing ideas from those that came before … Read More
How does your music make money in the modern world? While record sales are becoming less and less relevant, revenue streams generated from the Songwriting Copyright have greatly increased. This is because music is being used more now than ever before. This use generates money for the writers of the music. The revenue streams flowing from the Songwriting Copyright include: Public … Read More
The Sound Recording Copyright ain’t what it used to be. Record sales are seriously down, and that’s an understatement. But there are numerous revenue streams that still flow from the Sound Recording Copyright. Are you making the most of your sound recordings? Major transformations in the music industry have occurred in the last decade that have completely altered how music is … Read More
In the “glory days” of the recording industry (i.e. after Elvis, before the Internet), there was a very common type of deal offered by record labels called the Artist Development Deal, sometimes known as a “Demo Deal”. The idea was fairly simple: if a label liked you but didn’t want to commit fully with a record deal, they’d offer you … Read More
Is it worthwhile for musicians to obtain a band trademark? When you think of bands like The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Metallica, the Ramones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, KISS, and Iron Maiden, their logos and brands are immediately identifiable and familiar. These brands also happen to be worth millions. The trademark of a band name or logo serves to … Read More
A very common question I get asked by my musician friends and clients is whether they should give their producer songwriting credit on songs they’ve produced. This question brings up a key distinction to be drawn between the Songwriting Copyright and the Sound Recording Copyright. Record Points vs. Songwriting Points Rather than give their producer songwriting points, recording artists would traditionally give their producer … Read More
Did you know: a lot of bands and musicians in the world buy likes on Facebook? And they do the same on their Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud? And they might do the same to boost their YouTube views? This comes as a shock to most people, or it’s something they hadn’t thought about. And for bands working away for real Likes, it … Read More
If you write your own songs, either with a band or on your own, or co-write with others, developing an understanding of music publishing is probably the most important thing you can do for your career. That being said, music publishing is the most confusing aspect of the music business. The number of blank stares that return my gaze after … Read More
If you are a song co-writer, you have certain rights. But so does the other song co-writer. What rights do each of you have in the co-written song? Can you make further changes to the song without the co-writer’s consent, or sign off on the use of that song in film or television? Can you record a version of that … 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?