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#2952554 - 10/11/18 10:24 AM Business question
misterdregs Offline
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Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 2009
The country band plays 90%+ covers, but the occasional original song.

I had a song idea Iíd been kicking around for a while and finally took it to rehearsal. It went over rather well both with the boys as did a quick little phone recording shared with friends and coworkers. Now thereís talk of making a recording, etc.

I am the sole writer. If this happened to catch on and make some money (very doubtful, I know), what would be a usual way to pay everyone? What part is split between the band members (we split everything equally) and me as songwriter?

Thanks.
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#2952560 - 10/11/18 10:57 AM Re: Business question [Re: misterdregs]
synthizen2 Offline
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Registered: 08/19/04
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Loc: USA
If you're talking about traditional "songwriting royalties", you would get all of that.

Those of us old farts who remember the early days of Steely Dan understand that. Donald and Walter walked away with all the $$ after they stopped touring, and then most of the band immediately quit or moved on over to the Doobie Brothers.

However, some things here and there might have changed based on newer laws, or even the brand new Music-Rights law that just went thru Congress and the President just signed. But I thing most of that has to do with copyright and re-use of songs (or portions of songs)... not royalties (or how one gets paid).
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#2952596 - 10/11/18 01:17 PM Re: Business question [Re: synthizen2]
misterdregs Offline
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Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 2009
Originally Posted By: synthizen2
If you're talking about traditional "songwriting royalties", you would get all of that.

Those of us old farts who remember the early days of Steely Dan understand that. Donald and Walter walked away with all the $$ after they stopped touring, and then most of the band immediately quit or moved on over to the Doobie Brothers.

However, some things here and there might have changed based on newer laws, or even the brand new Music-Rights law that just went thru Congress and the President just signed. But I thing most of that has to do with copyright and re-use of songs (or portions of songs)... not royalties (or how one gets paid).


As I said, it's likely to be 100% of nothing (especially as it would have only regional appeal), but you never know!

Thanks.
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#2952600 - 10/11/18 01:35 PM Re: Business question [Re: misterdregs]
The Real MC Offline
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Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 5439
Loc: Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
Songwriting credits should go to those who make a significant contribution to the song. The definition of "significant contribution" varies and can be a source of contention (or gold digging).

When Van Halen started, they entered into an agreement that all songwriting revenue would be split between the members. What Eddie Van Halen found was that he was the only one writing songs and lyrics, and the other members did nothing.

Typically "significant contribution" includes the melody, the lyrics, and the basic chords of the song. Things like awesome guitar solos, clever interplay between drummer/bass player, changing one chord, et al don't always constitute "significant contribution". You cannot copyright a rhythm or a cool drum beat.

File a copyright form ASAP. Then there is zero dispute who receives the song revenue.

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#2952605 - 10/11/18 01:51 PM Re: Business question [Re: The Real MC]
marczellm Offline
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Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 887
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
I don't know how it is in other countries, but in Hungary I know of three different royalties: writing, performing and publishing. Theoretically upon every single radio play of a song, the writer, the performers and the publisher (label?) receives royalties.
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#2952624 - 10/11/18 02:31 PM Re: Business question [Re: marczellm]
David Loving Offline
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Registered: 12/11/00
Posts: 5077
Loc: Texas
I don't know where you live, but many local bar associations will refer you to a local attorney - in your case an expert in intellectual property - for a consultation at a nominal fee. The Dallas Bar Association does that. Why not see if your local bar offers such a referral program instead of seeking legal advice on the internet?
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#2952632 - 10/11/18 02:57 PM Re: Business question [Re: David Loving]
misterdregs Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 2009
Originally Posted By: David Loving
I don't know where you live, but many local bar associations will refer you to a local attorney - in your case an expert in intellectual property - for a consultation at a nominal fee. The Dallas Bar Association does that. Why not see if your local bar offers such a referral program instead of seeking legal advice on the internet?


I can afford an attorney. (Thankfully, I donít rely on music for my income!) I was inquiring more about who typically gets paid what exactly and got some useful replies. The band would share in any performance income (gigs, YouTube, etc.) and any songwriting money would be mine.

Thanks for the bar association suggestion. Or one of my lawyer friends could probably suggest the right person to talk to.
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#2952639 - 10/11/18 04:11 PM Re: Business question [Re: The Real MC]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 6136
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: The Ghastly MC
Songwriting credits should go to those who make a significant contribution to the song. The definition of "significant contribution" varies and can be a source of contention (or gold digging).



Typically "significant contribution" includes the melody, the lyrics, and the basic chords of the song. Things like awesome guitar solos, clever interplay between drummer/bass player, changing one chord, et al don't always constitute "significant contribution". You cannot copyright a rhythm or a cool drum beat.

File a copyright form ASAP. Then there is zero dispute who receives the song revenue.


File a copyright form ASAP. Excellent advice. Do not procrastinate .
Establish clearly you own the song. End of story.

You can work out penny/nickel details later. Don't promise anything.
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#2952700 - 10/12/18 07:54 AM Re: Business question [Re: GregC]
misterdregs Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 2009
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: The Ghastly MC
Songwriting credits should go to those who make a significant contribution to the song. The definition of "significant contribution" varies and can be a source of contention (or gold digging).



Typically "significant contribution" includes the melody, the lyrics, and the basic chords of the song. Things like awesome guitar solos, clever interplay between drummer/bass player, changing one chord, et al don't always constitute "significant contribution". You cannot copyright a rhythm or a cool drum beat.

File a copyright form ASAP. Then there is zero dispute who receives the song revenue.


File a copyright form ASAP. Excellent advice. Do not procrastinate .
Establish clearly you own the song. End of story.

You can work out penny/nickel details later. Don't promise anything.


I failed to mention that I did this already. The day after getting all the positive feedback.
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#2952705 - 10/12/18 08:19 AM Re: Business question [Re: GregC]
Synthoid Offline
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Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 10736
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: GregC
You can work out penny/nickel details later. Don't promise anything.


+1

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#2968767 - 01/14/19 07:05 AM Re: Business question [Re: Synthoid]
misterdregs Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 2009
On the (admittedly remote) chance we actually make some money, our bandleader and I have been talking about this. I ran across this fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice band agreement.

http://www.musicbizacademy.com/knab/articles/Band%20Partnership%20Agreement.doc

For example, we would have him retain the rights to the band name and logo, etc. because itís really his baby. He would also wield an extra vote (or more) for issues that ask for a vote.

This provision suggested a way to split recording revenue (if we sold songs on iTunes or got YouTube ad revenue). Basically, the songwriter(s) would get an extra share. In our six piece band, I would get 2/7ths and the other five would get 1/7th. If he and I co-write a song, we would each get 3/14ths and the others their 1/7th. This seemed like a reasonable way to do this. And as many people here pointed out, itís a good idea to have all of this understood in advance.

ďAll revenue derived from Recorded Compositions shall be pooled (whether it is characterized as publishing or songwriter revenue). Each Band Partner shall receive one credit for performing on each Recorded Composition. The writers of each Recorded Composition shall receive one credit for writing. Each Band Partner's total number of credits equals the numerator (top number of a fraction). The total number of credits equals the denominator or bottom number of a fraction. Each Band Partner then receives this fraction of the song income. By way of example, if four Band Partners perform on a song and one Band Partner has written that song, the songwriter Band Partner would receive 2/5 of the revenue and the other three band members would each receive 1/5 of the revenue.Ē

This came up because we got started recording a couple of originals and when we played the new one Saturday night (opened the first set with it and reprised it late in the fourth set) there were people whoíd never heard it singing along with the chorus by the time we finished!
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#2968902 - 01/14/19 05:48 PM Re: Business question [Re: misterdregs]
nursers Offline
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Registered: 03/31/01
Posts: 10526
Loc: Australia
On a recent recording I was co-songwriter on, we got each person who played on the recording to sign a session agreement and they were paid. End of story. That doesn't always go down well in bands though.
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