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publishing / copyrights from dano


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1st post on this forum . I have been hanging at the keyboard corner .

 

I have been writing songs , putting music together and recording at home with my keyboard , Hard disk recorder . I also do all the vocal .

 

I know that it is in my best interest to have copyrights . What about the publishing side . If someone wanted to record one of my songs........... Is it easy to make your own publishing company ?

 

Do you hire a publishing company ?

 

Hire a lawyer to do it for me ? dano

www.esnips.com/web/SongsfromDanO
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Publishing is a far better way to make money from music than signing a recording contract. Do it!

 

Best to get a lawyer to set up the publishing company for you. This involves sending some paperwork and a filing fee to your Secretary of State. Once this is done, you can register all your songs to the publishing company.

 

If you don't know any lawyers, check with the local Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

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Dano,

 

Me again.

 

The publishing question is perhaps the most critical one for every songwriter. When records are sold, the royalties are split between the publisher and the songwriter (usually 50/50, but I think that may be negotiable). So, if you retain your publishing rights, you'll make twice as much in royalties.

 

But there are two sides to every story. It might be profitable for a songwriter to sell part of their publishing rights to an established publisher who has the connections to get the songs into the hands of artists who can record them. This is particularly true in country or pop, where artists record songs written by other songwriters (almost never the case in rock).

 

Without that publishing connection, your song may never end up on that hit record. But you have to be careful. The publisher may not have the resources to deliver what they promised, in which case you'll have to sue them. Depending on the details of your publishing contract, you may not have a legal leg to stand on. This is a REALLY tricky area, and I would advise you to consult with an established music industry attorney before you do ANYTHING with respect to publishing or signing ANY CONTRACT of ANY KIND.

 

DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING THAT YOUR (EXPERIENCED) ATTORNEY HAS NOT REVIEWED IN DETAIL WITH YOU TO THE POINT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND EVERY WORD. It doesn't matter if you're embarrassed or you think you'll hurt their feelings of if it seems like this is your big break and you'll never get the chance again. Bullshit. If your music is marketable, someone will want to market it, and you'll be able to find someone to agree to YOUR terms, with a fair and honest contract that your attorney has reviewed thoroughly.

 

There are lots of snakes out there who'll be happy to steal your publishing rights with a smile and a handshake. This should be a far greater worry to the songwriter than whether someone is going to "rip off" their copyrighted material. If you sign away your publishing, every time your music is performed or sold, someone else gets money in their pocket. Think about that. Is that "someone else" performing a service that's critical to your success? If not, WHY IN HELL ARE YOU GIVING THEM MONEY?

 

Four words: established music industry attorney. Compensated at their hourly rate, not "for a piece of the action." Don't make the mistakes that a million starry-eyed kids have made. Kids like Billy Joel, for instance.

 

"Smile and say 'no' until your tongue bleeds."

- Harvey Mackay, from his book, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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very good topic, guys.

So where do label A&R people fit into this? Aren`t they the ones who get songs into the hands of people who will record them? Do the publishers have reserve seating with these guys, as opposed to someone coming in out of nowhere-even with representation?

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Originally posted by skip:

very good topic, guys.

So where do label A&R people fit into this? Aren`t they the ones who get songs into the hands of people who will record them? Do the publishers have reserve seating with these guys, as opposed to someone coming in out of nowhere-even with representation?

The A&R guys find the Brintey Spearses, the Faith Hills, the Creeds, the Aerosmiths, the people who get up on stage, play the music and look hot. The name's something of a misnomer; A&R guys are more about the artist and less about the repertoire.

 

As Dan South notes, songwriting is a separate thing from performance, particularly in country and pop. If there's a space on a Celine Dion record for a midtempo lurv ballad, the producer will comb through EMI's catalog for one.

 

The absolute best thing you can do is retain 100% of your publishing rights and income, though you might decide to make a deal with a large publishing house (EMI, Warner/Chappel) in order to get noticed.

 

If you go the latter route, don't sign anything before both you and your attorney review it. The boilerplate publishing contract from the big houses is meant to be negotiated.

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