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Song on a CD Any advice would be great!

#1 User is offline   Tracy somebody Icon

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 01:27 AM

Hi everyone, a guy on another site contacted me back in March 2010 about one of my lyrics, saying that he would like to use it on his second CD which is due out next year. I checked him out back then and found that he did indeed have a CD for sale, so I just decided to wait and see if I heard from him again.

He emailed me today and said that the song is almost ready, and he will send me the file soon. So it appears that he is actually going to use it.

Has anyone else been in this position, or a similar one before?

Any advice on what to do next would be most welcome :) .

#2 User is online   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 08:20 AM

It's difficult to comment too much because this can mean so many different things.

At one end of the spectrum we have a guy who has put together his own CD, maybe recorded and mixed it himself or maybe paid a studio to do it, who has possibly done his own artwork and has created a small number of CDs, primarily to give away to family and friends or to sell at cost at his gigs. I know a lot of people like this, most of whom simply give me the CD.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a major distribution deal and someone who will sell millions of copies.

And, of course, we have everything in between! :)

Do you have any kind of contract or agreement with him already? Is the copyright registered? Any publishing deal involved? is he working with any PRO?
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

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#3 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 01:27 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 01 December 2010 - 08:20 AM, said:

Do you have any kind of contract or agreement with him already? Is the copyright registered? Any publishing deal involved? is he working with any PRO?


This lol Kind of hard to give advice when all we know is that it's a "guy with a CD". Need some details.

It sounds kind of shady that he'd just start using your lyric without your OK (and also kind of weird that you'd just "wait for him to e-mail you again", why not converse with the fellow?)
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#4 User is offline   Tracy somebody Icon

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:09 AM

Hi Alistair and FunkDaddy, I'm sorry for the lack of information, I know you're trying to help me :) .

Quote

Do you have any kind of contract or agreement with him already? Is the copyright registered? Any publishing deal involved? is he working with any PRO?

Alistair, I appreciate you commenting, and in answer to your questions, I can firmly say

I ahh... ummm... errrr... never really thought anyone.....errr.... would...ahhh... you know...ummm....

1) hmm... No

2) errr.... No

3&4) ahh.....Don't know, but please refer to the email below

Hi Tracy,

I have made music for your lyric "STARS IN MY EYES" ,the only thing that I have to do is to sing it in in the studio + the guitars.
When the song is ready I send you an mp3 file.
You can take a look at my website and listen to the songs of my first album on my website or on MYSPACE.
My website is: www.amaryllis-music.com
www.myspace.com/amaryllis2

At this moment there is a promotion campaign and also a digital distribution of the songs by "Imusiciandigital".
The song is for my second album who comes out next year.
I thank you very much for the beautiful lyric.

Kind regards
AMARYLLIS
Johan Praet


FunkDaddy Johan is from Belgium and it has been my experience that the language barrier lends itself to very brief emails, that are few and far between :)

#5 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 07:56 PM

Have you talked to him at all yet? Make sure he knows you expect a 50/50 writing split (if that is indeed what you expect) Draft up a co-writing agreement and send it to him.
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#6 User is offline   Dottie Icon

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 08:33 PM

Hi Tracy,

Congrats! You write beautiful lyrics so I'm not surprised. :)

The one thing that I've learned (with my very limited experience) is this is a very slow process!
So be prepared to wait, if it hasnít made it to the studio yet it could still be quite a while. I look forward to hearing your song!

Are you registered with BMI?

Dottie

#7 User is online   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 07:21 PM

I had a look at his website.

This looks like a strictly amateur deal to me. However, I would be annoyed that he saw fit to assume you would be OK with him taking your work and be happy to just wait for him to send an MP3.

I would have a word. Explain that asking permission is a good idea!
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#8 User is offline   Lzi Icon

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:43 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 02 December 2010 - 07:56 PM, said:

Have you talked to him at all yet? Make sure he knows you expect a 50/50 writing split (if that is indeed what you expect) Draft up a co-writing agreement and send it to him.


On point advice from Mark here...

Tracy, always come to a firm agreement, draw up the agreement, in full blown legalese, and have all parties sign before you release or do anything whatsoever.

There is a point I would like to make, and this is for anyone who cares to read this;

There is an old saying "You won't get what you do not ask for" which comes immeadiately to mind. Songwriters often get robbed because, they really get excited when someone mentions an opportunity, and this leaves them vulnerable to exploitation by someone who has a bit more business saavy, or perhaps is a seasoned con man. In this business as it is today, there may be little difference betwen the two. People tend to lose sight of the fact that this is a business, and it must be treated this way. If someone decides to fly by the seat of their pants regarding copyright issues, they are asking to be ripped off. There are many who would take advantage of a writer who is naive concerning the business side of songwriting. In fact, copyrights are the single most sought after thing there is, and the more you have/own in your catalog, the more your "worth" increases so, this is a wide open target area for sharks.

Just to illustrate how dirty this business can be, guess what just happened? lol My artist Quintescence called, it seems one of the performance contracts, which she was about to sign had a "management Agreement" hidden withing some tiny print. Just yesterday we signed personal manager Jeff Christie onto our professional team. Quintescence is hot property, and the Underground scene knows it. The sharks have tried many times to have us sign incredibly (lol) vicious traps which are cleverly hidden with the legalese mumbo jumbo. You have to be extremely cautious, and if you fail to be, even for a brief moment, you may find yourself in a miserable, desparate situation. Artists, need entertainment attoneys. Not to have a lawyer is almost a suicidal move in this game. People say, I do this because, I love it, not for the money, until there appears to be the possibility of making some, and they lose perspective rapidly. They say, I cannot afford an attorney. They simply do not grasp the magnitude of what could happen if they fail to lawyer up. Your song could hit, it happens, and when it happens to someone who isn't prepared in advance, the unethical shark types can smell the blood, and they will seek your vulnerable side to find a defenseless crack to slip through, and rob you. No, it's more like you can't afford NOT to have an entertainment attorney. There is a way to do things, and a way not to do things. Never open yourself up to the possibility of trouble, learn how things are done in this industry or, simply do not play the game. You cannot just sit behind a chess board for the very first time, and expect to win against a seasoned player can you? Same logic applies here.

Please, Tracy, be as cautious as you've ever been in your life. Anyone who is familiar with the terrain will hear me loud and clear. Those who want to believe that people are basically good by nature, have absolutely no business trying to make music their business because, in this game of chess, the contract is an absolute vital piece of armour. The time to draw agreements is not after someone has already recorded your song, and is preparing to release it to the world, this should be finalized before anything is done, and I mean anything at all. Do not even begin a collaboration with anyone until the legal concerns are all worked out. This is true, especially if they are your friend because, money can ruin a friendship quickly.
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#9 User is offline   Tracy somebody Icon

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:40 AM

Quote

Have you talked to him at all yet? Make sure he knows you expect a 50/50 writing split (if that is indeed what you expect) Draft up a co-writing agreement and send it to him.

Thankyou FunkDaddy, I will do that, there's a book at the library that outlines such agreements, so I will do some photocopying and make any necessary adjustments. Thanks again Funk!


Dottie, you are indeed a lovely and inspiring lady, and I am grateful for your comment. As for BMI, I think APRA/AMCOS is the Australian equivalent, and I aim to join in the new year. It seems time to get down to the business side of things.


Alistair, thank you for responding and I am glad that you took a look at his website and came to a determination that I could understand. I wasn't sure what to make of it really (yes I am dense - I use my creativity to distract me from that realisation!), so thank you for the clarification!

Quote

This looks like a strictly amateur deal to me. However, I would be annoyed that he saw fit to assume you would be OK with him taking your work and be happy to just wait for him to send an MP3.

I would have a word. Explain that asking permission is a good idea!

Actually when he first wrote to me earlier in the year, I told him that someone else was using it, and that he may be wasting his time working on it, but that didn't deter him and as I stated before, he emailed me months later about it. I haven't given him my permission yet, and I am a little annoyed about that, but this is the first lyric of mine that even looks like going on a CD, and eventhough I absolutely love Tammy and Guys version (and sing it all the time), wouldn't I be shooting myself in the foot, if I squandered this 'opportunity'?...My head hurts....


Lzi thanks for lending your voice to this discussion, you have a good insight into my thought processes

Quote

they really get excited when someone mentions an opportunity

Spot on! And everyone here is correct, I need to get my head out of the rainbow and start protecting my work. Thank you musers - messages received loud and clear!

What a great bunch of people you all are and what a great place this is :D !

#10 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:10 PM

View Poststarsinmyeyes, on 15 December 2010 - 01:40 AM, said:

Quote

Have you talked to him at all yet? Make sure he knows you expect a 50/50 writing split (if that is indeed what you expect) Draft up a co-writing agreement and send it to him.

Thankyou FunkDaddy, I will do that, there's a book at the library that outlines such agreements, so I will do some photocopying and make any necessary adjustments. Thanks again Funk!


You're welcome. I've drafted my standard Muse's Muse legal advice agreement and it's in the mail to you as we speak. 5 points on the song royalties I believe is fair given there was no retainer fee up front. :o
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