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I never signed a contract, label is putting my songs out...

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by p, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. p

    p Guest

    I have a label putting out a few of my songs and they never asked me to sign anything. I plan on copyrighting them myself. I'm not to worried about getting money from the label if they sell.

    My question is-
    If I don't sign anything from them and they put it out-are the songs basically mine to do what I want with them later on down the line?
    And do I still (for lack of better words) "own or control the songs"

  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Copyright exists by virtue of creating the original work, BUT........registering with the Copyright Office is essential to avoid the he said/she said scenario over who really wrote the song. Personally, I wouldn't allow a label to release anything without a contract in place. Tell the label you want one. I think you're headed for some trouble myself. Go here to register your songs ASAP. You can register multiple songs on one form by having a title for the collective work (album title). Register them as both Performing Arts and Sound Recording.

  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    In addition to copyrighting the songs, you probably want to either set up a publishing company or sign with a publisher and either BMI or ASCAP. You don't say what you mean by the label "putting out a few of your songs." If they are having someone else cover them, they have a right to do that, but have to pay you for the "mechanical rights."

    At any rate, you have a good bit of homework to do. I recommend Passman's book as a good place to start, but there may be books more specifically directed at your situation.
  4. CasBK

    CasBK Guest

    I'm at the beginning stages of a similar situation... submitting songs to labels for artists to cover and release (hopefully).

    Regarding setting up your own publishing company - Is this really necessary for a writer with no publisher? As a BMI writer, can't I simply collect the full 200% royalties without having my own publishing company?

    As I understand it, there is a fee for registering as a BMI publisher and I'd like to avoid this if possible - But first and foremost, I want to keep 200% royalties.

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