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Made this from a lot samples, is this all the info I would need for a "work for hire" contract also known as "no producer royalty, no song rights"? If you think I should add anything, please LMK.


The following shall constitute any Agreement (“Agreement) on this the ________ day of
__________________, 200___ between ___________________________ (“Employer”)
and _________________________ (“Producer”) for Producer’s services as a producer of
master recordings to be owned by Employer. The terms of this Agreement are as follows:

1. ENGAGEMENT: Producer shall perform Record production services and produce for a Master for inclusion, at Employer's election, on a Record of the artist known as __________ {"Artist"}. Production of the Master shall take place at dates and times to be mutually agreed upon by Employer and Producer.

2. RECORDING PROCEDURE: Recording sessions for the Master will be conducted by Employer at Employer's sole cost and expense. Employer shall pay all Recording Costs of the Masters recorded hereunder as and when due. Producer shall deliver to Employer upon completion, a full mixed, edited, and equalized Master {including but not limited to a final two-track equalized tape copy, CDR or digital audio take (DAT)} commercially satisfactory to Employer for use on a record {"Record"}, and all original and duplicate Masters of the music, lyrics and all other material recorded. Producer shall act diligently in completion of the Master. All songs recorded hereunder shall be listed and attached to this Agreement as Schedule "A" List of Songs.

3. COMPENSATION: Employer shall pay Producer the following for Producer's services in this Agreement:

{a} A payment of $__________________ per song or track to be created, produced and recorded by Producer.

4. RIGHTS IN RECORDING: Each Master made under this Agreement, from the inception, will be considered a work made for hire for Employer, if any such Master is deemed not to be a work made for hire, all rights, title and interest in the Master which are attributable to the Producer’s participation in its authorship will be deemed transferred to Employer by this Agreement and this Agreement may be filed with the Register of Copyright as an official transfer of copyright if such be necessary. All Masters made under this Agreement, from the inception of recording and Records derived therefrom, shall be the sole property of Employer, free from any claims whatsoever by Producer or any other person; and Employer shall have the exclusive right to claI'm ownership of and register the copyright to those Masters in his name or the owner and author of them to secure any and all renewals and extensions of such copyright throughout the world.

5. NAMES & LIKENESS: Employer shall have the world wide right in perpetuity to use and permit others to use Producer’s name, (both legal and professional, and whether presently or hereafter used by the Producer), likeness, other identification, and biographical material concerning the Producer for purposes of trade and otherwise without restriction in connection with the Masters recorded hereunder, the Records derived therefrom.

6. CREDIT: Employer shall give Producer appropriate production and songwriting credit on all compact discs, record and cassette labels. Production credit shall read, “Produced by ____________________ of ______________________.”

7. SAMPLES: The Employer understands that the Producer may have utilized a sample from another artist(s) to create the music track. The Producer will give the Employer full disclosure of the origin of all samples. In the event that the song from the recording is published utilizing the music track, the Employer will assume all responsibility for the clearing any samples utilized. In the event that there's a lawsuit, the Employer will assume all responsibility for settling the copyright infringement and the Producer will not be liable. If the name of an artist sampled for the music track is required, the Employer will consult the Producer and will get the information concerning the origin of the sample(s) utilized in the song. In the event that the Employer is not able to retrieve the name of a sampled artist(s) from the Producer, the Employer will be responsible in obtaining the names of any sampled artist(s) and getting the sample(s) cleared. The Employer will accept total responsibility and liability for any changes made to the tracks after the Producer's has delivered the master track(s).

8. The Artist and the Producer understand that this written agreement is a legally binding document. In the event that either the Artist or the Producer violates any of the above clauses, each understands that they will be liable for damages and attorney fees.

9. By signing their signatures below or executing the purchase online, both the Employer and the Producer agree with all the terms and conditions written in this written agreement.

we have hereunto set our hands this ___ day of _____, 20__.

Song Title: __________________________
Musical Contributions: __________________________




Kurt Foster Thu, 08/19/2004 - 14:56

First, I personally think that all this could be avoided by simply designating who ever the "employer" is, as the "producer".

Second, I doubt that this would hold up in court. It is inequitable. In order for any contract to be enforceable, it has to be fair. I think this deal is not fair.

Producers are entitled to points. The entire recording business is built upon this tenant.. BTW, engineers now have the right to claim copyright for their contribution to a recording as well. Attempts to exclude engineers and producers from being able to assert these rights are in my opinion, unfair, shortsighted and cheap.

If someone were to approach me with this contract and ask me to "produce" them under these conditions, I would tell them to produce it themselves ... I don't work for free or for partial payment. I will engineer it but you produce, OK? If you want me to "produce" then pay me as a producer. Pay as a producer includes not only up front fees / advances but also points.

The funny thing is I usually see this kind of thing from artists who have an inflated expectation of what the recording is going to do in the market ... usually, it's much to-do about nothing.

Bottom line is, if you want to make it in the recording business, you got to sperad it around. 20% of something is better than 100% of nothing. It's a "pay to play" business. This kind of approach will not help..

anonymous Thu, 08/26/2004 - 07:35

I noticed your post. I'm a producer / engineer in NYC, working exlusively (thus far) with indedendent, self-financed artists. But I do a lot of production, writing and recording tracks for people. Even working with lyrics and melody. I've been blase about the biz side of things, but I've got a couple of new clients who want to write up contracts, which I think is a good idea. One client has the lyrics and basic melody, and I'm writing the chord changes and producing the track, as well as writing additional sections like bridges and pre-choruses. Another client has only the lyrics, and I'm writing melodies, chord changes and producing the track.
Where would I find copies of contracts that reflect a fair arrangement under these circumstances? It's basically "work for hire", but they are both willing to give me credit for the parts I've contributed, mainly music and the recorded tracks themselves.
Also, how does the musical copyright work is the client writes the melody, but I come up with the chord changes and additional melodic elements?
Thanks for your help! - Steve