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Hello! The waters of Copyright are choppy and dangerous, so I thought I would ask some third parties if I'm doing this right.

Scenario: A Singer/Songwriter has his own Publishing Company. His publishing Company has the exclusive right to grant licenses on all the songs he writes. He wants to perform/record his songs with my Record Company.

I'm thinking I need two agreements.

The first agreement is with his Publishing Company. In it the agreement states I can record his self published selections WITH the singer/songwriter and additional artists of mutual choice (drummer, bass player, etc). His publishing company waives the Mechanical License Fee. I get 20% of publishing royalties as a Co-Publisher.

The second agreement is with him (the singer). In it I state that my Record Company owns ALL rights to ALL recordings I do with him. I split NET profit with the singer down the middle.

Is this bizarre? Is it normal? Am I missing anything? As I understand it, I'd get 20% of Mechanical and Performance royalties (which his publishing company collects), and he'd get half my record company's net profit from sales of the recordings.

I'd be glad to post draft contracts if anyone is truly interested.



MadMax Thu, 08/21/2008 - 03:34

Good luck on your numbers and getting anyone to sign that contract as you've stated it... unless you are going to put some heavy investment on the front end. Something to the tune of duplication and distribution on a guarantee, as well as an advance on some portion.

You will also need to address content delivery rates for digital distribution, merchandising, and all the other IP content as ownership/partnership.

I'm not saying that you need to negotiate rates... you just need to be clear on your position and the artist's position. But they must comply with the minimum rates as stated by recent legislation.

A contract can have anything in it. It's up to both parties to agree to it...

and I would seriously suggest contacting an IP/copyright attorney to review the documents to ensure that you are not violating anyone's rights... especially the artist's. If you do, you can be held liable for treble damages, attorney fees and punitive damages.

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