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

Discussion in 'General Discussion' 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 Well-Known 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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