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#1151764 - 03/22/19 07:08 AM Is it possible  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Is it possible to give a share of publishing of a song for just one recording without giving up publishing for future or past recordings? I have a small indie artist that wants to record one of my songs but wants a cut of the publishing. I'm dubious about doing it because it has been cut before and I hold the publishing, now would I be giving him a share of any royalties coming in from the previous recording. This guy will not likely go on to be famous or anything but you never know.

#1151765 - 03/22/19 07:39 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Everett:

I seriously doubt you could acomodate this small indie artist... given the prior cut. If you believe the small indie artist has potential... has he/she already made a rough cut of the song? Can you get them to share it with you before you take further steps? Some artists don't perform certain songs very well. If, on the other hand, it sounds like a potential "match"... you may want an opinion from an experienced Music Attorney or whatever you call them in your neck of the woods. You didn't mention genre. Some genres in today's music world tend to get more attention and thus, sales. Lots of elements "in-play" here but I wouldn't spend much money or take a risk unless the potential reward is there... and you are on solid legal ground.

Good luck... and please use my advice with caution. Real monetary success in the music climate of today has eluded me and I've pretty well "thrown in the towel" of an industry with ever-changing rules and massive stupidity.

----Dave

#1151766 - 03/22/19 08:21 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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I think that you may as well.

If no one cuts your song and it no air play, it will make nothing.
If some Indie artists cuts it and it gets some airplay somewhere, it will make next to nothing.
The math is about the same in both cases.

What is there to lose?

#1151768 - 03/22/19 10:07 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Well,
if he wants a part of the Publishing rights you would need a written agreement stating such. A better idea is give him a reduced royalty rate with a co-writing agreement stating it is for his recording only. These agreements can get sticky. Another thing you can do is issue him a free Mechanical License for a limited amount of copies. I would probably pass on granting him any part of Publishing.


Ray E. Strode
#1151772 - 03/22/19 10:42 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
Is it possible to give a share of publishing of a song for just one recording without giving up publishing for future or past recordings? I have a small indie artist that wants to record one of my songs but wants a cut of the publishing. I'm dubious about doing it because it has been cut before and I hold the publishing, now would I be giving him a share of any royalties coming in from the previous recording. This guy will not likely go on to be famous or anything but you never know.


What kind of dough are we talking about here?

#1151777 - 03/23/19 05:50 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Thank you all for chiming in with your advice. It is a country song and with songs you never know if it will be a gem or a dud. Publishing can be worth a fortune or nothing. I recall watching an interview with Dolly Parton when she said she had a chance for Elvis to cut one of her songs (I forget which song but it became one of her best selling songs) but she would have to give Elvis's manager the publishing, but she refused and she was glad she did later because of how well the song did for her.

I'm leaning not to give up the publishing.

#1151781 - 03/23/19 10:24 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
Thank you all for chiming in with your advice. It is a country song and with songs you never know if it will be a gem or a dud. Publishing can be worth a fortune or nothing. I recall watching an interview with Dolly Parton when she said she had a chance for Elvis to cut one of her songs (I forget which song but it became one of her best selling songs) but she would have to give Elvis's manager the publishing, but she refused and she was glad she did later because of how well the song did for her.

I'm leaning not to give up the publishing.

Speaking of songs for Elvis to record, The Boss' "Fire" he wrote for Elvis but Elvis died before he could do it.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/elvis-bruce-springsteen-fire_us_572ac896e4b016f37894c0f7

it was later recorded by himself, as well as The Pointer sisters who had a big hit with it.

Pointer Sisters, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze86aR84eXc


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/27/19 04:04 PM.
#1152625 - 04/12/19 05:45 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Everett Adams
Thank you all for chiming in with your advice. It is a country song and with songs you never know if it will be a gem or a dud. Publishing can be worth a fortune or nothing. I recall watching an interview with Dolly Parton when she said she had a chance for Elvis to cut one of her songs (I forget which song but it became one of her best selling songs) but she would have to give Elvis's manager the publishing, but she refused and she was glad she did later because of how well the song did for her.

I'm leaning not to give up the publishing.

Speaking of songs for Elvis to record, The Boss' "Fire" he wrote for Elvis but Elvis died before he could do it.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/elvis-bruce-springsteen-fire_us_572ac896e4b016f37894c0f7

it was later recorded by himself, as well as The Pointer sisters who had a big hit with it.

Pointer Sisters, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze86aR84eXc


Pointer Sisters is one of my Go To songs when I need remembering what love and romance is all about. That giddy feeling....

#1152628 - 04/12/19 08:41 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Everett,

The short answer is Yes. It is done. But you have to remember, that unless it is a HUGE hit (which there are almost no huge hits anymore, so it is almost an excercise in futility. there are songs that get "out there" in the universe and seem to be everywhere, but getting actually paid for them outside of a major label and major publishing is almost not going to happen.) There is one example I do know from first hand experience that worked well:

I have a good friend named MIKE RODGERS. His father is named JIMMY RODGERS. Not the original folk/country singer from the 20's, who was my distant cousin, but a singer/songwriter from the 50's, who had one really huge song called "HONEYCOMB". Jimmy had a pretty successful career, with many charted records in the 50's and 60's but had more or less semi retired leading into the 70's. Had his son, Mike, and wanted to spend more time as a father. In the early 70's, he was contacted by Col. Tom Parker, who was Elvis Presley's manager. They were going to do a live simulcast television show from Hawaii and Elvis loved one of Jimmy's early hits called "IT'S OVER", which had been a medium charting hit in the 60's. They wanted to record it for the "ALOHA FROM HAWAII" special. But, like all songs in the Elvis catelog, they asked for publishing.

Dolly Parton had turned them down on "I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU" so they didn't know if they could get the publishing on Jimmy's song, since, like Dolly's song, it had already been a big hit. At first, Jimmy was questioning what to do. Like everyone, he would love an Elvis cut, but the song had already been a hit, so how would that work?

Well actually, they drew up a special deal, assigning the publishing on THAT SONG AND THAT PARTICULAR PERFORMANCE OF THAT SONG. That was on the special and the resulting album. It all worked for everyone. The show was seen by 2 BILLION people, repeated multiple times and the record has sold millions upon millions upon millions of records and DVD's. And Jimmy lives in a house on a cliff in Hawaii, which Mike takes his family to a couple times a year.

So, yes, you can assign publishing on a particular version of a song. Now, the deal is this. Unless you have a substantial hit already, it is unproven and as in most cases now, artists and their publishers/record companies are not even going to consider recording a song that they don't get publishing on. So unless you assign the publishing to them, they are probably going to forget your song and go on to the others they have waiting in line to be recorded. You can hold out and they may want the song enough to accept your terms.

But songwriters really need to understand reality, especially in light of today's Internet world. Songs earn almost NOTHING now, even with millions or hundreds of millions of streams. That income is mostly gone, no matter what songwriting teachers, or schools tell people. It's gone. Done. So you have to decide what it means to you to get something OUT THERE. When you consider it from an artist, publishing company, producer, record label's point of view, They are going to make very little if anything on a song. It is the ARTIST'S BRAND they are trying to build. If they are going to the expense of recording, promoting, packaging songs, they are going to try and get their money back anyway they can. How much do they want your song and how much do you want them to have it?

It's a buyers market now and there are a LOT OF SELLERS. So it's up to you. Come up with what it means to you and ask them what they are interested in.

The only way to know. But yes, it can be done.
MAB

#1152629 - 04/12/19 08:46 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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And for the record, Dolly has privately regretted something couldn't be worked out with Elvis. She would have loved to have Elvis sing one of her songs, but she stood by her guns. She had a really big record on that herself and of course Whitney Houston made it an even BIGGER hit. So she has made out quite well with that song no matter what. But she did want Elvis to do the song. Too bad. I'm sure he would have done a great job. But at the time, Elvis was hemorraging money as fast as it came in. When he died his estate was running on fumes. That is why he toured so much, which contributed to his death. Tom Parker was a convicted felon, and couldn't travel outside of the US, so couldn't let Elvis go outside of the United States, where he would have made a ton more money. The "Aloha from Hawaii" was a way to get Elvis around the world without having to tour it. So they were trying to milk every dime they could out of everything they recorded. They knew everything Elvis did would sell, so if they had the publishing, they would have doubled their money. That was back when publishing meant something. Today, most music is FREE, and no one has yet been able to find a way to monetize free.

#1152631 - 04/12/19 09:39 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Hi Marc:

Good to see you posting again. Enjoyed the story... in two posts. Much to absorb... but on first read, my take is:

It works if you have enough star power and moolah on the buying end. I'm still guessing Everett is "up that proverbial creek... and his paddle was left on the dock!

You are so right. I don't think anyone has figured out a way to monetize music these days. The "Streaming Model" does not work for me. I don't knowingly buy anything via that method... and doubt if anything I've created has ever been streamed. But I've been a Dinosaur for quite some time now and I'm waiting for my Asteroid to arrive and send me on my journey!

Don't be a stranger, ----Dave

#1152642 - 04/12/19 01:00 PM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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The motive for a Publishing Company to sign a contract to do the legwork of getting a Song to market is the Publishing Royalties. As the creative artist you own 100% of those Publishing Royalties, and 100% of the Songwriting Royalties.

What share of Publishing Royalties you are willing to assign, AND...for how long...is a decision you have to make. Does the artist (and the Song) have potential to get strong terrestrial radio airplay? Those venues still pay Royalties. Or are they just dabbling?

Contractual clauses can define the parameters of what you are assigning, percentage, duration, anything you want to specify and make legally binding on you and them.

You can set the Reversion Clause for a certain duration. If the artist has not 'cut' (recorded) AND...'released' the Song to market within a certain time (How long? 1 year? 3 years?) the Publishing Royalties assigned to them legally Revert back to the Songwriter/Publisher, you. They're out and have no further rights to Publishing Royalties. You, as a Publisher, and they, as a Publisher, must be members of the same Performance Rights Organization (PRO). Are you already? Are they? As a Songwriter, how does membership in a PRO work? You have to belong to the same PRO with a Co-Writer. If you are not assigning any Co-Writer ownership you retain 100% of Songwriting Royalties, if...that big little word...if any are earned. Again, a Reversion Clause can terminate the contract if no market success is achieved in a specified time.

While Publishers may want 100% of Publishing Royalties, a successful Songwriter can negotiate a lesser share. 70%? 65%? 50%? The Reversion Clause is essential if they do not get the Song to market where it can earn Royalties. You have to have a way, contractually specific wording, to legally end their Publishing 'control' and get the Song back in your control, so you can market it elsewhere.

If this Song has already been 'cut' and 'released', 'Published', it can be registered with www.harryfox.com to collect Mechanical Royalties and anyone can buy a Mechanical License to record it. 'Mechanical' referred to the hard-copy devices, vinyls, cassettes, CD's, DVD's, that may no longer be the modus operandi for consumers. You need to read the Music Modernization Act and see if there are things in it you need to reflect in any contract you sign with anyone ever.

If this artist has potential you can negotiate a share of Publishing for this Song, this recording, as an additional incentive for them to cut and release their recording of it. If they're not Elvis, just how much potential can you assess in them? The Reversion Clause in the contract can specify that if their recording by their artist is earning Royalties the assignment becomes permanent, for that recording, not 'any' use of your Song. Dolly's big hit became Whitney's bigger hit and, "That Song paid a lot of bills for me!" Dolly said.

You see why you need a lawyer to close these loopholes.

I was reading around in the TAXI newsletter this morning and there's lots of educational reading there. Highly recommended. You don't have to join to get the newsletter.


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1152646 - 04/12/19 09:02 PM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Gary, the "different PRO position might be moot with Everett because Canada only has one PRO. The US is one of the only countries with more than one PRO. They are all SOCAN, and so that point probably wouldn't come up. Again, it depends on who they are working with, most have reciprocal agreements with other countries, so I don't know that is an issue here.

Dave, good to see you too. One of the things that get me these days are so many people up in arms over the lack of Internet platforms interest in pay outs. I don't know where they have been for the past 20 or more years, but for those of us who've been around and SCREAMING about this for decades, we say "welcome to the party." When I was visiting members of Congress and the Senate in 2006, we had the distinct impression we were swimming uphill. We continually pleaded our case about being under and in most cases NOT PAID, and the Senators and Congress people kept saying "Yes, we understand, but the NAPSTER people were here yesterday, and they have a LOT of money." And that is really it. it is the MONEY. And most songwriters are NEVER going to be able to be in that position.

The average song gets a couple hundred streams or "half listens" and that is only if there is some artist the public is IN LOVE WITH. Most of the time they don't even listen to full songs, just parts of them. So when you are requiring hundreds of thousands or MILLIONS of streams and actual PAID downloads most things simply will never register.

So to me it is often like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Recently I've gotten four cuts by some pretty notable artists. They are known, have followings, and do amazingly good work. But we have to be realistic. They are all older artists and will probably sell some copies here and there with their live shows, maybe some from their web sites, but the chances of getting a lot of interest past that is practically nil. Yet, I have to go to all this stuff to verify my ASCAP member status, and fill out all kinds of paperwork, to make NOTHING.

And at the same time, when I go to the Echo dot, system and say "Alexia, play Marc-Alan Barnette songs" this song, called "THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT" comes on that is indeed my voice, but NOT MY SONG. It is a demo I was hired to sing on decades ago. I don't even have any idea who wrote it, or even WHEN I sang it. It's not a bad song, just one of hundreds of demos I have sung over the years. I guess we can now say "Alexia, play all the REALLY BAD DEMOS that Garth Brooks has sung over the years." Great.

I don't have any answers on this. Most of us will NEVER achieve any tangible results from any of this. Yet, we keep doing it. I guess it could be worse. We could all be trying to televise our golf games. LOL!

#1152648 - 04/13/19 06:42 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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I guess it is better to be addicted to music and writing songs that will never make us any money than to be addicted to the many vices that will not only steal our money but also destroy our health, our families, and our lives. Sadly some of those that actually make it big in music will fall victim to those destructive vices.

#1152651 - 04/13/19 10:14 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Thanks, Marc:

Suspicions confirmed. No, it won't keep me from continuing my "favorite hobby" because creating something that might last... long after I'm gone can be reward enough. I'd really like to be able to monetize anything good that comes from writing and recording more than 1000 songs... but it's pretty obvious "that ain't gonna happen!"

Marc, I appreciate all the effort you and others put forth in pleading "our case" in the halls of big, uncaring Government. Idiotic bastards and bastardesses spend all their time attempting to stay in power by getting themselves re-elected with complete allegiance to the big networks. The Damn Press is too powerful in this country. I believe little of what I read or even see, these days. (Thanks, Photoshop!)

But I digress!

No vices here, Everett:

Only the sin of self delusion! LOL!

Be well, all... and continue to remember... "ALL IT TAKES IS ONE!"

#1152664 - 04/13/19 01:28 PM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
In 42 years trying to be in this business, I never met one hit writer who got into the business to be RICH AND FAMOUS. They all got into it because it was WHAT THEY DID and WHO THEY WERE. Success was a by product, but most everyone would have done it for free if they had to. Sort of like Ray Liotta's Shoeless Joe character in FIELD OF DREAMS, "I'd have done it for eatin' money." That is the way it is.

I was in Birmingham Alabama and the friends I grew up with were doing music. I joined them. We never talk so much about being stars, as watching the stars and trying to constantly upgrade our writing and performing abilities. It was always about the next gig, the next recording. When we won a big contest, we did it one step at a time. When that hoopla ended, the band broke up and I switched it to a new format, town and writing style. It was never to be rich and famous. It was to take the next step.
That is what we all have to do. Constantly take the next step.

MAB

#1153546 - 05/26/19 05:46 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
Is it possible to give a share of publishing of a song for just one recording without giving up publishing for future or past recordings? I have a small indie artist that wants to record one of my songs but wants a cut of the publishing. I'm dubious about doing it because it has been cut before and I hold the publishing, now would I be giving him a share of any royalties coming in from the previous recording. This guy will not likely go on to be famous or anything but you never know.



My advice is to only do that if the artist is really famous. For a small indie artist, no way.

#1153550 - 05/26/19 06:48 AM Re: Is it possible [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
I agree.


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