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#538062 - 09/02/07 03:27 PM Publishing Legal Speak Question  
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Kaika Kale Offline
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Kaika Kale  Offline
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(removed by poster)

Last edited by Kaika Kale; 10/01/07 11:50 PM.

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#538086 - 09/02/07 05:13 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Kaika Kale]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
As I read it:
Clause 5.1 allows the song to revert to the writer if the song is not recorded and released after 5 years. I would shorten that to no more than 3 years.

Clause 6.1 basically states that in case of a recording and release of the song the Publisher has the song for 30 years.
This is covered in copyright law and legitimate.

To be sure the wording is confusing and needs to be made a lot clearer.

Here is how it may be written:
1. In the event of a commerical release publisher and or successors shall retain copyright as provided in U.S. Copyright Law.

2. If this work has not been recorded and released for commerical release by:(Date)_________all rights automatically revert to writer.

There may be other things in the contract that need to be carefully explained by an attorney.

There is a post just recently entitled Copyright Termination, on the General board, I think that you can read if you wish.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 09/02/07 05:14 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#538266 - 09/03/07 01:31 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Ray's suggestions are good.

Often, after the part "revert to the writer," they'll say something about the writer needing to ask for the reversion in writing, after which there's a short term of time, I've seen 60 and 90 days, before the song reverts.

Without something like this added, there's no reason for the publisher to do any work as the term of reversion approaches.

For example: let's say you're a publisher and George Strait's outfit asks you to submit some songs. You've got one of my songs you think would be perfect for him, but you notice that the rights will automatically revert to me in one month, not enough time for there to be a commercial release even if George Strait loves the song. Why should you either pitch the song, only to have me able to legally leave the contract before it's cut, or tell me George Strait is interested, only to have me negotiate around you? That's why you often see a clause like the one mentioned, it gives the publisher time to close up your account on that song.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#538298 - 09/03/07 02:40 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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There is probably no such thing as a perfect publishing contract.
The Songwriter's Guild Publishing Contract has an automatic Reversion Clause of one year with the priviso that it can be extended for I think 6 months if the publisher advances the writer $250.00. The publisher can always communicate with the writer(s) if something is happening with the song.

The Songwriter's Guild Publishing Contract is considered the most complete in the business.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 09/03/07 02:41 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#538305 - 09/03/07 03:30 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Thanks Ray, I like the $250 solution best smile


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#538402 - 09/04/07 01:06 AM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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splitpeasongs Offline
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As a writer who is self-published -- and has gotten cuts on albums that have sold in the hundreds of thousands -- I'm glad you'll be consulting an attorney before signing this contract.

When the language of a contract is this unclear, you gotta wonder: is the lack of clarity accidental or purposeful? Either way, tread carefully.

Putting together the language quoted in your post, ask your attorney the following: if the publisher makes a demo of your song using an artist or producer other than yourself, will the Term of the contract automatically be extended 15 or 30 years? The definition of "cover recording" doesn't seem to require that your song be commercially released through customary channels.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=604368
http://www.myspace.com/splitpeasongs
http://www.myspace.com/splitpeasongs4

Last edited by splitpeasongs; 09/04/07 10:49 AM.
#538782 - 09/05/07 05:48 AM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: splitpeasongs]  
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Lynman Bacolor Offline
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Caloocan, Philippines
Kaika

The contracts looks fine with me espesially the 5 year reversion clause. The 6.1 part also reasonable because the publisher wants to earn at least for a period of 15-30 years after they shop around your song for 5 years.

Maybe you can post the whole contract so that we can analyze it. Especially our veteran in the music industry like Mike Dunbar can give us some wholistic analysis of it.

Lynman

#539707 - 09/07/07 10:30 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Lynman Bacolor]  
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Dude McLean Offline
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Ray...The Song Writers Guild contract is considered the most complete in the business:::: only BY THEM..

The problem with their contract is they are not the publisher...
No business would allow someone else to dictate to them, the terms of their own companys contract.
If that were the case, then they , the Guild, could also pick up all the expenses the publisher may incur, in trying to get this song recorded.They dont do that, do they!?.

I cannot name one major publisher who uses that contract. ..and most publishers who have any clue, will not use it.

For a contract to work it must have some balance, I believe, or it wont work..
The contract used by the Song Writers Guild is not balanced at all, as I have been informed by many music lawyers over the years. If you read it from a publishers point of view.
I have watched this contract change, over the last 35 years, manytimes.

Another point:

It is a contract, you are free to change any wording you wish to change, and submit it back to the publisher.
There is a word for that ,it is called:::: neogotiation...
Dont be too hard headed I have seen writers and artists and lawyers blow a good deal, by trying to get too much from a perfectly legit deal that has been put on the table..

Bottom line, you need to see a lawyer who is an entertainment lawyer...more importantly, one who specializes in the music biz..

Many of you would be amazed at what you can change in a contract that the publisher will accept....A few things are set in stone.But not much.Not really. You just have to know how far you can go.

Dude...


http://songconsultant.com

Last edited by Dude McLean; 09/07/07 10:41 PM.
#539742 - 09/07/07 11:52 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Dude McLean]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Thanks Dude,
I think I read that somewhere by someone but not the Guild. If you have seen it lately you will know it is about 11 pages long and is pretty detailed. I don't know when that contract was written but suspect it was a long time ago before records were much of an item. I have the Contract saved on a floppy disc.

While I am not a Publisher and have no desire to be one I have worked up a pretty good Publishing Contract that I modeled after one the Publisher I was working with found somewhere.

As far as Publishing Contracts go from the songs I have signed everyone except one was borrowed from someone else. Do you have an Original Publishing Contract you worked up yourself or did you borrow one?

True, you can negotiate many things in a contract. As posted elsewhere I turned down a contract, offered by a demo service I used, because there was no reversion clause and they refused to add one.


Ray E. Strode
#540000 - 09/09/07 12:13 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question *DELETED* [Re: Lynman Bacolor]  
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Kaika Kale Offline
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Post deleted by Kaika Kale


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#540005 - 09/09/07 12:35 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Kaika Kale]  
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Kaika Kale Offline
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(document removed)



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#540032 - 09/09/07 02:55 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Kaika Kale]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Wow,
This "Contract" is to say the least extremely confusing.
Under clause 1. Item X it seems to require you to provide a minimum of 34 new compositions. A publishing Contract should name the song, only one song to a contract, not un-named songs to be provided later. I would pass on this contract to be sure. It looks like an amatuer wrote this thing up.

I don't know if the Songwriter's Guild Publishing contract is still on line but you may want to see if you can find it and print it out and do a comparision.


Ray E. Strode
#540044 - 09/09/07 03:43 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Kaika Kale Offline
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Kaika Kale  Offline
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(removed by poster)

Last edited by Kaika Kale; 10/01/07 11:49 PM.

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#540048 - 09/09/07 04:11 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question *DELETED* [Re: Dude McLean]  
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Kaika Kale Offline
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Post deleted by Kaika Kale


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#542018 - 09/18/07 04:12 AM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: Kaika Kale]  
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PeterJ Offline
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PeterJ  Offline
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South OrangeCounty, California...
Kaika,
All things are negotiable. If you believe your services are worth more than what is being offered, don't be afraid to ask for more benefit or less responsiblity for a given agreement. If this is the first offer of consideration and terms, and the publisher came to you, then it is presenting you with the offer which is entirely in its own best interest. The Template Agreement you were given should only be a starting point to make you aware of what the publisher wants.

I didn't get to see the contract (if you successfully posted it)but looking at your original posting, it looks like the initial term is 5 years and if there is no "action", Publisher can, at it's sole discretion may extend its rights for an additional 15 years. If the song is recorded by another artist, the rights may remain with Publisher for an additional 30 years.

Perhaps an extension fee at the end of the initial term would be in order. If the Publisher feels after five years that the song still has commercial appeal, you could ask for compensation while you wait (another 15 years) for the song to make it to market. If at the end of the initial 5, there is no "apparent market" and Publisher doesn't want to pay to continue to carry the song in its catalog, then you could get your rights back and be able to shop for another publisher.

I negotiate leases, not music contracts, but automatically renewing extensions generally come with automatic additional consideration.

One other note, as mentioned above. You need to be Notified in Writing of any activities pertinent to the property you have tendered (accounting of marketing efforts, recordings and revenues), and or exercise of rights (esp. extension rights)of Publisher under the Agreement.

You may feel like the little guy going against the corporate machine, but it has been my experience that if you ask for too much, you'll get a counter offer or a rejection of your requested changes without jeopardizing the deal.

Right now the Publisher is telling you what value it sees in the song(s). If you and your lawyer think the offer is reasonable, then the decision is already made. If you believe the material is worth more than what is being offered, you should let that be known.

The foregoing is opinion and is not offered as legal counsel.


If music be the food of love, why is it so hard to keep my family fed?

Pete
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pageartist.cfm?bandID=734566
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#542269 - 09/18/07 09:13 PM Re: Publishing Legal Speak Question [Re: PeterJ]  
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Kaika Kale Offline
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Kaika Kale  Offline
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New Hampshire, USA
Thanks for your comments Peter. I found them useful.


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