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#674007 - 12/10/08 02:25 PM "Work for Hire" question  
Joined: Apr 2007
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Heidi Thompson  Offline
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NV
We've always thought that a "Work for Hire" meant you get a one-time buy-out fee and that's it. But, recently we've read a few things which stated that a writer could still get certain royalties on a "Work for Hire."

Does anyone know the data on this subject?

Heidi


"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
#674036 - 12/10/08 05:05 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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Work for Hire simply means that you are assigning what would normally be YOUR copyright to somebody else. This has absolutely no bearing on PRO royalties for public performance, however. You cannot legally forfeit your writer's share of public performance royalties, in the United States. Thus even if you irrevocably sold your entire catalog to a music library you would still be entitled to that same 50% share.

The insidious thing is when companies insist on adding "co-writers" to a track, in which case you're not giving up your share per se, but sharing it with people... that really don't deserve anything. Needless to say, no one should stoop to this level.


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#674037 - 12/10/08 05:05 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
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Caroline Offline
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Caroline  Offline
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Heidi, good question, I'll be watching this for the pro's answers.
If it's a wfh, then they shouldn't? but if it's a cowrite, they should? if they are a collab they should? but then some wfh can claim? I'm confused too.


Caroline


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#674039 - 12/10/08 05:27 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Caroline]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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Ray E. Strode  Offline
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The only thing I have seen on this subject is where a demo company gets paid to do a demo and claims no part of copyright, a pretty standard practice. Some will send a statement to that effect and others may not but understand it to be a work for hire.

If you were to hire someone to write songs for you it would depend on the agreement and what the law may say in respect to the rights you may not purchase. In this case a lawyer may be needed to write a (the) contract.

Where a songwriter(s) signs a Publishing Contract the song is sold to the Publisher in return for certain rights spelled out in the contract. This is standard.


Ray E. Strode
#674050 - 12/10/08 07:05 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Here's a specific situation to which I need help. My husband and I write and produce jingles for radio. We sell the work for a flat fee and don't collect royalties.

But, my husband says that the performance royalties can be paid by the radio stations and not the jingle client. Do you know anything about this?

Heidi


"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
#674062 - 12/10/08 07:46 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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Ray E. Strode  Offline
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OK,
My BMI Handbook says: Does BMI pay for Commerical Jingles? Yes, under certain circumstances. Please write to BMI's Commerical Jingle Dept. at 320 West 57th Street New York, N.Y. 10019.

P.S. read your handbook or check Web Site for your PRO or call them as address may have changed.


Ray E. Strode
#674071 - 12/10/08 08:29 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Hummingbird Offline
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Victoria, B.C. Canada
There are two kinds of work for hire

1- when you hire a demo company (for example) to do your demo.

2- when you are hired to write music for someone. they own the resulting composition, but you still get royalties for its use.



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#674146 - 12/11/08 12:14 AM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Hummingbird]  
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Ronnie Glenn Offline
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Ronnie Glenn  Offline
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Cincinnati, OH
As far as I know, if you sell (accept a flat fee) your work for a one-time payment, you are not entitled to receive any royalties. Whereas, if you keep the copyrights to the jingles, each time those commercials are played then you can have some jingles in your pocket. Because radio is not a visual medium, the use of a song as part of a radio commercial requires a separate license, known as a Transcription License. When you register each track with your PRS you declare who the writers are and the percentages they receive. From that they can track the airplay and distribute the share of royalties collected from the radio stations.

Ronnie


"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure."
~ Samuel Johnson
#674149 - 12/11/08 12:36 AM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
Andrew Aversa  Offline

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Philadelphia, PA, USA
Originally Posted by Heidi Thompson
Here's a specific situation to which I need help. My husband and I write and produce jingles for radio. We sell the work for a flat fee and don't collect royalties.

But, my husband says that the performance royalties can be paid by the radio stations and not the jingle client. Do you know anything about this?

Heidi


Radio airplay generates public performance royalties collected by the PROs. These royalties are collected FROM the radio stations. The PROs then distribute money TO the writer(s) and publisher(s) of the jingle. The trick, of course, is ensuring that cue sheets are filed for those jingles.


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Impact Soundworks - Cutting-edge sample libraries for Kontakt
#674239 - 12/11/08 01:51 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Nashville Tennessee
Heidi,

As usual, Andrew's info is spot on.

Check with your PRO. You need to register the jingle with them. The PROs have different regulations for jingles than for commercially released songs, they'll help you sort through it.

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

#674276 - 12/11/08 04:35 PM Re: "Work for Hire" question [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Heidi Thompson  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,867
NV
Thanks for all the great help, guys! I really appreciate it.

Heidi


"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney

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