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#960119 - 05/17/12 07:35 PM Theme Song  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 165
Steve Horton Offline
Serious Contributor
Steve Horton  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 165
South Carolina
Hello all,
This is my first post. I've been watching the forum for some time and have learned a ton about the "biz" that I otherwise would have had to learn the hard way. Thank you!

At any rate, a small production company is making a pilot of a new reality show that will run on one of the major cable networks. A buddy of mine was playing a song we wrote in a bar one night where the head producer was having a beer. He liked the song but wanted it re-cut in a more southern rock manner. So we did what he asked, sent it to him and he loved it. They are not done filming the pilot yet but they said they will give us full theme song credit. What does this mean? From what they said it will play at opening and closing credits and before and after breaks as well as a backing track.

My main question is, should I join ASCAP or BMI to track the plays or points this song generates? Iíve done some reading on the subject but am having trouble connecting the dots.

Again, thank you guys for a great site and an atmosphere that is so conducive to exchange!
V/R
Steve Horton
Summerville SC


I write, therefore I am.
http://www.reverbnation.com/stevehorton
#960125 - 05/17/12 07:45 PM Re: Theme Song [Re: Steve Horton]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,958
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,958
Brunswick, Ga. USA
If you haven't already, you and your buddy should register your song for copyright. The Standard PA form is the one to use if you both are claiming the copyright. You can also register by Electronic means if you know how. Go to the U.S. Copyright Web Site and find out how to aquire the PA form. Do that as soon as possible. If the song is sucessful you will want to negoiate for a monotary fee. Good luck.


Ray E. Strode
#960131 - 05/17/12 07:52 PM Re: Theme Song [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 165
Steve Horton Offline
Serious Contributor
Steve Horton  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 165
South Carolina
Thanks Ray!
I copyrighted a ton of stuff that was piling up a year or so ago, and it was amongst them.
Thanks again,
-S


I write, therefore I am.
http://www.reverbnation.com/stevehorton
#960418 - 05/19/12 01:15 PM Re: Theme Song [Re: Steve Horton]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,180
Gary E. Andrews Offline
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Gary E. Andrews  Offline
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,180
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
Most 'use' of a composition in a film or tv is 'licensed' with a 'Synchronization License' contract.

The 'head producer' with whom you have been working may be assuming your communications have constituted a 'contract' and they may. If there has been an 'offer' and an 'acceptance', that constitutes a contract. So; what has been offered and what has been accepted?

'Use' or 'licensing' of the song should be formalized for legal purposes, in a written contract. If the 'head producer' has not initiated this legality I am suspicious of his business acumen. He should be interested in being assured there will be no complications with use of the song.

Keep it moving toward market. Don't be contentious. But get it formally 'legalized'.

The song's tv exposure may generate radio play or other plays that generate royalties so you do need a Performance Rights Organization membership to track those plays and, if they are substantial, to calculate your payment.

Use in the series may drive customers to your 'store' wanting to buy the song. Be prepared.

Last edited by Gary E. Andrews; 05/19/12 01:27 PM.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com
#960735 - 05/21/12 01:58 PM Re: Theme Song [Re: Gary E. Andrews]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,361
niteshift Offline
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niteshift  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,361
Sydney, Australia
Hey Steve,

Congrats !

Yep, register with either ASCAP or BMI NOW. You'll need the tune registered to recieve broadcast royalties. It will also give you a personal ID ( ISI/IPI ) which you will use on any further compositions. The theme will also be given an ID and allow tracking for public broadcast. It may be 20 cents, it may be $20 or more.... but it will be something, as all broadcasters must fill in cue sheets for every programme they air.

Good luck.

cheers, niteshift

#960894 - 05/22/12 10:37 PM Re: Theme Song [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,489
Moker Jarrett Offline
Top 50 Poster
Moker Jarrett  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,489
jacksonville, fl
Hey Steve, congrats and welcome to the posting portion of JPF!
Regsiter with BMI or ASCAP right away. You will register that song once you have membership.Imagine what the guy rakes for the theme song on the Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, etc. shows, and now...MadMen, etc....if the pilot takes off it could be something good for you guys financially. Have that "business meeting" with the "head producer" and work your deal out, ask him what's in the budget for the music, realize it's a pilot, and maybe negotiate a sweeter deal for the back end if things take off...as they say, ya never know!


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