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His Hand Will Close My Eyes
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I sent three of my lyrics to NCA and they responded saying they really like two of the three and Mr. Zanetis would like to compose the music for them and then they would pitch the song to his contacts. In turn they asked for $250 per song as my share of the studio fees. I agreed to them doing one song and the later submitted another lyric that Mr. Zanetis said he really liked and wanted to compose music for and then pitch. Again they would require $250 for studio fees. Am I being scammed?

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Yes. You should not be paying them to do that. There are a ton pf businesses that offer this service, but it is unlikely that you will get anything more out of it than a bill for services.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 03/28/08 03:31 PM.
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Humm,
You are basically paying for a demo. Are they asking for part of copyright as co-writer's or do you own it all? Did you get back a copy of the song and what is your opinion of the finished product?

You can get pretty good demos in Nashville for about $220.00 or so. The question is are your lyrics ready to shop to contacts.

I don't know about this company but a lot of them don't care how good your lyrics are and will demo anyone's lyrics as long as you will pay.

You might try posting your lyrics on one of the lyric boards for some comments before you spend any more money.


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Thanks, I'll do that. I do get all the songwriter's right and NCA gets the publishing rights though Zanetis is listed and the composer.

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whs, do some research and you will find a hundred others who will do exactly the same thing...and then they also have a piece of you. I wouldn't do it.

Get your feet wet on this board and/or others...find collaborators after your lyrics get known. You'll end up collaborating with someone without the cost, without the confusion of your collaborator also being your "boss" in an odd way...

Retain more control...that's my advice.

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Yes, it is a scam. I have not had any dealings personally with Eric Zanetis, but his father Alex Zanetis scammed me (for more money than I had sense at the time) back in the early 90's and I would bet the apple does not fall far from the tree. It really is too bad, because Alex and Eric both have enjoyed legitimate success in the music business which is what drew me in, but it seems that once success wanes, morality goes by the wayside. Hope this helps.

Marvin

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Thanks, guys. I was afraid this was the case. Unfortunately he now has the publishing rights to the best song I have written in over 30 years.

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I see this question a lot on songwriting boards, unfortunately.

And my answer is always the same: NEVER pay anyone to write music for your lyrics. That's called a CO-WRITE. That means you each equally share in the ownership of the song, and equally share in any income from it, and equally share in the cost of making the demo, if any. You sign a co-writing agreement. If your contributions can be separated, then include a reversion clause for a reasonable length of time (3 to 5 years) that says if the song goes nowhere within that period, your respective contributions revert back to you.

In terms of the publishing agreement you made - is it exclusive? If it is exclusive, one should always get a reversion clause. Similar to the above... if the song is not placed within a certain period, the publishing / copyright reverts back to you. There's nothing wrong with signing an agreement with a publisher that gives them 100% of publishing and you 100% of songwriting.

Unfortunately you should have had legal advice from a qualified entertainment lawyer before signing any agreement to do with your creative property.

So the deed is done, and what can you do about it? Well, they made $250 off you - which, is not too bad in terms of a cost for a demo. And, if you are lucky, they will the place the song, and you get a credit or credits for that. In addition, you will receive royalties for radio play, etc. If they don't place the song, and you don't have a reversion clause, it might be possible after certain length of time, to see if you can terminate your agreement.

So here's what I do right now. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. Find yourself co-writers & collaborators. Trust that you will write even better lyrics. Learn to play an instrument like piano or guitar well enough that you can write your own melodies or at least participate in the development of music for your lyrics. Did I mention, keep writing.

Hummin'bird


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My husband and I spent $850 to have one of our songs redone by Eric Zanetis. He was going to have an up and coming artist sing it at a recording session (multiple instruments)and $850 is what it would cost to have our song included. That session never took place and months later after many friendly & encouraging emails he sent us a very poorly done demo (poor vocal over 2 guitars).I am still deciding if I should pursue this in some way. Our original song had been done professionally and was far superior to what he did for us. I could go on and on ....

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Obviously the story, as you relate it, would suggest he's a scam artist... Thanks for the first hand recap. $850 is excessive for a demo in the first place, and for that money, you should get an amazing result at worst.

Brian


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PLEASE be careful. There are SO many of these scam artists that prey on ambitious songwriters. You can get some excellent advice on this site...especially on the art of detecting sharks like this one.

Good luck smile

Emily

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WHS: Sorry for your misfortune, but at least it was not too expensive. I almost got scammed a while back by this guy fortunately in one of the books on songwriting I was reading at the time, there was a chapter on sharks and he fit the description perfectly, and it was easy to to blow him off.

I guess this class of persons are not slimey enough to get put behind bars or maybe they are slimey enough to avoid prosecution.

Just put it in the Live and learn category and move on.

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I'm familiar with the Alex Zanetis name from some old hits. It actually causes me pain to know he might be connected to this. A few minutes ago I was researching an old Porter Wagoner song and lo and behold, Alex was one of the writers on it!

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If you're not supposed to pay for someone to put music to your lyrics then what would you call "work for hire", you know some of us have no choice but to pay for that service and I wouldn't base it as them being a song shark,

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Airun there is a big difference between a work for hire and paying someone to write music for your song, and then they take a cowrite for the music.
You do not pay cowriters.
and the last I heard you don't pay publishers to take your song.

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 05/08/08 02:34 AM.

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Originally Posted by airun
If you're not supposed to pay for someone to put music to your lyrics then what would you call "work for hire", you know some of us have no choice but to pay for that service and I wouldn't base it as them being a song shark,


You NEVER pay anyone to write music for your lyrics.

That is a CO-WRITE - meaning both of you share ownership of the song, any income from the song, & share the cost of demoing the song.

I have been the composer of music for someone else's lyrics, and I have been the lyric-writer where someone else has put my words to music. Probably 50 to 75 times in the past 5 years and NOT ONCE have I paid anyone to co-write with me.

I suggest you read John Braheny's "The Craft & the Business of Songwriting" and "6 Steps to Songwriting Success" by Jason Blume & get educated about how the industry really works. Many many songs are co-written.


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If you can sing the lyrics, without music, on a tape, that is all most demo shops need to get the tune and create the music for your song. You just pay for the demo and you own the song outright, a work for hire.


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Do your homework, folks. Don't ask a car dealer to determine if you need a new car.

Would you go into a sporting goods store and ask the clerk if you're ready for pro quality, expensive golf clubs? How about going to a music store like Sam Ash, and asking the salesman if you play well enough to buy a $2,000 guitar?

In Meredith Wilson's wonderful stageplay and movie, "The Music Man," Early in the last century's small town America, Prof. Harold Hill makes his living by travelling across the country selling band instruments to parents. His pitch isn't that the instruments are of a good quality and well-suited for someone who is beginning to play, it is that there will be a band to play Sunday afternoon and your child will be up on the town square gazebo in a striking band uniform with a shiny new instrument playing Souza marches and band waltzes with precision and emotion for the townsfolk.

Nowdays, we open our emails to read about a Nigerian princess who needs you, a stranger, to cash her check for $4,000 so she can split her inheritance with you.

I'm not familiar with the business on this thread. The model is an old one. Grow someone's self-image. We used to call them "vanity" record companies, and before that there was a "vanity" press. "We will publish your poetry." "We will publish your novel." This evolved into "Send us your lyrics." Probably most of these businesses operate legally. They provide what they say they will. The problem is when the songwriter looks to the vanity record company to make a critical analysis as to whether or not their songs are good enough to be cut...or to be a hit. That's when you might as well be asking the auto dealer if you need the new car.

Songwriters, singers, musicians. Develop a team. Do a search on this forum for "team." Develop a team of advisors who will help you in your decisions. Who will protect you from yourself. Otherwise you'll be playing a D chord on a $5,000 handmade Spanish classical guitar.

All the Best,
Mike


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I just had the same experience with NCA..they loved the song and oohed and aahed over it..they sent me the demo the other day and it was joke...done by a guy who could hardly hit the notes..minimal instrumentation..I'm asking for my money back..maybe the Better Business Bureau would like to hear how their Nashville buddies conduct business.

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Read my reply re: NCA..If they did not fulfill the complete contract as written in a timely manner. The contract can be voided. Ask a music industry attorney.

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Setting words to music and creating professional recordings is not a scam. Promising that your song will be a hit is a scam. As you said, Mr. Eric Zanetis has enjoyed quite a bit of success as a publisher and certainly does not need to scam anybody. He is one of the most honest and forthright people you will meet in the music business.

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Richard C. Woodsome
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Richard,

Thanks for the timely reply.

Kevin


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Write more songs and move on. These services are as many as their are songs and writers. Meet people first hand, write a lot of songs with a lot of people and don't depend on anyone to write music for you. Being unprepared sets yourself up for this kind of thing.

Just live and learn.

MAB

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I suspect friend that if you can write a couple of great songs then you can write others as good if not better.

As others have said. keep writing and move on

God Bless Roy and Helen

Last edited by Roy Cooper; 06/21/10 10:22 PM.

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Originally Posted by Marvin Adcock
It really is too bad, because Alex and Eric both have enjoyed legitimate success in the music business which is what drew me in, but it seems that once success wanes, morality goes by the wayside.


Alex wrote some winners that's for sure. Among them were hits by Jim Reeves "(Guilty)" and a number one for Ronnie Milsap that was also a Top Twenty for Don Gibson "(Snap Your Fingers)." I knew there was another Zanetis but I thought they were brothers.

I never met them but I've heard the name come up in less than glowing descriptions. I can't tell you what to do but $250 doesn't sound like too much to me. Lots of people in Nashville now charge for demos, consulting, co-writing, and mentoring.

Here are some previous JPF discussions about NCA and Mr. EZ. There are even some posts from EZ hisself.

http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Board=11&Number=718149

http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Board=2&Number=627199

http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Board=4&Number=495399

http://www.justplainfolks.org/ubb/Forum4/HTML/001495.html


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Wow Richard, you're really quick with the replies. Is 2 yrs your average turn around time for a demo ? grin

cheers, niteshift

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Nca music publishing is a BIG SCAM, Eric and Richard Woodsome, are scam artist. I warn you, you are wasting valuable time with these two. they will leave flat, without anything, just lost of your money, they don't abide by their own contract. They will not stand by what is in their own contract. They will con you out, as much money,as they can, promising they are shopping your songs. LIES...They have many, who are taking them into Federal courts, for all the wrong, they are doing. Stay clear of these guys, or you will suffer the same fate as so many,many others.. They are not to be trusted. Claiming to be Men of God, please, they will rob you blind in and out of the church.. PROFESSIONAL CONS!!

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I'm indeed, taking legal actions, against NCA Music, along with HFA, the largest publishing company in the world. Nca has a host of people, seeking to take same action. They are the worse kind of company, so many BBB has been filed against, check what the BBB says about these crooks. Don't be fooled by the kind words, empty promises, they do not stand by their own contracts. They are not the kind of people, you would want to work with. They have lied, cheated, and continue to do what is right. They are crooks. and will do the same to you, should you take chance, on working with them, they have a long list of unhappy customers. They are wolves, in sheep clothing. A class actions suit, is also pending against these crooks. Soon, they will no longer be able to rob, and take advantage of others. Anyone, who does not stand behind their own contract, is not worth your time, or your songs. This is merely a warning, to save others, time, money, and the cost of an legal team. RUN FROM THEM(NCA music pub/Eric Zanetics, Richard C. Woodsome..THEY ARE CROOKS!!

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MSSHABAZZ,
If HFA is the Harry Fox Agency they are not a Publishing Company but rather a Licening Agency that works with the Publisher's that sign up with their service. Unless something has changed, Harry Fox is a very reputable company.

If someone has conned you to use their service to write music to your lyrics they are probably just a demo service. If they got the rights to one of your lyrics/songs you would had to have signed a Publishing Contract. Most likely they "Offered" you a contract to make you think your song was going somewhere. It is an old ploy as old as the hills and isn't worth the paper it's written on. good luck.


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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

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Hi Mike, just read your article again. I think that it should be put on top of this board or the Industry board for all to read.

I know that you could post it on top, but don't know if you're too humble to do it. Therefore, I hope that Brian does it. It should be read.

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Yes, You are right, and presently, HFA is taking this matter into Federal court, as a breach of contract against Mr. Woodsome, and Eric, as well as the NCA Music, they are a bunch of con artists. Everyone, need to be aware of them. Richard woodsome/Eric Zanetics, they are TOP Level CROOKS.

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"Read my reply re: NCA..If they did not fulfill the complete contract as written in a timely manner. The contract can be voided. Ask a music industry attorney."

That above is not a correct statement of law. Ask a music industry attorney - or maybe any competent attorney, anywhere.

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I was shocked to read negative comments about one of my best friends Eric Zanetis. Who are these people complaining and what exactly is their complaints other than childish insults about someone they obviously do not know or have not worked with?

I have known Eric for at least 25 years. We grew up together in the music business, our fathers were both professional songwriters and publishers of high renown, Glenn Martin and Alex Zanetis.

It was Eric who signed writers Craig J. Martin and Larry W. Johnson when nobody else would resulting in the huge hit DON'T TAKE THE GIRL for Tim McGraw. Ask Craig, Larry, McGraw or anyone who knows Eric or has worked with him in Nashville and they will say he's the bomb.

Eric is one of the most honest people I know and one of the strongest allies to songwriters in town.

Troy Martin
Professional songwriter of BABY'S GOTTEN GOOD AT GOODBYE by George Strait (my biggest hit to date)
Nashville, Tennessee since birth
tmartin@diamondgardenmusic.com

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I find it hilarious that someone would dig up a 9 year old message board post about a bad experience with "your friend" and now here you are riding in to save the day a bit late and renewing the complaints for new people to see. .

To be clear, I do not know you, or the person being discussed. I stated the story, as described by the posted above my response was a common scam. Are you suggesting the deal you described "Troy Martin" was the result of an amateur Lyric only writer who paid $250 dollars to have his lyrics set to music and then Zanetis wrote that music and their co-write was a big hit equal to "Don't Take The Girl?" If not, then your story is meaningless. I mean not only meaningless (because it has zero to do with the claim made and that success story has zero to do with the services being offered. In fact. what you have done REEKS of scam artist tactics. Often someone with legit successes uses those to scam newbies who assume they too will find that success. If your story is meant to suggest that similar success could come to either of those complainants, that would be false advertising and dishonest business practices. It should come with a disclaimer that the success you mentioned in no way suggests that paid customers of his services should expect similar success.

To ANYONE who thinks they can pay someone money to "co-write" (which is dishonest as a co-write is an equal partnership with 50/50 split in ownership and publishing, both people's names attached and equal shares of all expenses. At best what it REALLY is is a lame bastardization work for hire scam (though there was no mention of it) where the underlying music remains the sole property of the party who is also collecting the money meaning he could use it over and over again if he wanted, or for that matter, if it was actually any good, he could separate it from the lyric completely use different lyrics, have a hit song and pay nothing to the sucker OP who paid him $250 dollars for nothing. It's not how legit business is done. It is how people with varying successes (or sometimes no successes) scam clueless newbies out of their money.

Then the complainant who posted about paying $850 for a demo and ended up with a piece of garbage recording worse than their original demo, well that is also a scam as described.

Troy, (if you are Troy, anyone can claim to be anyone) unless you are part of Zanetis' company, your opinion (and credits) have no relevance. Bernie Madoff had a lot of successful friends too. If you think the two practices as described above are legitimate business practices, then you're part of the problem. If, on the other hand, Zanetis does not offer those services, then it's irrelevant because no one has to worry about it. Ironically, this LONG dormant post is now resurrected by you and thus Google and everyone else will crawl this old but now still active post and dramatically bump up it's presence any time any of the names are searched.

My comments are based on the practises as described above. To be clear, no one should be paying to co-write with anyone, and a legit "work for hire" would mean the person paying the money would have complete ownership of the entire composition AND the publishing in exchange for payment and the person receiving the payment would have no further ownership, publishing or any other legal rights or interests in the resulting song. If anyone doesn't understand WORK FOR HIRE, get a book on Songwriting by John Braheny or Jason Blume and educate yourself. By doing so you'll likely avoid being scammed in the first place.

PS: These are not the only complaints on Mr. Zanetis' people have commented on here, at events and on the web over the years, though I haven't heard the name this decade until the person claiming to be Troy Martin (remember folks, do not EVER trust that someone is who they say they are on the Internet, there's little way to know) dug it out of the archive and made it new again.

PPS: And I hadn't even noticed all the additional complaints below my original response. Man, you didn't do anything but dig up a lot of bad news for your "friend".


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I agree with Brian on this, how smart are you to drag up a nine year old complaint, but since you did I want to comment.

I don't know you Troy, and I don't know Eric, but I do know his father Alex, and he scammed me years ago. He took money, made and broke promises, sent phony contracts, but never felt one bit of guilt for doing it. If Eric grew up learning his father's kind of "music business" than I assume he is just as corrupt. If Eric is the man you say he is he needs to correct his past dealings along with those of his father.

Marvin

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I don't know anything about any of this, but please, let's be clear...it's Mr. Zanetis whose dealings are in question, not Mr. Zaneski. Poor Mike would be appalled! grin

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Names are awful close!!! Now we know what Mr. Hitla feels like.


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Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Names are awful close!!! Now we know what Mr. Hitla feels like.


Are you talking about Kyle Hitla?

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Originally Posted by Ricki E. Bellos
I don't know anything about any of this, but please, let's be clear...it's Mr. Zanetis whose dealings are in question, not Mr. Zaneski. Poor Mike would be appalled! grin

Ricki


Ha! I had to retyping the name due to the habit of typing the Good Mr Zaneski's name. I think the real Mr. Zaneski would understand... =)


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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Names are awful close!!! Now we know what Mr. Hitla feels like.


Are you talking about Kyle Hitla?


RIMSHOT


Brian Austin Whitney
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Names are awful close!!! Now we know what Mr. Hitla feels like.


Are you talking about Kyle Hitla?


RIMSHOT

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Names are awful close!!! Now we know what Mr. Hitla feels like.


Are you talking about Kyle Hitla?


RIMSHOT


Hey...My remark was intended to be a rimshot. Thank you. wink

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I guess he crawled back under his rock.


Brian Austin Whitney
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The funniest thing is that now nearly 50K people have been warned to stay away from these practices, saving them tons and tons of money and heartache. The person claiming to be Troy sure warned anyone searching for these names to be careful and reconsider.


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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This forum, and especially you Brian, are to be thanked.

Marvin

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.

Last edited by RossM; 02/18/18 03:43 AM.

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