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Hello all

I would like to know if i have a song that an artist want to use can i charge them for the song and still have owners and they own the recording masters

 

Please advise 

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You're sort of in the "grey world" of the modern music business. First of all, yes, technically you, or your publisher issues a "license" so they can use the song, and you can charge a licensing fee for that. The actual fee is around $91. per 1000 copies pressed. Who would own the masters, would probably be who PAYS for the masters. Now, that is where you get into "grey area."

This not the "old days" of music. We are now in more of the "free" music era. If you were to approach a lot of artists, who are not on labels, doing independent projects, small budgets, etc. and tell them they owe you nearly $100 for recording it, they would probably drop the song in lieu one of their own songs. Not fair, and not nice, but it is real. Since most artists in this day and age are mainly interested only in recording their own material, finding one more excuse to drop a song is something they do pretty easily.

If you are dealing with a reputable label, publisher, artist, etc. (one's with legitimate deals) they will probably already know this and ask you for a license. If they have funding, they have no problem paying the fees. But for the most part, that is not where the majority of artists are now. Most are independent and self funded, so keeping costs to a minimum are essential. 

Same as owning and controlling the masters. Ownership is usually owned by the person who pays for the recording. But there are often other things that have to be considered. Many studios have multiple pay scales depending on the level of the recording. There is "demo", master demo" and MASTER scales. Each one costs more money. And some charge extra fees for all kinds of stuff. Gets pretty complicated.

 

So it comes down to a conversation you need to have with the artist or their representatives involved. What are they expecting? What is involved? and then you have to decide what it all means to you.

 

For those of us who write a lot of songs, are constantly pitching, and trying to get music "out there", we do our best to make our music as easy to use as possible. Since most people are not going to PRESS UP a 1000 copies, (more like a couple hundred, and then takes nearly a year to sell those, since the majority of people no longer BUY CD'S) we know a lot are not going to go very far. We would hope those artists get picked up by a major or independent with major connections, possibly re-record the song and so all the "owning of masters" is a moot point. 

And since a lot of us write songs WITH the artists, it is less confusing about who owns what. You are usually SHARING in the ownership. The artist gets their song a little easier to use, and the writer gets mileage on their songs out there a little easier. 

 

And there are plenty of instances that someone hears a song from an artist performing it, and a major artist picks it up. Stranger things have happened.

The entire music industry now is sort of "make it up as we go along." There are some rules and guidelines, but considering there are A BILLION songs a MONTH released and very, very, few ever go much further than a local CD, web site or download (mostly free) you can cut your nose off to spite your face. 

My overall suggestion would be to get to know the people you are dealing with, ask them what they are comfortable with doing, and if nessasary, consult an attorney or better yet, a publisher. Most will be willing to talk to you on general information, although not listen to your material.

Good luck,
MAB
(Marc-Alan Barnette) 

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Thank you for responding its much appreciate it. Since like you said the music industry is go along as you go im thinking to charge a liscense fee and negotiating ownership plus royalties. 

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Another question is there a set price on buying masters or its all in the negotiation?

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22 hours ago, MABBO said:

Same as owning and controlling the masters. Ownership is usually owned by the person who pays for the recording. But there are often other things that have to be considered. Many studios have multiple pay scales depending on the level of the recording. There is "demo", master demo" and MASTER scales. Each one costs more money. And some charge extra fees for all kinds of stuff. Gets pretty complicated.

As far as I know (which isn't necessarily a great distance) the Nashville branch of the Musicians' Union is the only one to have endorsed and accepted a tiered pay-scale.

 

Also, in the territories where I have worked, pressing plants are required to establish that the licence has been paid before going ahead with the order.

I f you choose to waive the licence and indemnify the job accordingly, that's ok too -

they'll want it in writing.

 

But Abwords will never get paid for that licence anyway unless they are a member of the organisation empowered to collect it on members' behalf.

 

The licence is for the song's use - ownership is still the author's (otherwise they will have no right to the licence fee, will they?)

 

Masters belong to whoever pays for the recording - and quite right, too.

 

20 hours ago, Abwords said:

im thinking to charge a liscense fee and negotiating ownership plus royalties. 

That seems very optimistic.

Good luck with it

 

 

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I keep waiting for this "Songcrafting Discussions" section to contain discussion about the craft of writing songs.

(I am an optimist, also)

 

But I do believe this thread is more appropriate for the department entitled "DIY Publishing and The Music Business

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2 hours ago, Lazz said:

I keep waiting for this "Songcrafting Discussions" section to contain discussion about the craft of writing songs.

(I am an optimist, also)

 

But I do believe this thread is more appropriate for the department entitled "DIY Publishing and The Music Business

I do agree. Moved.

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