Exclusive Library asks for copyright

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  • #16272 Reply

    Hey guys, so I have been offered to sign with a library. Now I read throught the contract, and they want the copyright as well as the exclusive administration rights in the composition and master.

    First of all, what does this mean? I understand that if I send them a song, it will be exclusive with them for one year. But after that, I can place it with whoever I want. So what’s the copyright for?


    #16279 Reply
    Art Munson

    I would not be comfortable with that. You might want to clarify with them.

    #16280 Reply

    Sounds like some legalize, and a deal that is heads they win tails you lose. Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that arrangement.

    #16282 Reply

    Often times agreements are re-hashed from stock contracts. It could be a mistake. If you’re to get the music back after a year, you should be the one retaining the copyright. Otherwise they effectively own the track, like a work-for-hire agreement.

    #16299 Reply

    They just got back at me – the deal is as following:

    After one year I can delete the track from their library and retain the copyright, if the track doesn’t make more than 1000$. Once they make 1000$, they want the copyright

    #16300 Reply

    Are you speaking about a library that begins with S? If so, I know the one you’re speaking of.

    #16307 Reply

    If the exclusive library is paying you upfront and it’s a work-for-hire, then they will own the copyright. That’s pretty standard. Am surprised they will let you take it back, unless you are writing it for free.

    Here’s the copyright office on it:

    What is a work made for hire?
    Although the general rule is that the person who creates the work is its author, there is an exception to that principle. The exception is a work made for hire, which is a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment or a work specially ordered or commissioned in certain specified circumstances. When a work qualifies as a work made for hire, the employer, or commissioning party, is considered to be the author. See Circular 9, Work-Made-For-Hire Under the 1976 Copyright Act.
    More here: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html

    #16308 Reply

    – yes. I signed the contract, I’m okay with the terms.

    – like stated – After one year I can delete the track from their library and retain the copyright, if the track doesn’t make more than 1000$. Once they make 1000$, they want the copyright

    #16311 Reply

    @bryank: I received the same offer from SAS and from what I understand, they are going this direction with all of there existing composers as well. I signed it too but I haven’t, as yet, submitted any music.

    : Do you offer legal services for reading contracts like this? I may need some advice myself on a contract here and there in the future sometime.

    #16313 Reply

    @AaronM…Contracts are governed by state law. I could only review a contract for you in the US state where I am licensed. However, I no longer live there myself.

    ….Just to be fair and consider all sides of the argument, $1,000 is a lot more than most WFH libraries are paying these days. If you don’t hit that threshold you still own the cue, and can throw it into other libraries a year down the road, which isn’t that long a time.

    …Bryan didn’t say if the library /agency is SAS. I personally, don’t have a problem with their deal, because of the reversion clause. But, that’s my opinion. I tend to be less precious about my cues.


    #16338 Reply

    I believe I had received the same contract. bryank, were they only clarifying language in this contract, or did they amend the document to reflect these clarifications?

    Just to be polite, I understand that it’s a newly drafted contract, but the language throughout the whole document was incredibly dubious. Essentially, the contract (as currently written) is on giant multiple loop-hole situation in which you could potentially make nothing from a track that is actually selling, lose all of your backend, AND continue to provide creative and logistical support for said track for free…in perpetuity. The tone throughout the document was very negative and bullying. A contract should read factual, and informative.

    #16365 Reply

    Yes, this deal is made with SAS.

    : no they didn’t amend the document. I asked if it is possible to remove the tracks after 1 year if they don’t hit the 1000$ mark, and if they give feedback if they feel that a track needs a better production to be placed. I didn’t see a loophole in the contract, which part do you mean?

    To me it’s basically

    Each track is 1 year exclusive with them. If it makes 1000$, they have 100% of the publishing rights. If not, I can pull the track.

    That’s also what they wrote in the forum and in the email they send to composers.

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