This topic contains 19 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Michael Johnson 4 years, 10 months ago.
- October 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm #6966
As a music supervisor who has licensed scads of compositions and recordings for a whole bunch of film, TV and advertising projects, I can say that your statements are decidedly skewed to doom-and-gloom, and only very partially accurate.
License fees ARE paid — by major TV networks, by basic & premium cable TV, major and indie film production companies and lots more. Now, we have seen a decline in such fees and an increase in in the so-called “royalty free” libraries that offer up certain compositions/tracks for no up-front license fees, but don’t assume that nobody is paying, just because you’re not seeing the bucks.
I know, ’cause I process the licenses and see the fees — including those for my own compositions and recordings which I license for film & TV work.
What we have also seen over the last 5-10 years is a decline in respect for music, even as the demand for it increases.
As for major label artists? Sorry, but even though their fees have also declined, the bigguns are still commanding hefty up-front license fees. You’ll see gratis or lower-cost placements from a major artist when he/she/they agree to it for “message” type project, or if one of their pals is doing a film in which they really believe, AND if they have retained a certain amount of autonomy in how/where their music is used and can direct their publisher/label to make the sweet deal.
Where you DO get such gratis or low-cost placements is when a label is trying to break a new artist (or two or three). They agree to let the production company use a specific track from one of their flagship acts at a low rate IF they will also place specific tracks from their newbie(s) within the film/TV show. It’s not fun as a music supervisor, to try and cram songs into a film or TV episode that have no business being there, just because a label and production company have come to a “gentlemen’s agreement” that has nothing to do with appropriate music, but everything to do with their respective bottom lines.
There ARE avenues out there for placing one’s music without signing away all your rights, but they require a dogged determination and willingness to develop direct relationships with music supervisors, film & TV directors, music editors and post-production folks, rather than relying on a music library to do it for you.
As for cue sheets? They are supposed to be created by the music supervisor, based on notes provided by the music editor, and filed by the production company/network. While some supervisors will use the time code to time cues, it may not correspond with the actual timing of a cue. It’s why I still use a freakin’ stop watch and go through an entire episode or film to make sure that every piece of music is correctly noted — both in timing AND usage. We also are required to note correct writer and publisher information, along with splits.
If you have music in any production, you have every right, as an “interested party” to a copy of the cue sheet the company files. It is up to YOU to demand a copy of it from the production company (usually via the music supervisor), and if you find ANY discrepancies, first contact the music supervisor and ask that an amended cue sheet be filed. Follow up with your PRO to make sure it’s been done. If you don’t get results, you can contact your PRO again and have them investigate.
We can do things to protect ourselves. Giving into the status quo and throwing our collective hands up in the air in defeat will not foster change. I have lots of stories about how various production companies and networks tried to usurp ownership of works, and how folks (including me) thwarted them on behalf of the artists whose works they were licensing.
So don’t roll over, belly-up like a dead cockroach just yet. There’s still life in this industry — you just have to be vigilant and educate yourself on the ins-and-outs… and then act on that knowledge.
Gael MacGregorOctober 4, 2012 at 6:44 am #6976
Thanks Gale. Always an education to read your in-depth posts!June 21, 2014 at 11:22 am #16695
know this Delray guy, and I also know his producer. Turns out Delray copyrighted his producer’s music under his name and didn’t tell him. He basically stole his producer’s music and then turned around and tried to sue his producer in small claims years later once that music came out. After losing a bunch of times Delray got frustrated so he decided to sue CBS and go for the big bucks. He lost that as well, and basically is hated by everyone who’s ever worked with his at this point. I know his producer would never post something like this because he is a real, kind hearted, generous type guy, but I feel I need to set the record straight.September 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm #18119
Delray Richardson is a truth teller / stand up guy. His former co-producer is a coward to the 5th power who went against own copyrights in order to do future business with CBS. Read all the documents involved in the case # CV 12- 7925. Nathan Thornton, that guy Delray actually beat his co-producer in small claims when he caught his co-producer stealing money and not giving Delray his proper songwriting credit. They settled the first case Nathan. Nathan, what scam has Delray pulled on you? Nathan, so you know everybody Delray has worked with or do you just know his co-producer? Did you see the cue sheets and e-mails Nathan? Delray’s co-producer Jean-Yves Ducornet and CBS said in their summary Judgement and declaration that Delray Richardson was / is the co-author of all of the works in that case # CV 12- 7925. The reason Delray Richardson sued CBS was because when Mr. Ducornet and Mr. Michael Eames got caught stealing. Then they said verbally and in e-mails that it was CBS’s responsibility and the cue sheets contained song that were not performed, case # CV 12- 7925. I understand Nathan you just wanted to take sides without doing any research, but like Al Sharton says on his T.V. show Politics Nation “Nice Try, But We Got You”! Lie’s run sprints but, the truth runs marathons.November 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm #18692
Case # CV 12- 7925 is where you find facts and truth. 1. Mr. Ducornet and Mr. Richardson had production agreement signed on March 25th, 1998 under the name of Paperwork Productions. 2. Mr. Richardson has copies of checks that were paid to him by Pen Music Group, and on the memo it says (Settlement Case on # 10M12622) Check #’s 10850, 10851 and 10852. Mr. Ducornet and Mr. Michael Eames got caught stealing and were compelled to settle. Mr. Ducornet said verbally and in e-mails that “it was CBS’s responsibility and the cue sheets contained song that were not performed and somebody at CBS should have been fired for this because it’s a mess” case # CV 12- 7925. That’s the reason Delray Richardson sued CBS was because when Mr. Ducornet and Mr. Michael Eames got caught stealing and they blamed it on CBS. (see emails) # CV 12- 7925. Mr. Richardson was smart enough to be the only artist to have a written agreement with Mr. Ducornet from what I’ve seen with my own eyes. Until this very day some of Mr. Richardson’s music was/is labeled under somebody else’s name on CBS’s cue sheets. Mr. Michael Eames being the publishing administrator and Mr. Ducornet being the co-writer are both fully aware and did nothing about it. What we found out is that they Mr. Michael Eames and Mr. Jean-Yves Ducornet are both benefiting from the falsified cue sheets. Why else wouldn’t you do anything about your music being in someone else’s name, and also not being paid for it’s use. We have no time to call people names and make accusations that are not based on facts. “Mr. Richardson’s neurotic, manic and obsessive personality”. that sounds personal to me Mr. Ducornet / Eames, i mean Mr. Petersen. Mr. Richardson is a friend of mine i am proud to say….and whenever i was faced with adversity he was there for me as i shall be here for him. Anyone interested in truth and fact, please see case # CV 12- 7925. Last but not least… In his declaration to help excuse CBS from copyright infringement liability Mr. Ducornet states “PEN had full authority to license the Exhibit 2 Works on my and my co-owners behalf”. Mr. Ducornet also admits “PEN subsequently accounts to him for the proceeds of such licenses. If America’s Next Top Model only used instrumentals and Mr. Ducornet testified under oath that Plaintiff “Richardson” is the “co-owner” then that would mean the Mr. Ducornet and the Plaintiff created these musical works together under their 1998 agreement as it specifically states: “Songs Produced means all musical arrangements, instrumentals, film scores and other dealings involving musical arrangements”. Only people who get caught scamming settle with the people they’ve scammed.(See check numbers above) as Al Sharton says on his T.V. show Politics Nation “Nice Try, But We Got You”! Lie’s run sprints but, the truth runs marathons.