Work for Hire agreement with added viral clause

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  • #43868 Reply

    Hello folks, hope all are well.

    Can I ask your view on a current situation I have please?

    I have a guy with a fairly successful YouTube platform who I am in a discussion with about creating simple orchestral cover song instrumentals that will then have vocals added after I hand them over.

    Likely just quartet backing track arrangements of commercial songs designed to have lead vocals, using software rather than real recordings.

    We agreed on a fee of $350 on work-for-hire basis, however I requested a clause that would give me a small percentage of any revenue should the cover version become successful, or in the unlikely event viral.

    I suggested a clause that would have very high metrics before the split would become active.

    The answer I got back was a hard ‘no’ – citing that they do not ask to split any losses made, so, therefore, no profits either.

    I find this pretty unreasonable, and I’m not going to proceed.

    I would suggest a higher upfront fee, but I sense that this is not negotiable either.

    Warm regards,


    #43896 Reply

    You could always agree to some kind of recouping where you split some of the expenses? Maybe that would soften them up. Otherwise, just ask for a really good fee, a kind of ‘FO’ fee, something you would feel comfortable working at but otherwise happy to walk away from.

    #43904 Reply

    Thank you Mark, good idea – however it boils down to 2 options. Take the fee and never see a future split, or walk away.

    I was wondering if my asking for a clause that means a split of income ‘IF’ the song version were to become successful was unreasonable???

    The metrics can be high, and the percentage low, I just wanted to cover myself however unlikely.

    I have worked on a few remixes that went on to be hugely popular, and never saw an additional penny past the original remix fee. Similar situation to cover off here.

    #43917 Reply

    If it is for YouTube, and registered with Identifyy, and does go viral, you’ll get paid. I have a track in a viral Youtube video that earns low 4 figures monthly.

    #43963 Reply

    Thank you Alan, would that be true for a cover song?

    Which was the case with this situation before I bailed.

    #44015 Reply

    Hi MM ,

    Writer/publisher royalties of any kind for cover songs only go to the original writers and publishers. That includes for youtube. 🙂



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