Forum Replies Created
I have no experience in the UK. In the States, Beatslinger’s advice is solid. However, in the UK, given the very strong trade unions, it might not be so simple.
I found this web page from the UK Musician’s Union regarding session musicians. It might give you some guidance. https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/Advice/Recording-Broadcasting/Session-Musicians If your friend is a union member s/he may not have leeway in what must be paid.
Alexander Baker is the one who is speaking, above. As a lawyer, I have a lot of skepticism about making a civil rights case stick against the PRO’s. Also, you may want to do some internet research about Mr. Baker. I’ll leave it at that.
There have been long standing consent decrees against both ASCAP and BMI. https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-consent-decree-review-ascap-and-bmi-2019. Wonder if this is an issue that should be taken up with DOJ. It may be of interest to law enforcement.
@Ermut Erhan- Really impressive. It hardly sounds like a “first attempt” . You have some seriously good chops.
@Kery Michael- That “full, lush polished sound” is based on Richard Wagner style of composition and orchestration. It’s amazing that a 19th century composer would have such an effect on modern day film music. This article may interest you: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-jun-17-la-et-wagner-movies-20100617-story.html
Keep in mind that we receive a license to use their software for the virtual instruments or other plug ins. It’s IP just like our music. It’s not an outright purchase. The software developers get copyrights to their software just like our music. Here, we are looking at the licensing issue from the buyers’ perspective. The shoe is on the other foot so to speak.
How would you feel if somebody purchased a license to use your music with a right to transfer that license to anybody they choose for no additional compensation?
I really like it. Good production. Good arrangement. Interesting combination of sounds being used.
I could follow the story line pretty well. So, the form is good. However, I agree cyberk91 that the piece should be divided into two separate compositions for the production world. The music supervisors will want to do their own cutting and pasting into different scenes. It’s more of a made to order piece (which is not a bad thing) rather than a more generic pad of music.
I also get that this piece wouldn’t work as an underscore to a documentary as it’s too thematic.
How can I tell what there is a market for, and write accordingly?
There is lots of thematic material used. You have a good sense of theme. Relatively few people can write good thematic music. I would continue what you do well.
The same usual suspects will have placements for thematic material as well as underscore pads.
When I was a young writer, I thought I had to be a chameleon and write what everybody else wanted me to write. I slowly found out that if I wrote what would get me excited, others would be excited about it too and it would sell.November 18, 2019 at 8:11 pm in reply to: You must remove your songs from any medium. What is this? #33667
Thank you TheoNt. Looking back on it, there is one thing I would change in the car example. I am purchasing the right to control the car. You would technically still have ownership. However, right of control is 90% of the right of ownership. So, giving up control is practically like selling it outright. You just retain a percentage of the royalties from whatever the publisher does with it.
Major artists, e.g., Paul McCartney, spend their lives trying to regain control (the publishing rights) of their music they sold in their youth.November 17, 2019 at 8:40 pm in reply to: You must remove your songs from any medium. What is this? #33659
What Klanglobby is doing is it will re-publish the tracks on Spotify, etc., showing Klanglobby as the publisher. Then Klanglobby will get the publisher’s share of the royalties and will also control how the music is published in the future. This is not just a problem with production music as Taylor Swift recently found out. https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/14/entertainment/taylor-swift-scooter-braun/index.html
Sounds like Klanglobby wants total control over those compositions. You need to decide whether ceding those IP rights make sense in the long term. Intellectual property rights can be very powerful and very valuable. That’s why everyone wants to get them for themselves.
BTW, this is all contractually based. There is no “law” that forces you to give up your rights. The laws come into play after you have signed away the rights.
Look at it as if you were selling a car to them. You own the car until you sell it to them. Then you don’t. The deal is sell me the car for nothing and let me use it. You have no rights to use the car unless you get my permission and you will have to pay me for that use. If I make any money off the use of the car, I will give you a percentage.
They will effectively own the compositions for free with just a promise to split future revenue based upon what the contract says. How valuable is your car, and does it make sense to give it to them in that manner? Only you know for sure.November 3, 2019 at 8:42 pm in reply to: Reality check: how much $ to expect from YouTube streams #33585
I think it varies. On my statement I show the best YouTube being about $100 per 280,000 streams. Another service I had just under 20,000 streams and got 2 cents.
Putting it in perspective, the top YouTube pages with 40 million views equates to about $14,000 in royalties best case.
Haven’t been able to listen to it all, but it’s really interesting. I got started about ten years after you. I’m sure it’s amazing to the younger folks here, but the first-tier players were quite approachable as you discussed.
As I told others, at the time it was kind of an informal apprenticeship program. The experienced pros would take young promising players under their wings and show them the ropes. My two main mentors for keyboards were Ralph Grierson and Pete Jolly. Being exposed to the inside – how a chord is played – how to approach a line, is something that never could be put in a book. There was something about being there, in the moment, that was irreplaceable.
I’m no longer in the scene, but it seems like that concept has gone away.
+2 for Art
Speaking from my lawyer side (and no this is not legal advice) – it depends upon the contract. You have to look at the contract terms really closely to decide what you can and what you cannot do. There is no such thing as a “standard contract”.
If it is a handshake agreement, the agreement is as good as the paper its written on.
Be careful what you do. Your copyright/publishing rights are probably the most important IP you own.October 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm in reply to: Musicians Fear for Livelihood Without Streaming Residuals #33463
Just got this e-mail this morning and it details the calculation.
Thanks for the update. Congrats on you pensions! You were part of that “Golden Era”.October 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm in reply to: Musicians Fear for Livelihood Without Streaming Residuals #33462
I am afraid that there are too many hungry young writers that charge forward so fast and will sign any contract presented to them.
Bingo. That’s the dilemma. However, that issue also determines the value of your music, or my music. How are we differentiated? If we are not differentiated, the value of our music is the same – almost worthless. Law of supply and demand.
There are reasons why purchasers will pay more for yours or my product than the “hungry young writer”. Why was an Earle Hagen or John Carpenter hired instead of a novice? If dollars was the only concern, they would have been on the street at their prices.
Maybe those low compensation areas are to be left to the hungry young writers and the pros simply say no. At that point, the “Oligarchy” can decide whether to lure the pros in at higher prices. If the differentiation does not matter, the prices will not go up. If the quality is needed, the prices would rise. The market decides the price. The Oligarchy may be the primary purchaser, but if there is no supply of quality product, the price necessarily will go up to meet the demand.
There is a huge difference between world-class product and novice product. The market will pay the difference if the world-class supply is controlled by the pros. Will the $48 payment of downloads change your life if you don’t get it? Maybe the answer is to say “no”. If enough people say “no” the prices will rise. We control the supply. If we do not give them the music, there is nothing to sell. I suggest that if 30% of the quality music went away, prices would rise. The market is over-saturated of quality music. We can correct that problem.
At my point of life, if I am competing with the novices, I’m in the wrong area.October 16, 2019 at 7:28 am in reply to: Musicians Fear for Livelihood Without Streaming Residuals #33456
What you are describing is what the unions brought to the table in value. If content providers refused to provide content unless the “Oligarchy” agreed to pay x, there would be a break in the downward spiral.
Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz were the first to break from grips of the studios when they refused to give up their publishing rights and licensed all of their shows. Max Steiner learned in his later years that he actually had that power and refused to work unless he kept all of his publishing rights. He taught Earle Hagen and Henry Mancini the same lesson. Once they became a popular commodity, they refused to work unless they kept the publishing rights. Law of supply and demand again at work.
What if the production writers got together and withheld their material unless they got reasonable compensation? Where would the Oligarchy find content? Of course, it can be argued that there are so many writers that would “cross the line” that it would never work. When I was with Local 47, there were about 50,000 members, but only about 1500 were high enough quality players to do the studio work . It was those 1500 which had to stand together. The others didn’t really matter. Likewise, it is the writers who are competent enough to provide quality content which would have to stand together. The Oligarchy could not survive on inferior product.
The Oligarchy has a lot of currently licensed product. Refusing to provide new content would take awhile to feel the pinch. However, screen writers did it. https://www.wga.org/the-guild/going-guild/join-the-guild Why not commercial music writers?October 15, 2019 at 6:33 pm in reply to: Musicians Fear for Livelihood Without Streaming Residuals #33452
I would gladly voluntarily report my royalties and sync fee income and pay union “work dues” if that lead to a pension at the age of 67 or so.
I got a notice last week from AFM that it is seeking federal protection as the amounts it has in the pension fund are not enough to cover its liabilities. Effectively, the pension fund is bankrupt. While my pension was not huge, it was enough that I was looking forward to getting it. Kiss that goodbye.
The PRO’s will use a model that maximizes their bottom line. Here’s an example of my experience with BMI:
I have a composition that was a minor hit about 15 years ago. I knew that commercial radio was spinning the song thousands of times. A spin on commercial radio is good money. I saw royalties on my statement for less than 1% of the spins. I knew what the spins were because I was following all the radio stations playing my tune and they were giving me their playlists with the number of spins that were being reported to BMI.
IMPORTANT: All the spins that I was trying to seek royalties on were actually reported to BMI.
I challenged BMI on this and I was going in totally documented. The result? BMI’s “policy” at that time is that spin royalties were paid based upon their “samples” of radio station plays. Their “samples” were final and not appealable. The fact that I had thousands of documented spins reported to BMI did not matter. BMI got the royalty payments from the radio stations and in many cases zero went to me.
I firmly believe that unless the composer is affiliated with a heavy-hitter publishing house, the PRO is not the composer’s friend.