Copyright/charges/fees for small time studio...contract etc.

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Copyright/charges/fees for small time studio...contract etc.

Postby Choby » Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:43 pm

Hi.

I'm running a new small time studio composing and on the side I record people who want to be recorded.

I
m hoping some old' guns here are savvy with how the copyright system works.

How do you charge? Who owns the copyright of the recorded work? Is this handed over along wiht the CD for an hourly rate? Or is there an hourly rate, then a purchase of the copyright as a final transaction?

re: my own work, my own composition done for clients (they come and say "we want a funky up tempo track etc etc") How do I charge them? Byu the hour? Do I quote per song? Once I've sold them the song, or charged them per hour, is there scope for me getting royalties? Baring in mind most of the music so far is being played abroad, i wonder if APRA would deal with that?

I really need to figure this stuff out. I've done a few jobs and I realise I definately need to write a contract! It's juts a matter of what's fair to me and the client re: that contract.

I don't want to screw anybody, I don't want to screw myself either. I want it all to be fair.

Cheers for any help.

Anth
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Postby Luke Garfield » Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:02 pm

I charge $50 an hour for composition or negotiate for bigger projects. $20 for recording/production negotiate for bigger projects or barter (60 t-shirts for my band for 20hours of recording and production).

Production royalties usually 4%-6%
composition royalties and copyright: Negotiate in the contract how much of the composition you own ie. if you wrote all the music 50% (tell apra that). If the song is going to be mechanically reproduced is the person you are recording have a label deal? NO deal then you will all have to decide (in a contract) the % of the mechanical copyright you get for your part of the composition..

actually I'm tired of writing this stuff (and believe me there is a lot) - buy "Music Business" by Shane Simpson. www.immedia.com.au that way you wont rip yourself off and you'll look highly intelligent to your clients.

Anyone else - I have a throat infection and need rest.

Hope it goes well Anth.
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Postby Kurt » Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:24 pm

I'm pretty sure that copyright on commissioned works generally belongs to the entity that payed for it, however you could try to negotiate something different.
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Postby Choby » Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:55 pm

Thanks for the prompt reply guys..

Don't strain yourself Luke :) Hope your throat gets better quickly...

re: 50 an hour...that's fair. I started charging $25 an hour for production/composition, but I quickly felt underpaid and like I was ripping myself off, specially considering how damn happy people were with all the work.

That book is the perfect recommendation. That's what I'm after. I need something pretty comprehensive and that looks to be one ticket.

Many thanks. This thurs I will order it and get stuck into reading it when it arrives!

Then one visit to the lawyer and a contract should be well under way.

Thanks again.

Anthony
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Postby Luke Garfield » Tue Jul 12, 2005 10:52 pm

Not a prob Anthony.

The book is a great help. There are some other books out there with contract proformas (as word documents). It is legal to reproduce them outright but using them as a guide to create something of your own and then taking your "contract/s" you made up for the different situations you think you might encounter (production, copyright assignment, syncronisation right etc.) can be checked over by the legal man/woman and it'll save them time and you money.

Get in contact via a PM if you need more help.

Luke.
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Postby Choby » Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:25 pm

Much appreciated Luke!

Will be PMing you if needs be....thanks for the great advice. I'll look into the templates too . I'd defnatelyt want to be setting this all up b4 the visit to the lawyer as we all know how much they charge :)

Ant
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Postby chris p » Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:26 am

I charge what I charge for my legal fees in order to fund my very expensive hobby!!!!

I'm not really into copyright law, but my understanding is that the copyright vests at the time of creation in the "author" of the work, even where that work is commissioned. Any change in this has to be done via contract law. Most employee contacts include an assignment of any copyright relating to works created during employment to the employer. Watch out for that one in the record company contracts!

And remeber, you do not have to sell your copyright - you can just license it. This means the other person pays you a fee to use your work, but you keep the copyright yourself, and unless the license you gave is "exclusive", you can license to others as well.

There's quite a few good "music" lawyers around the traps, people who deal with contracts, copyright, event staging, all that stuff - PM me if you are in need.

So what's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer? One is a bottom-dwelling scum-sucker, and the other is a sort of fish. javascript:emoticon(':lol:')
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Postby Choby » Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:46 pm

lol!

That licensing thing is what I want to do - non exxclusive rights to use my work in their production. I really don't like handing over a song in its entirety for a coupla hundred bucks...it just doesn't feel right.

Thanks for the PM offer. I may just be taking you up on that. I get my lawyer on barter...but It could be better to at least have one visit to someone specific to out industry.

Cheers.
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Postby smash » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:58 pm

This is my understanding....

Copyright belongs to the author unless such work was written in the couse of employment.

In your case what needs to be established was whether you were employed to record the songs - as an engineer/producer, or were you employed as a songwritter - in the same way as a jinglewriter would be.

I would stronly suggest that you get this sorted as quickly as possible, historically it has not been in relation to the artists royalties that the biggest and most violent lawsuits have been fought over but in relation to the songwritters royalties.

Good Luck.
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Postby Mark Bassett » Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:58 pm

Check out the Arts Law Center, lots of free legal advice.

http://www.artslaw.com.au/
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