ENTERTAINMENT NEWS AND CAREER ADVICE

Archive for May 26, 2011

Industry Tips & Advice: Recording Rap & Hip-Hop Music : Starting a Recording Label

Starting a record label requires deciding on the type of company you want and outfitting yourself with an entourage of marketable artists. Build your own record label by starting a solid business with tips from a veteran hip-hop recording artist in this free video on the rap music industry.

Expert: Thomas Byrd
Bio: Thomas Byrd, also known as R.O.C., is a Christian rapper with more than 10 years experience writing, recording and producing music and rap songs.
Filmmaker: Dan Kenny


Industry Tips & Advice: Publishing Deals and Performance Rights Organizations

Wallace Collins, an entertainment attorney based in New York, explains how music publishing deals typically work, the role that performance rights societies (such as BMI, ASCAP and SESAC) play in managing publishing arrangements — and the murky question of just how much money they get for their assistance.


Industry Tips & Advice: Publishing 101 Fo Hood Niggaz

Brief reason why are need publishing.


Industry Tips & Advice: EMI Music Publishing A&R Speaks


Industry Tips & Advice: Kendall Minter Gives Tax Advice for Musicians

Attorney Kendall Minter offers advice on how frequently musicians should pay their taxes and suggests types of professionals that can best help them prepare financially for the future.


Industry Tips & Advice: Kendall Minter Gives Advice for Copyrighting Songs

Attorney Kendall Minter explains why copyrighting an entire album at once is more cost effective than registering individual songs.


Industry Tips & Advice: Irv Gotti on Getting Your Music Heard

Irv Gotti of The Inc. discusses how he uses his industry and social contacts to help him find undiscovered and unsigned talent.


Inspirational Advice: Will Smith – Inspirational interview


Inspirational Advice: Irv Gotti – On the easy way to become successful


Inspirational Advice: Oprah Winfrey – Before the Billions


Inspirational Advice: Akon on the painful sacrifices of fame & money


Inspirational Advice: Michael Jackson’s Words of wisdom (Michael Jackson’s SECRET TO SUCCESS)

Michael Jackson Words of wisdom


Inspirational Advice: Donald Trump’s Words Of Wisdom

Donald Trump drops some great words of wisdom.


Inspirational Advice: Tupac’s – Words of Wisdom (Extreme Inspiration)


Inspirational Advice: Birdman – Words of Wisdom


Inspirational Advice: Lil Wayne’s Words of wisdom (Inspiration & Life)

Lil Wayne – Words of wisdom


Inspirational Advice: 50 Cent on the business of fear

Evan Davis speaks to 50 Cent about how overcoming your fears can help you get ahead in business.


Inspirational Advice: P Diddy’s Words Of Wisdom

Diddys ‘s words of wisdom


Inspirational Advice: Diddy Gives Career Advice to the Aspiring Artists on If I Can Dream

Diddy sits with the aspiring artists in the Dream Studio and offers them career advice, and talks about his start as an A&R.


Industry Tips & Advice: Jay-Z talking to Travis Smiley about running a record label and founding Rocawear

Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige being interviewed by Travis Smiley on April 17, 2008.


Industry Tips & Advice: How to Sell 200,000 CDs Without a Record Company – Ty Cohen

Learn How to Market, Promote & Sell Your Music Worldwide Using Nothing More Then MySpace!


Industry Tips & Advice: Music Business: How Bands And Co-Writers Divide Percentage Shares In A Song by Bobby Borg

Under Copyright Law, as soon as one of your original song ideas is recorded on a cassette tape or the lyrics to one of your compositions is written on a sheet of paper, a copyright is formed. A copyright grants you the exclusive “first right” to reproduce, distribute, perform, and sell your compositions to the public. But what does copyright law say about your rights when an original idea is formed between two or more people, as in the case when a joint work is created? This is an area where things get a bit more tricky. Therefore, a few principles regarding joint works must be understood between the authors. The most important principle has to do with ownership.

Lets begin by taking a look at what copyright law says, then explore the exceptions to copyright law per written agreement, and finally consider the “all for one, one for one philosophy.”

Division Of Ownership Under Copyright Law

There’s a presumption under copyright law that the authors of a joint work are automatically considered equal contributors. This simply means that if a band writes a song, each writer automatically owns an equal share-no matter how big or small their musical or lyrical contribution.

Determining a MUSICAL or LYRICAL contribution is less simple. A “lyrical” contribution is obviously the words written as part of a musical composition. A “musical” contribution, however, is what’s often the source of great confusion. Neil Gillis, Vice President of A & R and Advertising at Warner/Chappell Music, says that a musical contribution includes the melody, as well as any preexisting riff or groove that becomes an integral hook to the song. Take the drum part to the song “Wipe Out,” for example, or the bass riff to the song “Come Together.” Would these songs be the same if either part was excluded? Certainly not! Nevertheless, Neil Gillis warns that he would never walk out of a writing session without first being clear among all the writers what percentage of each composition he owned. A simple agreement will suffice. It’s not even a bad idea to record writing sessions on a small recorder, and to keep copies of original lyric sheets in case a dispute between writers ever materializes. Unfortunately, disputes between writers are not uncommon.

Exceptions To Copyright Law Per Written Agreement

Keeping in mind what copyright law says, if the percentage split in a composition is intended to in any way to be other than equal, there needs to be a written agreement setting forth what that split really is. For instance, if the other members of your band agree that the bass player’s contribution in a song should only entitle him to a ten percent share, this must be put in writing!

You may be wondering whether any musician would carelessly agree to a smaller percentage share than he or she actually deserves. It’s been known to happen! In fact, I’ve known several musicians who, throughout the course of performing with one extremely successful rock singer (who must remain anonymous), signed away 100 percent of their song shares in return for a small sum of money. Not realizing the potential value of their shares over the long term, the guys felt that it was what they needed to do at the time to keep their positions in the band. Needless to say, they’re all kicking themselves now. This is one case where you want foresight, not hindsight, to be 20/20.

The “All For One, One For All” Philosophy

With all this talk of what’s copyrightable and who’s entitled to what, you might ask what happened to the “All for one, one for all” philosophy that most young bands and writers swear to. After all, if a group of writers stuff themselves into a practice room to spend hours of their valuable time experimenting with song ideas and recording demos, is it really fair that the harmonica player gets zero interest in a song just because he wasn’t feeling as lyrically or melodically creative as the others that day? And what happens when all the writers make relevant suggestions and have to determine whose chorus idea gets used? Can this potentially turn the writing process into a competitive game of who’s getting credit rather than focusing on writing the best song possible? I know this all sounds a bit immature, but it’s a very real problem. Consequently, many bands have an initial agreement stating that all of its members will receive an equal split in the songs regardless of who comes up with what.

The “all for one, one for all philosophy” makes perfect sense at first, and works for many years of a relationship. However, once a group becomes successful and everyone in the industry begins telling the vocalist or guitarist that he or she’s the real star and genius of the band, trust me – the divisions in the new songs will quickly change in their favor. For example, guitarist Stone Gossard and vocalist Eddie Vedder wrote most of Pearl Jam’s songs, yet the band originally split the percentages in its compositions equally – each member (five in total) received 20 percent. However, as the group became more successful and vocalist Eddie Vedder was recognized as “the star” or “the man,” essentially becoming the only irreplaceable member of the group, the band wanted to keep him happy. The group allotted 36 percent of each song to Vedder, and 16 percent went to each of the other three members of the band.

In another-far more drastic-example, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin took it upon themselves to begin wandering off on their own to a cottage in Scotland called Braun-yur and demoing complete song ideas for Zeppelin III. In other words, this is where the other members of the group began to get cut out of the songwriting process. Surely no one wants to lose out on their profitable piece of the pie, but the harsh reality is that there’s usually one or two key writers in a group dynamic who are the principle creators and genius, and it takes a great amount of maturity on the part of the other members to somehow recognize and deal with this – plain and simple!

SOURCE:

http://www.indie-music.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4960


Industry Tips & Advice: MUSIC PUBLISHING – AN INTRODUCTION (Part 2 of 2) by Alan Korn

This article is part 2 of an overview on music publishing. In the last article I discussed what music publishers do and the types of income they collect. This column looks at typical publishing deals that are available.

SHOULD I ENTER INTO A PUBLISHING DEAL?
Actually, not every artist needs to enter a publishing deal. It may be wiser to first obtain a major record deal before finding a music publisher. Conversely, publishers may want nothing to do with an artist who doesn’t have a record deal or some other guaranteed way to generate income. In addition, some artists may prefer to hold onto their copyrights and let administration agencies collect their publishing income.

HOW IS SONGWRITING INCOME SPLIT WITH A PUBLISHER?

With the exception of print music, income from musical compositions is generally split on a 50/50 basis between the music publisher and writer. The publisher’s half of this income is called the “publisher’s share,” and the writer’s half is the “writer’s share.”

To illustrate how this works in the real world, let’s take the following example. Imagine a publisher collects slightly more than $.68 (68 cents) in mechanical royalties from the sale of one of your CDs (actually 10 songs x $.091 cents per song x 75% rate for controlled compositions = 68.25 cents. I’ll round off the extra ¼ cent for purposes of this article). Assuming there are no collection costs deducted off the top, the publisher’s share comes to approximately $.34 (34 cents) and the writer’s share also comes to approximately $.34 (34 cents).

This financial split is a basic, but important, concept. When discussing publishing income, be sure to remember this distinction between “publisher’s share” and “writer’s share.”

WHAT TYPES OF MUSIC PUBLISHING DEALS ARE AVAILABLE?
STANDARD PUBLISHING AGREEMENTS

Standard music publishing deals come in several varieties. These include song-by-song publishing deals for specific compositions, and exclusive songwriter agreements that may last for a fixed period of years (usually 1 year with options to extend the term). These publishing deals may cover all songs written by an artist, or just those songs commercially released during the term of the agreement.

Under either arrangement, the publisher becomes the copyright owner of the songs. In exchange, the Publisher may pay the artist an advance based upon the potential value of the compositions. Subsequent income generated from these songs is then split, usually on a 50/50 basis. After the publisher recovers its advance, the artist is paid the “writer’s share” of net income received, while the publisher retains its publisher’s share.

CO-PUBLISHING AGREEMENTS

Co-publishing deals are similar to the above arrangement, except the artist (or the artist’s publishing entity) co-owns a percentage of the copyright along with the publisher. It is common for both parties to each own 50% of the copyright, though percentages can vary from deal to deal.

In a CO-publishing deal, the songwriter’s publishing entity also receives a percentage of the “publisher’s share” of income. Thus, using the above hypothetical, an artist would receive the “writer’s share” of the publishing “pie” (i.e., 34 cents), while also receiving up to half the net income from the publisher’s share of the publishing “pie”(i.e., an additional 17 cents).

Although CO-publishing deals are sometimes better than standard publishing deals, not all CO-publishing deals are in the artists best interest. For instance, some independent record labels require new artists to enter into a CO-publishing deal with the label’s “publishing” entity. (Ironically, few major labels require this of their artists). Even if you are offered an additional advance for such a deal, you should resist it! Here’s why:

The record company’s goal here is to reduce the amount of money payable to you from record sales (since the record company gets to keep 50% of the “publisher’s share” of mechanical royalty income);
Independent record labels may lack the experience and resources to promote your songs like an independent publishing company;
An independent publisher has more incentive to demand and accounting and collect publishing income from your label; and
It may actually be in your interest to retain these copyrights and enter into an administration deal instead.
ADMINISTRATION AGREEMENTS

In an administration deal, the publishing administrator collects income and also helps promote the songwriter’s catalogue. An administration deal may last for a specific period of time (i.e., 3 years) or for one year with several options to renew. When the term is over, all rights revert back to the artist.

A publishing administrator is typically paid by deducting a percentage of the income it collects on behalf of the artist. After deducting this administration fee (anywhere from 10% to 20% of the gross proceeds) the administrator distributes 100% of the remaining net income to the songwriter(s). As an incentive to promote your songs, some administrators may also charge a slightly higher collection fee for income earned from cover songs.

In some cases, a songwriter may receive as much income from a co-publisher as a publishing administrator. However, while a CO-publisher may be able to offer a generous advance, an administration deal can provide an artist with greater financial and artistic control. There are also many advantages to retaining the copyright to your songs. For example, if your first record sells only moderately but your next CD becomes commercially successful, you may gain greater leverage to negotiate a favorable publishing, CO-publishing or administration deal at a later date.

FURTHER READING:
These two columns provide just a brief overview of the music publishing industry. Because publishing money is often a major source of revenue for recording artists, it is important to know about your publishing rights. For those who want to learn more about this area, one book worth reading is “Music, Money and Success: The Insider’s Guide to the Music Industry” by Jeff Brabec and Todd Brabec. The authors have years of experience in the music business, and their book provides a detailed guide to publishing industry practices, including tips on what to look for in a publishing deal.

Alan Korn
Law Office of Alan Korn
1840 Woolsey Street
Berkeley, CA 94703
Ph: (510) 548-7300
Fax: (510) 540-4821
aakorn@igc.org
www.alankorn.com

SOURCE:

http://www.alankorn.com/articles/publishing_2.html


Industry Tips & Advice: MUSIC PUBLISHING – AN OVERVIEW (Part 1 of 2) by Alan Korn

This article is designed to give an overview of music publishing. Although the details can be less than fascinating, music publishing remains one of the most financially lucrative areas in the music business, and one of the few areas where artists can generate real money. As a result, it is particularly crucial for recording artists and songwriters to protect their publishing rights. The best way to start is to learn the basics of the music publishing business.

WHAT IS A MUSIC PUBLISHER?
Before the invention of the phonograph, songwriters earned income by relying on music publishers to sell sheet music of their songs. Even as radio and television replaced the piano in the parlor, music publishers continued to play an important role as popular singers continued to rely upon established songwriters to provide their material. However, with the advent of rock and roll (and especially the Beatles) popular recording artists began to write more of their own songs. Since that time, the music publishing industry has taken on a less important role. Nevertheless, music publishers continue to perform several important functions that you should be aware of.

WHAT DOES A MUSIC PUBLISHER DO?
Today, music publishers are concerned with administering copyrights, licensing songs to record companies and others, and collecting royalties on behalf of the songwriter. Some of the more important music publishing activities are listed below:
Mechanical Royalties

The term “mechanical royalties” initially referred to royalties paid whenever a song was reproduced by a mechanical device (remember that one of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights is the right to authorize the reproduction of their work). The term “mechanical royalties” was applied to the reproduction of songs in music boxes, player pianos rolls, and later, phonograph records. This term is still used, and “mechanical royalties” now refers to royalties paid for the reproduction of songs on CD, DAT, audiocassette, flexi-discs, musical greeting cards, and other devices sold on a “per unit” basis.

The amount of money a record company must pay for a mechanical license is generally set by the Copyright Royalty Tribunal. This rate is sometimes referred to as a “statutory” rate. The current statutory rate through December 31, 2007 is nine and one-tenth cent ($.091) per song. This means that a single song can generate up to $.91 cents for every 10 records sold. Unfortunately, it is record industry custom to pay only 75% of the statutory rate to new or moderately successful songwriters. This means that a typical songwriter without enormous clout would generate a little more than 68 cents for every 10 records sold. After the publisher collects this money from the record company and takes its share of the income, a songwriter may receive as little as half of this amount.
Foreign Monies

Foreign countries sometimes have different laws governing the collection and distribution of mechanical royalties. As a result, it is often necessary for publishers to enter into agreements with a foreign publisher (or “subpublishers”) to collect a songwriter’s mechanical royalties in that territory. After the subpublisher takes a cut (anywhere from 15% to 25%) the rest of this foreign income is divided between the publisher and the songwriter according to their agreement.

Synchronization Licenses
Whenever a song is used with a visual image, it is necessary to obtain a “synchronization” (or “synch”) license permitting the use of that song. Music publishers issue synch licenses to television advertisers, motion picture companies, video manufacturers and CD-Rom companies. A portion of this money (usually 1/2 the net proceeds) is paid to the songwriter.

Transcription Licenses
Because radio is not a visual medium, the use of a song as part of a radio commercial requires a separate license, known as a “transcription license.” Sometimes songwriters are able to negotiate provisions in their publishing contract preventing their songs from use in certain contexts, such as ads for alcohol, tobacco, political campaigns or other uses the songwriter may find offensive.

Print Licenses
Although sheet music sales have diminished over the years, many songs are still available in print form. These include books of songs by specific artists, instruction books or compilations of hits within a given genre (i.e., “100 Country Hits of All Time”). The music publisher issues print licenses and collects this income from the sheet music company, while the songwriter receives a small royalty derived from the sale of his or her song in print form.

Administration and Registration of Copyrights
Because music publishers generate money by licensing copyrighted compositions, they must also perform various administrative tasks involving copyright transfers and the registration of musical copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registering your copyright with the US Copyright Office provides added protection to copyright holders, and can permit the copyright owner to recover statutory damages of up to $100,000 and attorneys fees if the copyright is subsequently infringed.

Public Performance Royalties
A copyright owner also has the exclusive right to authorize the “public performance” of that work. This is why radio and television broadcasters must enter into licenses with performance rights organizations such as BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. These performance rights organizations collect income on behalf of songwriters and music publishers whenever a song is publicly broadcast. A future column of the Fine Print will discuss these performance rights organizations in more detail.

Even though music publishers do not collect this performance rights income, publishers remain entitled to 50% of the money received by BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and others. Publishers also register songs with these performance rights organizations.

“Song Plugging”
This obscure term refers to music bizzers who promote the compositions of others. This may involve convincing popular artists to cover your song, or convincing Disney to use your latest tune in their next animated feature.

Translations
Publishers may also authorize translations in order to generate income from cover versions of a particular song in foreign countries.

Obtaining a Record Deal
Music publishers are usually generally most in signing established songwriters or recording artists who write their own material. However, some publishers may be willing to sign new songwriters or bands without a record deal. If a publisher believes an undiscovered artist will one day sell lots of hit records, they may help the artist record demos and assist in trying to land a major record deal. If the artist gets signed, the music publisher will hope to see a reward for its investment in the form of mechanical royalties, public performance royalties and other derivative income. A publisher may even be willing to contribute to tour support or provide extra promotions money in order to generate future publishing income from record sales and airplay.

WHY CONSIDER A PUBLISHING DEAL?
The main reason is money. Music publishers may be willing to pay a substantial cash advance for a songwriter’s past, present or future material. In exchange, the publisher will own a percentage of that artist’s musical copyrights and keep a percentage of money these songs earn.

Of course, publishers are unlikely to pay an advance unless they believe they can make a profit on the deal. Like everyone else in the industry, music publishers are in the business of buying something of yours in order to sell it to others at a profit. Unfortunately, many artists do not realize how valuable their publishing rights are. The history of the music business is littered with sleazy promoters who paid pennies for songs that later generated millions in income.

Not every artist needs a publishing deal, and some artists may be better off by avoiding traditional publishing deal altogether. Many different publishing options may be available to an artist today. Some publishers may be willing to enter into a more limited “co-publishing” deal, and “administration” deals may be available for independent artists who seek to retain their valuable copyrights. The next column will look at each of these deals more closely.

SOURCE:

http://www.alankorn.com/articles/publishing_1.html