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Discussion Forum

Too quiet in here... NEW SONG!!!

Started by Tom Humphreys Sep 1.

Normandy (It Could Have Been Me) 10 Replies

Started by Paul J Openshaw. Last reply by paul stokes Feb 6.

Post Breakup Lament 2 Replies

Started by Tom Humphreys. Last reply by Tom Humphreys Jan 4.

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Comment by Edward Sparks on January 13, 2011 at 5:23am

Here is my experience...I have done music, by that I mean that I both composed and recorded, for local commercials and some film shorts. The ad agency I worked with offered to pay me more if I made it a true "Work for hire." That would mean that I no longer had any rights and that they owned the piece outright.  That would only make sense to me if the music was so specific to their product, like a jingle.  But, I wasn't comfortable with that so we worked out another type of deal, a "limited license."  The small ad agency was thrilled to get to use original music instead of using some music library, which weren't as good as they are now. 

This meant that they licensed the right to use the music I wrote and recorded for one spot, one run of that ad campain, after that the music ownership reverted back to me.  So, I wrote a short piece (about 3 minutes) and recorded two versions, one with several instruments and a simpler one with only a guitar and bass part. Once they mated it with the video, they decided that the simpler one worked better with the voiceover.  I was paid $300.00.  After the 8 week commercial run, I retained the rights.  During each ad run period, I was not to license that piece to anyone else or use it in any other "public performance."  At the end of 8 weeks, they were not to use it again without renegotiating a new license with me. As, it happened they had another client about 6 months later and they pitched the same piece to him and he liked it.  So, without me having to do anything else, they paid me another $300.00 and used it again.  This was repeated once more for the same fee, as $300.00 was my flat rate with them for commercial work.  It was a real boon for me as I only recorded the piece once and made $900.00 on it!  And this was 1986, when $900.00 meant something!  Although this kind of work wan't my favorite, it was nice to get paid several times for one recording, looked good on my resume, and a real shot to the ego to hear my music in a commercial on TV, even if some goober was talking over it!  One of the three uses was for a film short shown in local movie theaters before the feature for a yacht company.  So, the moral is, get the work but don't give away anything! Never sign anything you aren't comfortable with! And most vendors know this and will respect you for looking out for yourself and your intellectual property!  Edward 

Comment by SteveO Mallis on January 13, 2011 at 12:15am
I don't see how a company can claim it's a work for hire, when they aren't paying you anything to begin with. Go figure?! I guess it's a trade-off. In some situations, it probably does make sense to surrender your rights. Weigh the actual/potential gains against the fact that you no longer have any rights to the song. BTW, City Lights is a really good composition. It seems like they would only be allowed the rights if the song actually wins, where you are actually compensated. Steve
Comment by Edward Sparks on January 12, 2011 at 12:58pm
Right you are Rick...Roland should know better than to try to pull this over! Edward
Comment by Rick Heenan on January 12, 2011 at 9:47am

I've got a Roland synth, a very unique piece of equipment.  I can only deduce that everything thats submitted comes off the market and becomes their property.  So, even if you lose, you lose again.  Thats a lot of songs becoming someone elses property for nothing.  Retain your rights.  Thats an old school model designed for them by lawyers who havent a clue about the indie movement.  Retain your rights.  If anything, grant them a mechanical license to use your stuff for a specific amount of time.  They probably won't even give you credit for writing it.  Roland should know better and should accomodate the creators.

Comment by Jay on January 12, 2011 at 3:15am

Hey, Vern!  Surely I agree with you that the terms of the competition requiring the composer to surrender all rights of copyright to the sponsor are onerous.  Seems to me this "work made for hire" applies more to the situation of an software company employee writing code for a program.  After all, Roland is not my employer, and my only gain in the contest is potential prize and perhaps some minor recognition.  The top three video submissions will win the equivalent value of one, two, and three thousand dollars worth of Roland equipment. 

Certainly they want to use your submission  for publicity purposes unhindered by a composer's claims about further remuneration or restrictions.  Still, seems like a pretty good deal for them.  There are a couple of nice compositions by other contestants. 

BTW, sorry for mistakenly putting my original comment in this discussion inappropriately - a bit new at this.  I only posted a second one here to respond to Vern.  Did you take a listen?  I was so rushed with the deadline I didn't mix the song too well - should have lowered the clarinet and streamlined the sax or traded fours.

Comment by Rick Heenan on January 11, 2011 at 11:40pm
Hey David, I think the roman numeral one (I), for most applications would be the starting chord and the key.  Then it gets too complicated for my simple tastes, I had to buy the shirt.  But I think you're right.  I think of series of chords for some turnarounds and coda chords.
Comment by Vern Pringle on January 11, 2011 at 9:12pm
I was just reading Jay's comment from 1 Jan 2011 concerning his song submission and then he goes on to state that the "terms of the Roland compettion require that the  composer surrender the copyright essentially to them". My question is, why? I know it might be a matter of an opportunity in getting your music out there but as a beginner in songwriting it just doesn't make sense to "sell your soul the company store". Sorry, but I'd never sell my copyright away!  Best of luck in the competition and I do hope you do well.
Comment by David Mott on January 11, 2011 at 6:07pm
Hey Rick, I understand what you say about the I IV V in the sense of a three cord song but doesn't it also have something to do with a starting cord, a turn around cord, and a finishing  or ending cord also ?
Comment by songwriting competition on January 11, 2011 at 5:14pm
hi ya'll. neat group
Comment by Walt Pilcher on January 8, 2011 at 10:37am

Kirk said the player didn't work when he tried to listen to "Family Tree Leaves" (discussion I posted earlier this morning).  The SoundClick widget was missing or didn't work.  In case that's a problem for others too, I've now added the URL for the SoundClick page.



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