Copyright - is this reasonable?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MoominDave, May 15, 2009.

  1. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I recently requested permission from Boosey to write a setting to a translation from French by an author who falls under their copyright. The author in question is long forgotten by most of the world; I only came across her work because Britten (who was an acquaintance of hers) set some of it.

    I've just received a reply from the estate, via Boosey - the request is for a "50% split of the new work", a phrase which is slightly mysterious to me - do they mean that they want 50% of any money from sales (N.B. I have made it clear to them from the start that I do not intend to make money from the piece)?

    My main question - is this reasonable? 50% seems on the high side to me intuitively - but is my intuition correct?
     
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  3. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    You are asking for problems asking for advice from generic internet persona on such an important issue.

    Perhaps scan and post the communications between you and B&H and let those who have genuine legal knowledge on such matters provide an opinion.
     
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    All I'm asking is whether this seems vaguely reasonable. Not a contentious question at all - just after some informal feedback from those who have seen this kind of thing before before I sign anything.

    I'm perfectly happy to sign their contract stating this once they've clarified their exact meaning - provided the 50% is somewhere near reasonable practice. My experience here is minimal - so I'm seeking the experience of others... The issue isn't that important, tbh, as I see very little money in the project; I'd just like to avoid being potentially taken for a ride if 50% is on the high side.
     
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Dave, the thing is this ... do you have any choice in the matter? If not negotiable, then it's a case of like it or lump it. At least they have some sort of deal on the table.
     
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Well, I could always just cut them out by using the original French words, which are uncopyrighted. That wouldn't be too much of a hassle.

    But I am really asking more in a spirit of enquiry than in one of hardheaded negotiation; signing this as is doesn't bother me unduly - but maybe next time I'm in the same position the question might have more pertinence.
     
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yep, it's reasonable....sometimes things go 80:20....in their favour....etc etc
     
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Thanks Keith, that's exactly the kind of reply I was after. :tup
     
  9. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    Hi Dave,

    I'm assuming a lot here, but think they may imagine you are going to publish the piece and are asking for 50% of any available royalty (50% words/50% music - which I guess is the normal split when lyrics are involved???) rather than a royalty of 50%, which is indeed high!! (I wish!!)
     

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