Publishing rights

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Sir_Threepwood, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. If your band mandates a composer to write a new piece for you and you're paying an appropriate fee according to the agreement (i.e. 400 £ a minute of written music), how do you deal with the publishing rights, given the fact that the composer also has an general agreement with a publishing company?

    Quite frankly, it's a very good deal for the company as it gets a new piece into their library for free, and not a very good deal for your band that gets some exclusive performances only.

    What's a fair (or at least common) clause to that?
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    You could actually pay for total ownership, but that could get rather expensive ;)

    The exclusivity period is normally around 12 months, you may get first recording rights (although that again may cost extra if you want them outside the exclusivity period as it might cost future sales) other than that it's really subject to contract.

    If you don't like the T&C of a particular composer, you could always look elsewhere - however I'd urge you to consider that (certainly in the case of professional composers) future sales of music like this provides them with revenue stream...they wouldn't be able to survive by commission fees alone...take away the revenue take away the composer base....
  3. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    A couple of points.

    1) It is predominantly the case (I would guess universal) that the publishing rights (all copyright, in fact) remain with the composer. The band does not 'own' any part of the piece. It could be negotiated, I guess, but I don't know a composer who would do that.

    2) Any publishing company involved is not getting a piece 'for free'. They would pay royalties to the composer as they would for any other piece. They wouldn't save a commission fee as publishers rarely offer that.

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