I am a singer/songwriter and recently met someone at a gig who is very established in the music industry. He passed me 2 sets of lyrics to see what I could do with them and said that if things worked out we'd license them through his agent at Universal Music Group and put in writing how the copyright and publishing would break down. For the first song, he wanted to put a budget together and have me produce and sing the lead and then we'd submit for synch licensing.The second song he ended up passing to a band he manages (a one-hit wonder from the 80s) who is in the studio making a new album. Nothing has happened still with either song in the way of setting up copyright and he isn't keeping me posted about the status of things. He has mentioned that I would record the first song once he has a budget and that the second I may record as a duet with the band and subsequently open for them on their tour. He says he is putting up the money for the band to record the second song and would recoup $25k before any royalties would come to me.I have email correspondence of all of this. I have all the lyric changes and recordings I've done of the arrangements/melodies of the songs. Should the worst happen, will any of this stand up if I have to take legal action?
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So basically, you are singing for free unless he makes 25k first?
writing and possibly singing and recording
At this point, if it is well doumented, the license agreement would hold up.
is there any need for me to copyright under my ASCAP?
I like to take the aproach...if it is not in writing, it did not happen.
Well, what will the contract say? Who will own the copyrights?
Not sure on this second song the band will use.
The first would be split so that his agent at UMG gets a third
and then we split the rest
Well, when you have questions, they are best addressed in writing, in a contract, beforehand.
Right. That's the problem. I let things be too loose thinking the opportunity outweighed the logistics
And ownership of the copyright is a big one.
Yes. Ok. So my manager has written looking to put things more cohesively in writing about both songs.
Well at this point, there's not much risk on your end if he is fronting production costs.
Right. And it didn't cost me anything to create the rough recordings
Varifying income on his end is not easy. Hope you trust him.
Just wasn't sure if people operate this "flaky" in music business ;)
So you think I should copyright my part or just get some sort of written contracts together with him?
Yeah, they do. If you wanted to get serious about ownership rights, people form LLC's (even for one song), asign copyrihgt ownership rights to the LLC. Then you are both owners of the LLC and there has to be transperancy on both sides.
Ok. That sounds good. Thanks.
Otherwise, you are taking him at his word.
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