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Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33243
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am hiring a vocalist to sing on a song of mine that I wrote. I

Customer Question

I am hiring a vocalist to sing on a song of mine that I wrote.
I wrote all the lyrics and melody.   
I am paying them, can I use the vocal track in anything
I want including me being able to license this to movies, commercials, videogames,
club dance tracks, and sell it on itunes and as ringtones? This is the agreement
I will be signing, does this allow and protect me to do what I want?
I will be paying $200 to the vocalist to record the vocals.

Work for Hire Agreement

This Agreement is made between _____ (copyright holder / “Owner”) and ____ (vocalist / “Artist”), under the following provisions. The Artist agrees to provide services to the Owner on a Work for Hire basis as follows:

1.     The Artist shall provide a digital sound recording of his/her voice to the Owner, such recording to be in its essence a representative of the lyrics and melody of the song ___ (“Work”).

2.     The Owner attests that he/she is the sole legal owner of the copyright for the Work at the time the sound recording is made by the Artist.

3.     The Owner agrees that any changes to the title of the Work listed herein shall not constitute the Work as a new work, and agrees that all terms and conditions agreed upon herein, both heretofore and hereafter, shall remain in force with regard to the Work.

4.     The Artist agrees the his/her sound recording in no way constitutes a share or right, in whole or in part, in the legal or artistic ownership of the Work.

5.     The Owner shall approve in writing the digital sound recording provided by the Artist and that the Owner is in receipt of the recording, and shall seal such approval and receipt by payment of the demo price listed on XYZ website, furnished to the Artist through XYZ.

6.     The sound recording created and submitted to the Owner by the Artist, once approved and sealed by the Owner, shall be considered a Work for Hire, and shall become the sole property of the Owner.

7.     In consideration for the compensation described in this Agreement, the Artist agrees to irrevocably transfer and grant to the Owner all rights, title and interest in all copyrights arising from use of the sound recording and provided for under this Agreement, in sections enumerated both heretofore and hereafter.

8.     The Artist may not use the Work for any purpose without written consent from the Owner.

9.     The Owner may not use the Artist's sound recording for any purpose other than that delineated herein. That is, the Owner agrees to use the Artist's sound recording solely within the context of the Work.

10.     The Owner agrees that, at such time gross earnings for the Work, as recorded and reported by the affiliate performing rights organization(s) or by any organization which monetarily compensates the Owner for the Work, reach or exceed an amount of $5,000.00, including domestic and international earnings, the Owner shall compensate the Artist with an additional, one-time sum of $500.00 within 60 days of reaching / exceeding $5,000.00 in earnings as described heretofore, to be furnished to the Artist through XYZ.

11.     After receipt of the $500.00 compensation as described above, the Artist shall release the Owner from all future liability for payment arising from earnings related to the Work.

12.     Neither payment nor non-payment of the award described above shall in any way affect or alter the agreement of all points enumerated prior to section [10] in this Agreement.

13.     The Owner shall furnish to the Artist all earnings records available for the Work twice annually, as requested by the Artist.

14.     If the Owner reaches or exceeds earnings as described in section [10.] above and yet does not compensate the Artist as outlined in section [10.] within 60 days, the Owner agrees that the Artist has the right to obtain such compensation by all legal means available. Moreover, the Owner agrees that, should legal action or proceedings be initiated by the Artist, such legal proceedings will be carried out in the home state of the Artist and within 50 miles of the Artist's place of residence. Should the Artist pursue legal action for reasons specifically regarding the issue of non-payment of compensation as outlined herein, the Owner agrees and attests that he/she shall seek no compensation for legal fees, travel fees or any other fees or costs accrued during or as a result of such proceedings against him/her by the Artist.

15.     This Agreement is effective once a copy signed by both the Owner and the Artist has been furnished to both parties, as of the latest date entered below.

This agreement sets forth entire understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter therein. Any modification of this Agreement must be in writing and approved by both the Owner and the Artist. The waiver of any term or condition of this Agreement shall not be deemed to be a permanent waiver thereof. A breach/default of any item in this Agreement does not constitute breach or negation of all other independent items in force.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 years ago.
The only thing that is an issue is #9. You may want to just have it "for all uses".

Thank you for allowing me to assist you. As you know, we work on the honor system here and cannot always provide you answers that you like. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Please remember that we can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.