Miami rapper, Josh LeBang, 6-Deep Entertainment and Hitman Enterprise puts together an amazing body of work, titled “Last of the Beast”. This mixtape displays his versatility as a musician thru production, singing and rapping. It’s a great transition into Josh LeBang from J-Beats tha Beast. He teams up with Fresha, Reese Head, D’Marie, Prez P, PB Large, Jessy James, Zyto, & Kidd Adamz on various records.
Today’s Topic: “Work-For-Hire” Agreements
According to the United States Copyright Act [17 USC Sec. 102], an author enjoys copyright protection as soon as he/she “fixes” his/her original work in a “tangible medium of expression” (for example by writing it down or recording it). The same principle applies, however, for independent contractors (artists, back-up musicians, back-up vocalists, etc.) who are hired to contribute to larger productions. What does that mean? Well, artists, that means that even though you pay the back-up singers on your tracks, or the graphic designers, video editors, and web developers to help package your branding tools, each contributor continues to have ownership in whatever original work they’ve created. Just because you’ve paid for a service does not mean that you own the product or the money you make from it (what we lawyers call “results and proceeds”)!
We imagine at this point that you’ve probably become concerned about how you can own all of the content on your tracks – unless you do everything yourself.
Well, fret not- Work-For-Hire Agreements remedy that exact predicament.
Work-For-Hires will allow for anybody else’s work to be treated as if it were “authored” by the hiring party. In other words, where a true employer-employee relationship does not exist (which it almost never does in music), this document will secure ownership in intellectual property for the hiring party. What is more, a thorough Work-for-Hire Agreement (which are usually only one page) will have a catchall clause that transfers ownership even if the actual content-at-issue does not fit neatly within the Copyright Act’s definition of “works-made-for-hire.” Thus, a well-drafted Agreement works on two fronts, providing both “belt and suspenders.”
As a practical matter, Work-For-Hires ensure a clear “chain of title” for the hiring party, and minimize that party’s exposure to liability from other creative people; the latter will not be able to sue the hiring party for additional compensation or control of the work-at-issue, because the latter will have no legal “ownership” of that work. Finally, a Work-for-Hire will clearly delineate how the creative contributor will be compensated. One single-page document can make things that much easier and clearer.
Artists, please consider these Agreements seriously in moving forward with your creative endeavors. They are a cheap, excellent means of preempting very expensive problems down the line.
By: Barry Chase, Greg Bloom, and Michael Epstein.
Entertainment Attorneys at ChaseLawyers.
Miami : 305-373-7665 | New York City: 212-601-2762
© 2014 ChaseLawyers
According to sources, Diddy put in a bid of $200 million to purchase Fuse. Revolt is currently available to 22.8 million households through Comcast and Time Warner. Fuse, currently owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, reaches 74 million households.
A 17-year-old Chicago rapper has been charged with murder in connection to the fatal shooting of a dispatch driver in Wentworth Gardens last month.
Clint Massey, who performs as “RondoNumbaNine,” was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail at Cook County Bond Court Sunday.
Massey, of the 6600 block of South Honore Street in the West Englewood neighborhood, was allegedly one of two gunmen who fatally shot Javan Boyd early on Feb. 22, according to court records and Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack.
Massey and an unnamed co-offender drove to the 3700 block of South Princeton Avenue at about 4 a.m. on Feb. 22, looking to retaliate against an unidentified individual for an earlier altercation, Mack said.
Boyd, 28, who worked for a South Side dispatch service, was sitting in his car waiting for a passenger when Massey and the co-offender approached the passenger side door, Mack said.
Witnesses saw Massey and the co-offender shoot into the vehicle with handguns, according to Mack.
A portion of the incident was captured on video, Mack said, and Massey’s fingerprint was found on the cab.
A 19-year-old Columbia rapper has been found dead in his home, according to the Richland County Coroner’s Office. Derek McAllister, AKA Speaker Knockerz, was found deceased Thursday inside his residence, Coroner Gary Watts said.
No foul play is suspected. Watts said his office is awaiting toxicology reports to determine McAllister’s cause of death.
Over the weekend, The Game held a charity bowling event to celebrate his Robin Hood Project reaching over half a million dollars in donations! Celebrity guests to the event included: Khloe Kardashian, Too Short, Jackie Long, Malika Haqq, Justin Combs and more.
I had the opportunity to ask Game about his charity, The Robin Hood Project, and here’s what he had to say:
“The charity [is] set up by me to give back to the community… I figured once you have everything as a celebrity, once you have money, once you have cars, once you have family, once you have fans, once you have been around the world, what else is there to do besides start giving back? So, I created the Robin Hood Project for positivity, for giving back, and to help those in need. There are people who are struggling with a couple hardships in their life, and it’s on me to help them… You know, the Robin Hood Project has reached 500,000 thousand dollars, which is half a million dollars in donations since the month of August. So this is what’s popping.”
Ave’s new track “Just A Dream” refers to the idea that MLK’s dream was nothing more than that. With the gap between the rich and poor growing, prison is sometimes the end result for people.
Taking these things into account, Ave uses this Jersey Life Beats canvas to create a track that calls attention to the fact that this county is still far from being the dream that MLK jr. once spoke of.
Today’s Topic: TuneCore vs CDBaby
With digital music sales increasing due to the decline of physical albums, companies (called “aggregators”) such as TuneCore and CDBaby are revolutionizing marketing opportunities for independent artists. Aside from offering online music distribution and performance-royalty collection (working alongside PROs), they also collect publishing royalties from the sale and streaming of compositions. When faced with the choice of affiliation, however, an in-depth comparison between the two giants may seem daunting.
Allow us to provide a starting point…
(1) With CDBaby, the sign-up cost is $12.95 per song and $49 per album with no annual fee. There is a 15% commission for collecting publishing royalties, with a self-renewing contract term (as long as neither composer or CDBaby terminates) for songwriters & composers (there is a 1-year contract for publishers). In contrast, TuneCore offers free membership, but services trigger fees after affiliation. For example, album distribution costs $29.99 the first year and 49.99 each following year; single distribution costs $9.99 the first year and each following year; ringtone distribution costs $19.99 the first year and each following year; and collection of publishing royalties costs a one-time setup fee of $75.00 plus a 10% commission on earnings.
(2) Even though both CDBaby and TuneCore offer a similar range of services — music distribution for albums, singles, and ringtones; music publishing royalty collection, among others. – they do have marked differences regarding royalty collection, commissions on sales, UPC Bar codes, etc.
It’s always helpful to visualize, though. So let’s make a chart!
|Fee for Collecting Songwriter Royalties||15% commission.||$75 flat fee + 10% commission|
|Commission on Digital Sales (after store percentage)||9%||0%|
|Commission on Physical Sales||$4||N/A|
|Number of Digital Retail Partners||95+||74+|
|CD and Vinyl Distribution||Yes||NO|
|Sell music on Facebook||Yes||NO|
|Including CDs and Vinyl|
|UPC bar code||$20 for an album, $5 for a single||Free|
|Sync Licensing||Up to 40% Commission||10% or 20% Commission*|
|Outsourced||In-house Creative Team|
|US-based artists only||Open to songwriters and publishers worldwide|
|Exclusive Sync & Licensing Database|
|*20% commission if it secures licenses through its Creative Team’s efforts|