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Keeping rights but doing business

Advice on everything from getting your music heard to setting up a label and royalties.

Keeping rights but doing business

Postby rph » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:23 pm

I have been asked by someone to compose a song for them. I believe they wish to use the song in their real estate videos: Simple background music while showing a home that is for sale.

The request they made essentially amounts to work-for-hire… they simply stated “We get all copyright to the song, you get mention in the credits in the video, and a link to show your work in your portfolio”.

I would like to retain my rights to the work, but grant exclusive use of the work to this person for a set number of years, so that I can register it with ASCAP, eventually have the ability to use it for any other purpose with no restrictions, and in the meantime be able to request permission of this “employer” for use within the exclusive years they have been granted should such an opportunity arise.

Is there such a contract/agreement out there that is common in these cases, so that I can still be properly recognized as the author of the work and be able to do what I wish with it per the parameters I've outlined?
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Re: Keeping rights but doing business

Postby Phil O » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:20 pm

If you can negotiate the 'arrangement' that you've outlined, then it should be possible to have a lawyer draw up the appropriate contract to document this.

However, as licensing music is very much a buyers market, I'd be wary of being so precious with your work as they may simply go elsewhere. Also, licensing use rather than WFH usually commands a much lower fee and performance royalties on this use may not be very much.

Just my 2c
Phil O
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