I am starting a small label and I'm hoping some people can answer some questions about "common" agreements between small artists and small labels when releasing singles.
What is the typical agreement for exclusivity of the song? IE if the artist has recorded the song themself and they haven't released it-now I want to release it on my label. So would I as the label then own the master recording? Do I own that master forever and the artist can essentially not use the song for anything else unless he creates a new recording of it (that is different enough to be it's own master)? If the artist wants the master back, how is this commonly handled for small labels?
We will be selling exclusively digital downloads. So my understanding is that when a download is sold, half (after the store takes their cut) will go to publishing and songwriting.
I am planning on doing a 50/50 publishing split with the artists (they are their own publisher) that reverts back to the artist after 5 years.
Here's where I'm confused: I believe the other half of the money coming from the store will go to the owner of the master recording (me-the label). Is that correct? Is that income generally split with the artist in some way?