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I posted this track for the pak5 contest back in September, but never here.

I almost forgot all about it, but recently a so-called "Music Library" contacted me and they wrote that they would pay me 200 euro to get exclusive rights to the track for five years.
They also want me to give them all rights to royalties for those 5 years, which sound a bit weird to me, but I have absolutely NO experience in this business, so my questions are:

Is 200 euro a normal/fair price for exclusive rights for 5 years?
Should I give up on royalties for those five years?
Is that normal practice?

I was tempted to just say yes, because I didn't think much of the track, but on the other hand I know that we are not very good at judging our own songs and the value of them.

Here's the song:

https://soundcloud.com/user-656274325/autumn-colours

Advise will be much appreciated!
Will

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This is a cool track but there are 20,000 or so like this on Songtradr where people can buy a non-exclusive use of a song like this for $200 per pop. That is if 100 people really want it in an ad or t.v. show, you would get 200, 250 or even 1,000 x 100. (Or more depending on the deal.)

I don't understand it.

A music lawyer told me never to sign any kind of music contract without a lawyer reading it, especially one that has "exclusive" in it. It is not because he wants to get paid (he is a good lawyer) but because he has seen lots of people seriously burned.

All kinds of horror stories abound with clauses that were misread in which people signed away their catalogs.

Myself, I would not touch it.

You did a good job with this, but in Europe they could pay a kid $200 to write on demand and the kid would give them a song they owned in three hours.

Doesn't make sense.

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Ok, so you are saying "ignore the offer"?

Will

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Will,

A couple of thoughts that came to mind as I read your post were...

1. If the song isn't doing anything and you'd pretty much forgotten all about it, then maybe getting paid something for it is not a bad way to go.

The conversion for Euro to Au is 200 = $320 (Au) -- that, at it's worst, pays for Band In A Box.

2. This might be that door-opening song. Personally, I would be tempted to take to the offer and see where it leads. It might lead nowhere but then again, getting into the music industry is all about lucky breaks and this could be something like that. As I see it, at the end of the day, it's just one song and not everything you've written.

From this perspective, it could be worth the experiment.

The precautions that I would take would be....

(a) Have a clause in the contract that says something along the lines that usage of the work is not transferred to the company by you until the promised money is paid in full.

(b) Find out about publisher royalties as well as artist/performance royalties.

(c) Register the song with a recognised copyright agency before passing it on (I use copyright.gov in the US -- it's $50US to register a single song if I recall correctly)

(d) I would not consider any deal that involved me having to pay the company that wanted my work. This could be in the form of something like an upfront fee to submit the work.

Hope these thoughts are useful for you.

Regards,
Noel


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BE VERY CAREFUL.

Do an extensive search and verify that you are dealing with a legitimate company.

How is it that this company found your song? Do legitimate Music Libraries have time to listen to the BILLIONS of songs online? If you submitted it, that is an entirely different thing - but you are saying THEY contacted YOU.

If you are signing a contract MAKE SURE there is not language in it that says (in any way) that you will pay them when they decide a better recording is required. That is a typical scam in the "sleazy music world". Generally, if it is a scam, there will be others who will warn you off (when you do a good search).


I enjoyed hearing the track...

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Originally Posted By: Noel96
Will,

A couple of thoughts that came to mind as I read your post were...

1. If the song isn't doing anything and you'd pretty much forgotten all about it, then maybe getting paid something for it is not a bad way to go.

The conversion for Euro to Au is 200 = $320 (Au) -- that, at it's worst, pays for Band In A Box.

2. This might be that door-opening song. Personally, I would be tempted to take to the offer and see where it leads. It might lead nowhere but then again, getting into the music industry is all about lucky breaks and this could be something like that. As I see it, at the end of the day, it's just one song and not everything you've written.

From this perspective, it could be worth the experiment.

The precautions that I would take would be....

(a) Have a clause in the contract that says something along the lines that usage of the work is not transferred to the company by you until the promised money is paid in full.

(b) Find out about publisher royalties as well as artist/performance royalties.

(c) Register the song with a recognised copyright agency before passing it on (I use copyright.gov in the US -- it's $50US to register a single song if I recall correctly)

(d) I would not consider any deal that involved me having to pay the company that wanted my work. This could be in the form of something like an upfront fee to submit the work.

Hope these thoughts are useful for you.

Regards,
Noel


What Noel said. It is a great track and if they want to pay 200 EURO for the rights for 5 years, well, that is more than I have earned in the 5 years that I have been releasing my music (and I have well over 100 tracks recorded and released). So I would say, read the contract carefully and make sure you don't have to pay THEM anything, ever Get the money, and use it to invest in your music making capabilities and write some new stuff! I believe that miracles DO still happen.


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David, Noel, Floyd and Joanne,

I thank you all for the very good and thoughtful advice.

Based on your advice I will do three things:

1. I will go through the contract with a friend who is a lawyer. She also have some experience with this industry.

2. I will politely ask the library about how they found my music (been wondering about that myself).

3. I will try to learn more about publisher/artist royalties and find out about which organisation(s) I should register with. I frankly don't know much about these things.

Happy New Year to all of you!
Will

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I agree with floyd and David.

The typical music library model has you submit three songs and wait 3-4 months to see if one or more is accepted. They accept around 7-8% of submissions. If accepted you are then offered a non-exclusive contract for several years after which they have a right to renew. After that the company pitches the song for you. We are signed to Crucial Music under that model. Crucial states that if you are offered a contract you will get placements (we hope that’s true as they are pitching our song to some big players) smile

Songtradr has a unique model in that you can upload all the songs you choose and then submit then for “music wanted” listings. Again, the licenses are non-exclusive but unlike the other companies you do not sign an actual contract with them.

Regardless, none of the libraries that I know peruse the billions of songs on the net looking for songs to pitch.

All meaning that if I got a notice seeking to license a song from some entity I knew nothing of I’d immediately think scam.

You are certainly taking the right approach by not jumping righ in.

Best to you!

Bud

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Will,

Please let us know the outcome of your research.

I would like to know to add to my "scam alert" knowledge base if it is one.

Thanks!

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Meget velproduceret. Vokalen fremragende. Alt i alt et meget filmisk track. Kunne sagtens bruges til en dramaserie, - jeg ser straks Broen for mit indre øje. 200 Euro er jo ikke meget. Behols rettighederne og husk at registrere hos Koda.
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I really liked the song. Very pretty backtrack. Good luck with your publishing.


Scott Collingwood
https://soundcloud.com/scottt709
https://soundcloud.com/spiritlevel-ca
https://www.youtube.com/@SpiritLevel-ge3hm/
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It was too good to be true (so David was right)!

I called the "library" in question and had a chat with a senior person. He told me that they had hired 5 students to go and "hunt" for new talents on sites like Metapop, SoundClick, SoundCloud, etc.

Unfortunately the guy who contacted me got a bit creative with the terms and offerings. What he should have written to me was that they would like to offer me a spot in the library and IF they manage to licence my song to somebody they would pay UP TO 200 euro. In other words that could also be 1 euro. smile

Still they want me to give them exclusive publishers rights for 5 years - this would mean that I cannot use (or sell) the song in other places for the next 5 years - even if they don't manage to licence it to somebody.

I politely said "No, but thank you".

Thank you to all of you for giving me good advice and turning on the "red alert" buttons inside me.

I got a lot to learn about this business!
Will

NB: Before somebody is asking about the company's name: I don't think the Library (which is German) did anything wrong on purpose, so I don't see any reason for publishing the name here.

Last edited by Will Josef; 01/04/19 03:40 PM.
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Lindbjerg & Scott C. Thank you for your nice comments about the song. I appreciate it a lot!


Will

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Dear Will,

you always come out with something very special and I've liked all of them until now. And this one is no exception:: AGAIN GREAT, GREAT, GREAT! Where do you get these ideas from...?

I just wrote my opinion on the library issue, before I had read the rest of the thread - now that things are clear I deleted it, of course.

But maybe you're interested in what I experienced: I subscribed to Youtunez who for 99 Euros p.a. bring six of your releases (single songs or albums) into every single shop and every streaming portal worldwide. The turnover was 1,14 Euros in one year, not what I call a good deal cool. Of course my songs may not be attractive enough but even if they were: How are people supposed to find them?

But it was just a try anyway, because I never had the ambition to earn money with music: To me the journey is the reward. And I'm old anyway ;-)))))

My solution: At the end of the year I burn a couple of DVDs and a CDs with the videos / songs that I finished in the course of that year, design a nice cover and give them to friends who I know like my stuff.

I'm really looking forward to what you are going to come up with this year !!!!!

All the best,

Stefan

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Will:
Have you considered going into business on your own?
To start with, you have demonstrated the composing and producing talent. If you have the free time, energy, and years ahead, (i.e. still young enough,) are willing to co-venture with digital experts, dealing with people you know, right in your own neighborhood, you might be able to put a business plan together that would permit you to sell music to the growing world music and media market.


Link: www.soundcloud.com/ed_shaw (Feel Free to Use)
https://drooble.com/edward.shaw/hymn/index.htm
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Will, first of all, I like your song and I think it's worth a lot more than 200 euros, but getting airplay is the real challenge, isn't it? And I don't know if this is accepted practice or not.

I suppose if it were me, I'd be tempted to take the 200 Euros, but I'd submit a counter offer, where I would keep the royalties.

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Originally Posted By: Will Josef
It was too good to be true (so David was right)!



To quote the Honorable Floyd Jane:

"Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."

smile

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Dear Stefan,

Thank you for your very kind comments!

Youtunez for sure sound like a bad deal. I have never heard about them before.
I will suggest that you use a site like DistroKid next time - they are much cheaper and you will still get out on all platforms.
There's also CDBaby, but I don't think they accept European customers (not sure though).

I'm like you... I compose music for fun and because I love music. If somebody likes it and want to pay for it.. great! But I don't need the money - I have a great job and I'm 55 y.o., so you won't see me DJ'ing on the next Tomorrow festival. Been there, done that! smile

Happy New Year!
Will

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Hi edshaw,

(See my post above here).

I have considered to make my own record company / label - just because there are certain sites (like Beatport) who don't accept independent artists (there's also a lot of charts that only will play/list you if you are on a label), but I don't think I have the time to do it because of my day job. Also it would be a bit strange to have a label with me as the only artist... smile

Thank you for listening to my track and happy new year to you!
Will

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Hi Michael,

Thank you very much for listening and for your kind comments!

Please read my post from yesterday (a few posts above yours) where I explain that the offer wasn't legit.

Got to be careful in this world! smile

Will

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