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Hi, I have a question:
I would like to publish a song via a digital music distribution service on various music stores and streaming services:
the song in question makes extensive use of arrangements produced thanks to various Real Tracks by Band in a Box, which, as I understand from the FAQ (BIAB) must be considered as "mine" and can be used for commercial purposes.
Having said that, I still have to present to the "distribution service" the documentation certifying the origin, the license for use and I believe also to mention the authors of these arrangements. I would therefore like to know in detail how I should go about complying with these obligations at the distributor so as not to run into legal problems or be refused service.

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You are way overthinking it.


Byron Dickens

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Normally all they ask for is your assurance that you own and control all the rights. This is part of the agreement and with your signature you are affirming to that.

Not one single time have any of my publishers and libraries disputed my claim or demanded any proof. I simply told them that I owned and controlled the rights and had full legal authority to sign the songs to them unencumbered .

Of course.... You do have to own and control the tracks, which should not be an issue with BB tracks. If you have an outside singer or a sideman player, you should absolutely have a signed WFH that assigns you all the rights.


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Thank you all for the helpful advice!

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Originally Posted by Byron Dickens
You are way overthinking it.

Yep.

Originally Posted by Guitarhacker
Normally all they ask for is your assurance that you own and control all the rights. This is part of the agreement and with your signature you are affirming to that.

Not one single time have any of my publishers and libraries disputed my claim or demanded any proof. I simply told them that I owned and controlled the rights and had full legal authority to sign the songs to them unencumbered .

Of course.... You do have to own and control the tracks, which should not be an issue with BB tracks. If you have an outside singer or a sideman player, you should absolutely have a signed WFH that assigns you all the rights.

All correct — but he does not publish his works; others do.

I will assume that you live in the USA, correct? If not, follow what applies in your own country. Otherwise, if in the US:

Since you are the publisher, there’s more work to do to maximize your potential revenue stream and protect your rights. The following will cost some money but some of it is one-time.

You must have a unique name when you publish. If you are not a member of a PRO, have ASCAP or BMI do a Publisher Name Search for whatever name you wish to publish under (they used to ask you to submit 100 but I think it’s now only 20 or 5). You search ASCAP.com/ACE or BMI Song Search first but that doesn’t guarantee you won’t submit a duplicate name—the official name search does (this is free). They will also search SESAC and GRM for you. Once they’ve ID’d a unique name, it will be held in reserve (45 days, I think). Have ASCAP or BMI do the search, not both.

You can do the following after the publishing to the service but do the name search first.

Next file a Copyright Form SR with the boxes for PA and Published for the one song only using the unique name from the Search. Do it online to save both money and time. You do not have to do this before publishing to the streaming service but the LOC really wants you do file before 30 days are up. Only rights holders’ names are on this.

(Again, assuming you are not a member of a PRO) Next, once you have your Copyright certificate, use it to join ASCAP or BMI. These are the only two that you can join without an invitation. There are no dues for either but both charge a paperwork setup fee. You will join as a Member and as a Publisher.

Now register the recording with Sound Exchange. Include any other musicians who contributed to that recording. Even though you have WFH agreements that let you reassign rights, if any streaming royalties are due, the musicians who contribute are entitled to a share and this is how they get paid. As others have assured you, BIAB and PG Music are not considered musicians here. If it’s just you then you don’t list anyone else.

As for additional works, once you are set up in the systems, you register those with your PRO and SE first. You do lose certain rights and protections if you do not file additional copyright forms for each work but this does not affect streaming or performance royalties of registered works. Again, since you are now set up, list your works first, then register with the LOC (within 30 days for maximum protection).

Take a look at the services offered by the Harry Fox Agency. If you have published to YouTube, there may be advertising royalties; if someone covers your work or you wish to cover others, the HFA may be a revenue source or clearing house for those.


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