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Thread: Publishing split / writers share confusion

  1. #1
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    Publishing split / writers share confusion

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    Sup guys. I’m a bit confused and need some guidance, I’ll try keep it short and to the point.

    I’ve leased a beat from a beatmaker and read his contract. The guy who I’ve leased off, it says he owns 50% of the writers share. It also says the he owns 50% of the publishers share, and I own 50% of the writers. Here’s where it gets confusing. I’m also considering using a songwriter, who wants 50% for the co-writer publishing.

    I’m pretty much new to the music business and this is going to be my first release. I want some form of control or at least a fair split. So to conclude...
    1. How much split (%) does this leave me with when it comes to making money of this song via streams/sales?

    2. What % of the performance money (live shows) generated do I get ? It says something about it if I wish to register the song with a performing rights organisation, I must register that he owns 50%.. so that means he gets half of the money for shows right?
    Last edited by KH541; 01-12-2020 at 03:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Not an attorney. For legal advice, seek a competent lawyer.

    That being said, streaming income is likely to be insignificant. It is VERY hard to have an *income generating* digital hit.

    ”Performance Rights” are confusing. While the agreements and letter of the law do include live performance rights, in practice it is not something that will usually be addressed, and PRO’s really specialize in collecting income from radio/broadcast airplay. In any event, none of that has anything to do (directly) with your live performance fee (what you negotiate to make from a gig). So don’t worry about that.


    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
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  3. #3
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    That’s interesting you say that. There’s all kinds of information and websites that state that the artist doesn’t get paid directly for live performances/concerts, the money goes directly to the PROs and then you are given your share, as well as the songwriters/composers etc.

    But it doesn’t really make sense because I’m aware that rappers and artists charge a flat fee to book them and I doubt they go through that hassle...

  4. #4
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    Two completely different income streams. You have to think of things from multiple perspectives— songwriter(s), publisher, and performer.

    Performance *fee* is what you negotiate to show up and perform. Performance *rights* pertain to song ownership. That leads to performance *royalties* (monies paid for use of the song), when played on radio or performed by someone else in a venue that has an ASCAP or BMI agreement. All this different from *publishers share* of royalties, which goes to the publisher, unless you’ve made an agreement to split this share with your publisher.

    It is complicated, but there are some great books on basics of the music industry out there...


    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
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  5. #5
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    Sidenote: if you're gonna get a book, make sure it's the most recent you can get

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    Yes and no. The digital stuff is an add-on. The “standard” (non-hip-hop leasing) music business still works the same way— recording contract—record royalties, publishing contract—writer’s share and publisher’s income shares, PROs collecting broadcast fees. Managers managing careers, agents booking gigs and charging commissions.

    Probably the best single volume I can think of would be the Donald Passman book.

    Yes, there’s streaming income, and other modern topics. But the OP is very confused about basic music business topics and needs to start there. After a good foundation, the rest can be sussed out.

    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






  7. #7
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    “50% of publishers share”, this is tricky wording. This could mean he owns the publishing rights for this track and he could be responsible collecting and payout of royalties from PROs.
    Go online and find a “Split sheet” sample. The publishers splits should add up to 50%.
    ( xtra writer = 12.5%
    You as writer = 12.5%
    Producer(Composer) = 25%
    Then the publishers share should be 50%. This all depends on the publishing company. Some publishing companies will want a higher percentage of publishing.
    Ex Publisher wants 60%

    Writer 1 = 10%
    Writer 2 = 10%
    Producer(Composer) = 20% (equals half of publishing)

    Performance Royalties have nothing to do with your live shows, unless they a broadcast over radio or video... Basically when you hear a song on the radio, in a movie or anywhere that mass amount of people will hear it; even in clubs and restaurants, those are performance royalties.

    Get an Entertainment Lawyer to look over any and every thing you plan on signing.

    However, a 50% split is a fair split with a producer. If the producer has a hook on his beat, then of course he will want a piece of the writers share.

  8. #8
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    PistaPete— The OP is confused, and I think he has confused you. The publishing industry hasn’t changed much in the last century. “50% of Publisher’s Share” is just that. There are two main income streams, or “shares,” “Writer’s Share” and “Publisher’s Share.” 50% of publisher’s is a pretty great deal, if the writer also keeps 100% of writer’s share.

    Again, all of this has nothing to do with all the other income streams (performance, recording, merch, etc.). Now, that might be different if a manager or label is offering a “360” type deal.

    AGAIN— I urge everyone to do their own research and learn all of these basics. And if you have serious questions pertaining to actual pending contracts, seek out appropriate legal representation. Do not assume you will get just the right advice from Internet forums (no matter how great they may be, like this one!).


    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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