You’ve likely noticed, while perusing the fine print in the liner notes of your favorite albums, that nearly all major artists have created their own publishing company. Publishing Music Yourself Through a PRO Publish your album if you’re looking to earn money from … Because you’ve chosen to self-publish. So: why do major artists self-publish and should you do the same? I have spent considerable time these past few months learning about how easy it is to distribute a song. I understand this if the publisher and the writer were not the same person, but in my case, it’s all owned by me! Your email address will not be published. so my #1 questions is should i be signed with a publishing company that is owned by another producer. All Rights Reserved, © 2011 - 2021 Kurt Dahl. Furthermore, is it the job of my publishing company or the publishing admin. She was a short-listed as a SOCAN Songwriting Prize finalist on the French side for her song “Les échardes,” and the title track charted on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20. Some big names are as well, where they create their own pub company and might get the assistance of a bigger pub house like Warner Chappell etc. Since I’m already incorporated for my music teaching business, would it make sense to go ahead and create my own publishing company under my already existing corporation? Every writer creates their own pub co at some point, so it’s really a question of when rather than if. in the US (ASCAP, BMI) and Canada (SOCAN); administer your … Tags:entertainment law, music publishing, musician, publishing company, self-publishing. By displaying the Licensed To Play emblem proudly, businesses affirm that they put music to work ethically and legally, and recognize that music adds value to their business and their customers’ experience. He said that the company i was signed under he stopped working with. One, who was a very major artist, who took several CMA’s the same year, listened to my tape and wrote me a very nice letter with critique and suggestions. /* ----------------------------------------- */ although indie he does mostly everything on his own. /* ----------------------------------------- */ Publisher: Sentric, PRS, 345634567 +Songwriters! But I am in the midst of signing a label deal right now. You can’t really divide the two, which is an interesting part of co-writing. Once I have my songs professionally recorded, mastered and ready for release, one of the 1st tasks is to sign up with a PRO as a writer/artist. A former teen model, she was a top four finalist on the first season of La Voix (the Québec franchised of The Voice TV show), where she sang for more than two million viewers every week. but he introduced signing to a 5 year contract with his original pub company. If your songs are earning under a few thousand dollars a year, it doesn’t likely justify the costs of incorporation and maintenance of the company. If you find yourself licensing music internationally, entering a sub-publishing deal with a foreign publisher, or being offered a co-publishing deal from a third party publisher, the time is right to incorporate your own publishing entity. Am I being cynical to think he’s trying to capitalize on future opportunity from my album? When they’re played, by various businesses around the world, SOCAN receives information related to the performances and collects the money that’s owed to you. This is golden information! Here I am talking like I have a hit on my hands It is just my nature, and I am wondering what your advice would be: 1. The Writer’s Share would continue to go to you personally, and 100% of the Pub’s Share would start to flow through your pub co. Hello, Kurt! Required fields are marked *. Do I sign up in my legal name or can I use my artist name? Major publisher agrees to “Released [the arranger/orchestrator] from any and all contractual obligations. They all have pros and cons. However, he then said that he didn’t think I needed to set up a separate publishing company in order to do so (that I could just assign my corporation as the payee) Is that correct? The “when” is not so clear. Starting my own publishing company for the sole purpose of my own music, I would be responsible for what specific tasks for myself as the artist from a publishing standpoint? If I have a publishing admin set up (ie songtrust, sentric) is it worth it to still set up a self publishing entity for the long term? You’ve spent weeks writing, rewriting, and polishing your manuscript. If I should start my own publishing co., is it then necessary to fill out a royalty assignment form to assign my publishing rights to my company? With Socan I have 22 registered and licensed songs. tax forms every year. My loan out enters into contracts for live performances, recordings, commissions, etc., and collects revenue from these activities; but it does not serve as a label (distribution is handled externally). admin. But publishers an record advances are hard to get by an i dont wanna have hits records an have it shelf for no reason this is why i work close wit producer an artist any way. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my inquiries and provide clarity. I say “when” rather than “if”, as all songwriters incorporate a publishing company at some stage. All Rights Reserved. Firstly, thank you for your insight and for taking the time to provide useful information to those who seek clarity. If one operates a loan-out company as a musician, would it be permissible and/or advisable that this entity function as a publishing company as well, or should a new entity be created? not the writer). /* ----------------------------------------- */ We also advocate and lobby government so that the copyrighted works in your repertoire are protected by tariffs and more favourable laws. In 2016 she released her solo debut EP, Big Boy, which featured songs in both English and French. /* Content Template: Member Profile Template (Image Left – text right) - end */ Since I am an independent artist can my publishing company also be my label by which all my music will be released under? Or are they the same thing? Most smaller artists are self published. I’d require more info to give a full opinion, and if you’re not in Canada I can’t really advise on the corporate law side of things, but generally speaking – I think your existing company can be used to flow pub revenue through. I have a few questions regarding my 16 year old son who is a artist/songwriter, and is currently making music that’s soon to be released. I have been writing songs for over forty years. Email me to chat further, I’m pretty curious about the above question as well…. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Travel Assistance Program has been suspended until further notice. I have a two part question: What Rights Do You Have in a Sound Recording You Play On. Major publisher agrees that “if [orchestrator/arranger] receives an offer to make this arrangement available via third-party print publisher, [major publisher #1], as copyright holder of the original work, will enter into good faith negotiations with said publisher to approve a third-party print license to administer the arrangement. Welcome to Do!So!Can! Thank you sooo much for your time! The main benefit of a pub. This doesn’t seem right to me. I have never copied or sampled anybody’s work, but my career (of which I am now retired) taught me that you don’t have to be in the wrong to be sued, all that mattered was whether or not you could defend yourself. Hi Kurt, #2 concern so recently i spoked with him . SOCAN recently reported that it revenues grew 8.2% in 2019 – but payments to songwriters and publishers shrunk by 6%. I get that it probably isn’t an issue until a song makes money. The “why” is fairly straightforward: for tax and liability reasons. History. I am not technically minded by any means and at times I’ve felt like I could pull my hair out in frustration as I learn more to put myself out there! (The 50% writer’s share comes directly to me and is taxed at the regular personal rate which is higher than the corporate rate?). I had a music publishing administration agreement with ***** but on July 1, 2018. that contract has been cancelled. as an artist, can I transfer ownership of my old songs to my Publishing company once I start one? Then… so basically when i signed with him i signed under a name Mechach Media, he stopped working with them so now technically im free from publishing. Thank you for your advice. SOCAN members can take advantage of one free song submission when they apply for the 18 th annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs). Our grants support the spread of our … Then it would be beneficial to create my own publishing company for the 50% of the publisher’s share to be taxed at a lower corporate rate? Besides this, are there any other notable benefits? Form an LLC for my music production and publishing and then go to the distributor. Is there a specific form that I must use in order to complete this transfer? Have a great day and I look to hear from you soon. One of Spotify Canada’s “Artists to Watch in 2016,” she also won the Breakthrough Artist Award at the SOCAN Montréal Gala in 2017. I don’t mean success is easy, but it is not like it used to be. Sounds like your questions require fairly in depth answers. I think you could create an arm of the loan-out company that could act as publisher, but a) I’d need to know more info and b) it depends on the jurisdiction you’re in. Wouldn’t I still have to assign royalties in order to do so? I do have a question regarding the specific entity nature of a publishing company. “songs”).A good music publisher has the knowledge and contacts to … I was wonder if I already have a pro for my writers since 2006 and now I want to start a publishing company for my lofi hip hop I will be release on all platforms . .accordion-content {display: none;} Can! See my article here https://lawyerdrummer.com/2014/01/what-rights-do-song-co-writers-have/ on the topic. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m a bit confused and really in need of some clarity. Yes, registering as 100% writer is the same as self-publishing. is to relieve me from having to do the global paperwork of registering songs with multiple collection societies and relieving me from having to collect my own mechanical royalties from the various sources correct? Will the orchestrator own copy rights to the Derivative Work and be entitled to royalties going forward? Did they offer an advance for the publishing deal? Question: If I wait till down the road to start a publishing company and just sign-up with a P.R.O. Self-publishing companies to avoid often do the following: 'Upsell’ the author where possible. Can you name a few self-publisher artists? ~Ms. Thank you for sharing this! I think there would still be a great benefit from a tax perspective, as all the pub money would flow through the pub co rather than the writer personally. /* Content Template: FAQ Template - start */ The collection organization (the CMRRA or SOCAN) grants mechanical licenses to people or organizations who want to reproduce music for public sale or broadcast, in exchange for the payment of license fees, which it then distributes as royalties to the songwriters, composers, and music publishers … Thanks for this write-up! The other half of publishing revenue, known as the writer’s share, flows directly to the individual writers, and cannot be assigned or transferred to a publisher. I’m a songwriter and I have registered my songs with BMI. SOCAN celebrated Canada’s music publishers for songs that had achieved No. For many publishing royalties that are generated from the usage of your music, 50% gets paid to the songwriter/s and 50% gets paid to the publisher/s. Correct. Hello Mr. Dahl, hope you and yours are well, staying safe and healthy especially during this time of pandemic. If songs are the fuel of the music industry, then publishers are the vehicles these musical works travel through. Major publisher allows [the arranger/orchestrator] to “Retain the payment of $7,000 USD without further obligation to major publisher Many artists create their own pub companies. If your songs are earning under a few thousand dollars a year, it doesn’t likely justify the costs of incorporation and maintenance of the company. When you sign up for CD Baby Pro Publishing Administration, we will: Affiliate you as a songwriter with a Performing Rights Organization (P.R.O.) In high school – in the 1980’s – I would try to pitch songs to country artists. I don’t want to risk my home or other assets. As a songwriter, you have likely heard talk of self-publishing your compositions. If songs are the fuel of the music industry, then publishers are the vehicles these musical works travel through. When is the right time for you? Thank you so much for the info! I am not yet in a place to incorporate my own pub company. could i have a publishing company and still sign with another publishing company.? I am going to self-publish my EP when registering it on BMI. Regarding whether to copyright register a song under the arts/writer name vs. publisher name: In Donald Passman’s book “All You Need to Know About The Music Business,” after detailing how to start a publishing company, including filing a fictitious business name, he states something that is unclear to me: “Register the songs with the Copyright Office in the name of your publishing company. I have not released anything yet, and have been perusing the details of the various distributors. 1.) i’m the one who emailed you yesterday. Thank you very much for your assistance. BMI, a leader in music rights management, advocates for the value of music, representing over 17 million works of more than 1.1 million copyright owners. And in scenarios like that, how are they typically set up? I know the society we live in today, and I would be in no position to defend my personal assets without an LLC. Most info out there says that as a songwriter/composer you’re only getting 50% of your money from PROs because 50% is supposed to go to the publisher, so it’s suggested to open one’s own publishing if one want’s to receive 100% of rights. It manages royalties from more than 100,000 business and public spaces across Canada. Hey had one more question. i own 100% master . What else do I need to do to ensure the pub money from my records makes it’s way to me? With Amazon’s self publishing services you can reach millions of readers worldwide and keep control of your work. The amount of sales done through Amazon dwarfs the competition. 1 Song Awards to representatives of Kobalt Music Publishing U.K., at the SOCAN Toronto offices, on May 10, 2018 – while they were … Having your own publishing company makes sense in terms of taxes (once you are making decent money) and for liability protection (they come for the company, LLC? In this case there is no need in creating your own publishi g company, right? /* ----------------------------------------- */ Hi, Hi great article , I had a question SOCAN presented a 2017 SOCAN Award and two No. also his contract with his company is still similar 50/50 sync. kurt_dahlSeptember 25, 2017Articles, Lawyer News54 Comments. Producer Royalties: How Should Your Producer Be Paid? with in those years nothing was placed, mainly due to not enough consistent work. And at some point, it will make sense for each individual member to create their own pub company as well, once the revenues are there. I want to be sure I correctly understand the process in its proper chronological order. i just see this being a conflict with getting my tracks to big placement. It is a cherished experience. Is the orchestrated piece now a Derivative Work? The band leader is taking half of the publishing and giving the other musicians the other 50% which is fine but should I start my own publishing company to receive money if the songs are played on radio, tv, etc. The combination of SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada) and SODRAC (the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers & Publishers in Canada) is a historic moment for music rights in Canada, and broadens the choices available, notably for music publishers and self published … All of this is to make sure that you’re fairly compensated for the use of your music. From BMI’s website “In addition to earning twice the money, the other major benefit to self-publishing is that you control all creative and business decisions regarding your songs.”. So you both would register the song (perhaps 50/50, perhaps some other split) with your PRO, and both have full ownership of the Joint Work. Deciding to self-publish your book is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Remember, being self published and being a successful publisher are two different things, so you may still want to partner with a publishing company when the right opportunity arises. How do publishing … Also, since you said there is no way to assign or transfer writer’s royalties to a publisher, would I then always have to collect those royalties directly and not be able to benefit tax-wise by running them through my corporation? When it comes to getting paid for performances, it’s SOCAN’s business to take care of you and your songwriters. Am I understanding this correctly? I did register as a songwriter with BMI, and registered with Sound Exchange. There are few scenarios that might indicate that the time is right. For sake of example lets say the name I select is XYZ so can it be XYZ Music & Publishing LLC which will serve as my own record label and publishing company in one? Yep, just register as self-published with your PRO and all the $$ will flow to you personally. Brown~, Hi Kurt – I sent you an email with a short background info and quick question. This SOCAN member clearly has the talent, the voice, the charm and the bona fide potential for a huge international career. Most bands incorporate at some point, for tax benefits and limited liability. Again, the main benefit is taxes, but also limited liability to a certain extent. If the money starts flowing in big-time, I’ll start my own publishing company. Formed in February 2015, the Southeast Ocean and Coastal Acidification Network (SOCAN) is an interdisciplinary network of scientists, resource managers, and industry, non-profit, and government representatives dedicated to supporting and encouraging discussions on ocean and coastal acidification in the Southeast.. SOCAN … Thanks for the article! Should I have an attorney look over any contractual agreement between myself and publishing admin. Great article as usual. I have never sent material, as I am not the trusting soul that I was many years ago. I also want to make sure that different types of royalties are paid to me? If I don’t approve that would prohibit the individual or entity from using my music? Now, you have it in book form -- thoroughly edited, artfully formatted, and wrapped in a gorgeous cover. If you want to create your own pub co, the benefit is that half of those revenues would be taxed at a lower rate through your corp. Hope this helps Jim. SoundExchange Royalties: How Much Should You Pay Your Producer? Thomas James Jones = 25%, SOCAN, 345345345. (CD Baby) to issue licenses to those who want to cover my songs or use it in tv, radio, etc? When it signed an agreement with Sacem in 2016, SOCAN became the first North American authors’ society to entrust a European collective management organization with a mandate … Former SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste resigned from the company in April 2020. I don’t see a benefit of a publisher unless they have some serious marketing / biz pull. Staying current with a SOCAN license enables an organization to be “Licensed to Play,” and upholds its support for those who create the music that their customers love. © 2011 – 2020 Kurt Dahl. Kurt this is great info. This whole journey and process is all very new to me, therefore any advice you can give would be so greatly appreciated. He hasn’t done that much music – he has done some but he’s been out of the loop a while. You can’t “copyright” one part of the song or the other. This involves administering the rights of these writers, including issuing licenses, collecting revenues and distributing royalties. My accountant advised me to receive all royalty payments via my corporation. your pub income flows through the company rather than to you personally. As long as you’re registered as a writer with SOCAN in Canada and ASCAP/BMI in the USA, you will receive 100% of the publishing … https://lawyerdrummer.com/2014/01/what-rights-do-song-co-writers-have/, Part 2: A Beginner's Guide To Hiring A Music Producer - KYLEDEVINE.COM, The 2 Copyrights in a Song (And How To Make More Money From Them). Publisher: Downtown Music Publishing, SOCAN, 765476543. This means that they’ve incorporated a publishing company, through which the publisher’s share of income flows. /* Content Template: Member Profile Template (Image Left – text right) - start */ If I am with a publishing admin ie Sentric or Songtrust, should I still set up my own publishing entity for the long term? The 2021 Board of Directors self-nomination process is now open. Before registering desired publishing company’s name with the state, be sure the name is available through the PRO, if so create an LLC with the state? From a liability perspective, god forbid you are ever sued for plagiarism, the party suing can only go after the corporation’s assets, not your house and car. that i may still never get placements. SOCAN serves music creators, music publishers and visual artists, ensures users are Licensed to Play, and collects/distributes royalties in Canada and worldwide. Invest & Career . I used to mess around with cassettes as a kid, and with the advent of digital technology, I started home recording in 2013, and continue to improve. So in your case, it sounds like it’s not worth it to be self-published. Hope you got it – looking forward to your reply there! See Our Projects Invest to Most Creative Startup in the World 03. Hi, Kurt! If so, what would be the best structure? If you sign a pub deal with a publisher, they get half. How does SOCAN’s Licensed To Play program work? SOCAN has a membership of 160,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers, and visual artists. Licensed To Play is a long-term program with a core objective of encouraging businesses and their customers to think of music as an instrumental aspect of their experience. . It is a passion of mine. Confused of course with music business lol. If the songs were previously copyrighted in your name, you need to file an assignment transferring them to the publisher’s name.”. When your songs are earning enough revenue, it makes sense to incorporate to allow the publisher’s share of revenue to flow through a company rather than you individually, and thereby be taxed at a much lower corporate rate. The revenue split would be divided, but not the ownership. I can only advise on Canadian companies in this regard. Not needed until you’re earning over $50-60K I would suggest. This comes from their widespread reach to customers and lucrative royalty offers. There are plenty of great resources and this article is one of them! just want to get some clarity if i should commence with that. How about Songtrust? I got tired of maintaining my publishing company. Does the publishing company need to be the same name as my writers side ? I’d like to know what’s the best way to approach protecting him and his music, while maintaining 100% ownership of his works, since he’s still a minor? I am thinking I should just self publish. I get the tax benefits for an LLC (I am in the US) and it really is not too expensive to form one in the state where I live; less than $200 and I have a few friends who have LLC’s for their businesses, which are not music related. I was a gutsy teenager. I would try to find reviews online and/or from other artists that have worked with this publisher, to see what their track record is like. Thank you very much! Projects 02. Upon doing so the 50% publisher’s share of performance royalties will be paid by the PRO to my publishing company? Whether it is their job or that of my company, I don’t have to consent to issuing a license to anyone or entity that wants to use my music in anything I don’t approve of correct? Another partnership? Don’t sign anything until you’ve done your due diligence. The cost and time spent made no sense since i was making no money. i dont want to find out later down the road im still signed to that other company. /* ----------------------------------------- */. I ust want to make sure that I set things up correctly before I proceed! They will perform a name search, and let you know if you have the green light to register the business name with the government. Who … Owned by Amazon, KDP is the top dog when it comes to self-publishing. Initially quiet about about marketing/publicity/creating an author website, a vanity publisher … What is a Band Agreement and Do You Need One? The artist still owns 100% of copyright. /* ----------------------------------------- */ It administrates the royalties and affiliets an artist with PRO both as songwriter and publisher. At what point should I consider getting an entertainment attorney; at the beginning of my career? I’m getting ready to affiliate with BMI as a new writer. (This is unclear to me.). Also in April 2020, SOCAN … Thank you so much! I created my LLC in 2019 and will be releasing my music for the first time soon. Pingback: Part 2: A Beginner's Guide To Hiring A Music Producer - KYLEDEVINE.COM. For a band registered as a general partnership, are there alternative scenarios where it would make sense to register a publishing entity that all members assign their publishing rights to? Once publishing company is successfully created, be sure to register/copyright all songs with copyright office in the name of the publishing company? but is 5 years too long to be with a pub company. Is there a serf-published option for songwriters, distinct from also registering as a publisher with a PRO? I registered one song as an SR with the US Copyright Office (with credit for writing, performing, and producing) in 2014 and registered a collection of 5 songs as a single SR in 2015. But as I mentioned above, if you’ve not signed a deal with a publishing company, you are considered both the songwriter AND the publisher. Hi! 1 positions on various airplay charts this year, in a presentation held Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, at SOCAN’s Toronto, Vancouver, and Los Angeles offices, during our annual publishers’ … Being quite the cautious sort, I was looking at forming an LLC for publishing, in the event of a law suit. Using MIDI to arrange various parts to supplement my guitar tracks has been a joy! I believe it is very important to begin properly as our beginning has a great impact on that which proceeds afterwards. By easy, I mean, make an account with CD Baby, Distrokid, or whomever and put it out there. .accordion-content.default {display: block;} Yeah i got a question for you i resently had a song that was awarded a publishing deal but the thing is im just an independant artist wit a regular day job question is i just dont wanna record in my basement no more an want to do some major releases and get that out the way so i can focus on my next project You make 100% of the money. sorry if this seems jumbled lol, i have so many concerns. Appreciate the clarification and help, I want to incorporate and I’m confused on this was using legal zoom for swiftness and before I pay I needed to know this . My idea is to get my material out there, and I believe a good song is a good song. im just skeptical about a publishing company that i was signed to for 3 years. Many refused to accept material, and some accepted my envelope, but I never heard back. I am about to perform on several songs with a band. So you can have the publisher’s share flow through your pub co, and the writer’s share flows to you personally. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you’re a music publisher or self-published songwriter/composer sign up with SOCAN or SODRAC for your public performance royalties and with CMRRA or SODRAC for your reproduction royalties. At SOCAN, we strengthen your business by supporting your songwriters and composers because when we foster their creativity and development, it creates better results for everyone. Once you establish that you’d like to self publish, call your performing rights organization (PRO). As long as you’re registered as a writer with SOCAN in Canada and ASCAP/BMI in the USA, you will receive 100% of the publishing revenue, as an individual. S business to take care of you and yours are well, safe! Cover my songs with BMI, they should in theory be collecting everything for you than! Tax benefits and limited liability to a certain extent by which all my music will be released under not until! The arranger/orchestrator ] from any and all the $ $ will flow to you personally )! Hiring a music publishing administration agreement with * * but on July 1, 2018. that contract has fruitless... Music – he has done some but he ’ s music publishers for that. Re earning over $ 50-60K I would try to pitch songs to my publishing company need to and! Im still signed to for 3 years it is to get a publisher yourself and sign other writers your... The specific entity nature of a law suit year socan self publishing with his company successfully! Incorporated a publishing company, self-publishing just register as a new writer supplement my guitar tracks has been a!! M happy to help an interesting part of the publishing company. the socan self publishing they offered,... 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Publishing, in the World 03 my # 1 questions is should I consider getting an entertainment ;. It at some stage Kurt Dahl the voice, the voice, the main benefit is taxes, I... Of my publishing company that doesn ’ t done that much music – he has some... To self publish, call your performing rights organization ( PRO ) when comes! Do have a publishing company the topic done through Amazon dwarfs the competition,. Assign royalties in order to complete this transfer down the road to a. Soul that I must use in order to do so released anything yet, and wrapped in a gorgeous.... But not the trusting soul that I was signed under he stopped working with you pay producer! Am an independent artist can my publishing company, through which the ’... Be in no position to defend my personal assets without an LLC for publishing, in the 1980 s. For tax benefits and limited liability to a certain extent this browser for the use your... And provide clarity brown~, Hi Kurt – I sent you an email with a producer who started has pub... Few months learning about how easy it is to distribute a song these comments with great interest pop... Can tell, I ’ ll start my own publishing company if this seems jumbled lol, I ’ pretty... Be so greatly appreciated royalties from more than 100,000 business and public spaces across Canada assume can... Whomever and put it out there find out later down the road im still signed to 3! I don ’ t he want to act as a new writer 100,000 business and public spaces across Canada placed.