The music business can be a funny business to be in. There’s a lot of talk right now about music licensing, royalties, revenues, copyright and the like. It’s a shifting industry, and – let’s be real – it’s been constantly morphing since the dawn of Napster in 1999.
But one thing always remains constant – you have to get your money.
And in the spirit of that mentality we wanted to share a great post at Digital Music News about 3 types of music contracts every music producer should know.
Here’s what the article is about:
In this article, we’ll discuss music producer agreements in the context of the indie music business rather than standard producer agreements used by major labels. A producer who works on a major label project will generally have an experienced music attorney who will negotiate these deals on their behalf. Often, the upfront money that a small label or an indie artist can offer, if any at all, will not allow a producer to hire a lawyer.
So may not be super relevant if you’re only working with the major labels, but good to know regardless.
The post is especially helpful for hip hop beat makers. Here’s a quick excerpt:
Often, a producer will sell a beat outright. In that case, the buyer will have the exclusive right to use the beat. But other times, a producer will give a non-exclusive license to use a beat, and reserve the right to use the beat for himself or license it to others.
If the agreement is a sale, it will usually be structured as a ‘work for hire.’ In a work for hire agreement, the producer loses all rights in their beat, including the copyright and the right to use the beat again for any purpose. If, on the other hand, the grant of rights is a non-exclusive license, the producer keeps the copyright, and retains the right to use it or make other deals.
Some great information for anyone that’s in the beat making game. A lot of the artists that you’ll deal with as an independent music producer are independent artists. And a lot of the time they won’t have a budget for exclusive beats and will opt for the lease/non-exclusive.
Some Music Contract Templates For You
And the people over at HipHopMakers.com were generous enough to share a collection of free music licensing contracts from around the internet on their website.