If you’re an artist, you already know that knowledge is power. Creativity is one thing, but if you’re looking to create a sustainable career, simple ignorance is no excuse. Now, thanks to TuneCore’s ficial blog, you can get acquainted with some essential behind-the-scenes knowledge. Check it out, courtesy entertainment and media attorney Justin Jacobson, Esq:
The rapid rise the internet and the ease world-wide instant peer-to-peer communications have provided many upcoming artists with new opportunities to monetize their unreleased, original works. The use social media and the internet has made it possible for aspiring music producers, vocalists and musicians to instantly spread their music and attempt to make their own mark on the music industry. This pursuit has led to a large number artists, in particular many music producers, advertising and promoting their “beats for sale.”
This is to earn an immediate prit on their unreleased musical works. While this may seem to be a straight-forward transaction, where a musician pays a specified fee to purchase a “beat” or instrumental from a producer; there are many legal issues that arise. These issues must be taken into account to ensure this transaction is done properly and that all parties involved are properly compensated at that instant as well as in the future.
There are several considerations a purchaser must take into account when purchasing an instrumental track or “beat” from another. The first consideration is whether the instrumental track is being leased or sold. Also, whether the license (right to use the track) is an exclusive or non-exclusive “deal.” Typically, when a creator “leases” a beat to another, this arrangement provides the leasor (party leasing the instrumental) with the right to utilize the instrumental and to reproduce, sell or otherwise utilize the finished works containing the beat for a specified period time.
However, this transaction does not generally give the leasor the exclusive and indefinite right to utilize the beat. The creator is usually still able to re-sell the same instrumental to others. The leasor may also have to enter into an additional lease with the creator after the expiration a specific time frame if they wish to continue utilizing and exploiting the recording that contains this leased beat.
When negotiating an appropriate license fee for this particular option, is important to discuss and agree on how the leasor plans to utilize the beat. This includes how many copies the finished work and in what mediums (i.e. CDs, downloads, streaming) it will be used. Also relevant is the territory or area the finished work can be sold in (i.e., North America, Europe, “the universe”) and whether it can only be used for a particular use (i.e. for demo use only, for iTunes sale only, free on a mixtape, or Sending Song in an Email).
Conversely, a creator can instead assign all the creator’s rights in the work to the purchaser by selling the instrumental and the creator’s exclusive rights associated with the track. Generally, the cost to lease a beat is less than the cost to purchase the beat, as the creator is able to monetize the same work several times when they lease the beat rather than sell it. The fee for the beat can range from $5 to $10 all the way up to several thousand dollars, depending on the reputation the producer and the type usages the purchaser envisions.