Work for Hire Music Contract

[Disclaimer: Alisha Peru, Live and Amplified and all persons mentioned in this article will in no way be liable for any legal problems, losses or damages of any kind that may arise in connection with employment contracts, musical collaborations, etc.] Misconceptions about ownership over money and royalties can become big problems if not everyone is on the same page, especially when a song becomes a hit. For this reason, independent music creators may encounter the subject of work done to hire in many situations – also known as work to hire or WFH. An example is when you record a song. People who contribute to admission own their contributions to the Master (because they are independent contractors), unless they transfer ownership in writing to you, the employer. Therefore, there will usually be a “work for pay” provision in the contacts for the producer, musician and singer contributing to the master, so ownership will be transferred to the employer. The wording of a “pay-for-work” agreement with a producer is usually along the following lines. 4. At the end, there is usually a statement that if, for any reason, the work is not considered “work for hire”, the employee assigns (transfers) his or her contributions to the work to the employer. * This can be the most important scam that requires serious consideration: once you have signed an employment contract for hire or reward [as a songwriter], you exclude yourself from any future sums of money that the song could earn [this includes radio broadcasting, licenses, royalties, etc.]. If you get paid $300 to write a song, but the song ends up bringing in thousands of dollars in royalties, you`ll never see any of that money. $300 will be all you get for the job. Someone could turn to a painter and pay him $300 to take his idea or concept and “bring it to life.” Once the client has paid the painter, this work belongs to the client.

There is some confusion among many people about what exactly a “pay-for-work” agreement is and what it achieves. This article explains when and how to use it. A contract of employment for remuneration (or “work done to hire”) essentially states that a person or company that commissions a work from an author retains beneficial ownership and is in fact considered the legal author of the work. The actual creator of the work may or may not be publicly recognized for the work and has no right to payment beyond what was promised in the original agreement on the commissioned work. “There are people in the industry who are against contracts of any kind,” Kattwinkel says. “Many people don`t believe in themselves and are afraid. The problem with this is that if your registration is very successful, these people can come out of the woodwork and claim to be co-authors – and therefore co-copyright holders of the work – regardless of what they actually contributed, and demand a portion of the income. So if you can`t get your employees to sign a WFH agreement, you need to at least get something that says they`re not co-authors and won`t track some of the resulting revenue.

If you don`t have something like this, it can lead to real problems if something happens with a lawsuit. The situation is compared by experts to that of the computer programming giants, pointing the finger at Microsoft or IBM, where many programmers may have worked on the development of a particular program or operating system, but Microsoft or IBM retain the property rights. Similarly, newspapers and magazines, while regularly naming the authors of articles, retain ownership of the article itself. More information about Linda Joy Kattwinkel`s work can be found here. One scenario where it can be pretty safe not to push for a WFH deal is when you work with well-known and established employees. “If someone already has a good reputation, he or she probably won`t put them at risk by causing a problem about who wrote what,” Kattwinkel says. “People who are respected and work at the upper end of the profession are inherently more trustworthy than people who are just starting out, or people who are in the middle and don`t yet have a reputation to lose, but who might feel greedy if you make it big.” In the world of songwriting, a work-for-hire situation usually occurs when a composer creates music for other media, especially in television commercials. A company that has hired someone to create a jingle for its product will dictate, for obvious reasons, that the resulting composition remains the property of the company for future applications. 1. A statement that, although the producer is an independent contractor, the producer is considered an “employee” within the meaning of copyright law. This means that the employer who owns the master can do whatever he wants (change it, sell it, etc.) without the employee`s permission. So, what is an employment contract for remuneration? That`s exactly what it looks like – someone hires you to create a work [song] for them.

Another popular option is to look for contractors on construction sites such as Upwork, SoundBetter or AirGigs. These websites usually have filters to help you find the ideal professional. Most websites like this are based solely on the idea of working for leases. So if you hire people, they won`t get a portion of future income. If you want your song to be produced professionally, you`ll probably need to hire a few professionals along the way. And it`s smart to know what you`re spending your money on, yes? This article explains what “work for rent” means. Plus the pros and cons of hiring music contractors who work for others. .