Today I got an email from a talented SongTownian who asked me if it was a good idea to sign a contract that allowed his co-writer to negotiate contracts on their song on his behalf. And gave the co-writer 100% of the publishing on any deal made.
I had to read that twice!! Did I really just read that someone wanted a SongTownian to sign this?
I have been songwriting professionally for 25 years and have NEVER had a co-writer ever attempt to take control of my negotiating power! When a song is co-written, each person owns and controls their portion of the song separately!
First of all, your mechanical and performance royalties are set by US Congress and Rate Court. There is no negotiating for those. That leaves TV and Film and a variety of other sync fees that can be negotiated. What if the person negotiates a bad deal for you? Worse yet… gives up your rights for FREE and costs you potentially thousands of dollars down the road.
Secondly, what if the person places a song as music promoting a product you’re not comfortable with? Maybe you don’t want your song promoting the latest adult film or hemorrhoid cream?????
**Of course, I am no attorney and this is not meant to take the place of any needed legal advice. I just call it out like I see it and sometimes this business can get CRAZY!
Write On! ~Clay
Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. His songs have been recorded by such artist as Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Babyface, and Kimberly Locke. He has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Follow him here: www.songtown.com, at www.claymills.com