Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

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Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by thegajman » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:54 pm

In today's Taxi TV episode with Bob Mair, the common subject of CDBaby and TuneCore "publishing" and how it can negate the ability to sign songs to exclusive libraries came up... and it has come up in a few episodes lately.

As a writer that does have an album with CDBaby ( https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/sonicdivide ), and does want tracks from it to be used in film and TV, I'm obviously keen to get to the bottom of this issue.

My first question that I'm hoping someone can answer is ... what exactly are we talking about here?.. are we talking about Digital Distribution? Monetization (from YouTube etc)? ..or Publishing?
[All of which appear to be separate things on CD Baby at least].

With my band's album on CDBaby .. I have specified that we as a band are "self published".. so as far as I'm concerned, CDBaby is NOT our publisher. BUT.. they do facilitate digital distribution through iTunes, Spotify etc. etc. .. and we are "opted in" for CDBaby to use tools like Rumblefish to collect performance royalties from YouTube etc. So, if one of these songs was played in a TaxiTV episode, in theory that usage may get "detected".

BUT ... does that mean we couldn't sign any of these songs to an exclusive library? I have seen that there are bands and albums on Bob's site that are also distributed through CD Baby .. so I'm guessing the digital distribution isn't the issue in itself.

I just want to get to the bottom of exactly what I need to do from a CD Baby point of view, in order to keep this and any future albums clear to potentially sign them to an exclusive library.

Would appreciate other members thoughts on this. Thx!

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by admin » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:50 pm

Of the 4 songs that Bob said he was interested in signing during the show, I got emails from Youtube shortly after the live show saying that ALL FOUR were published by Tunecore and CDBaby. Now they can't be signed or pitched :-(

It seems many people don't read what they sign, or maybe they don't understand it. I'm sure tens of thousands of songs are already in libraries that are published by those companies and others. The companies have done nothing wrong.

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by funsongs » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:53 pm

So, Glenn (I've had 4 CDs manufactured by CD Baby in the past few years) first of all - I found it frustrating that there are two separate 'arms' of CD Baby - the 'getting it out there' as the artist is NOT CONNECTED to the manufacturing one... as I think I understand it.

Like the examples given, I 'discovered' that the first CD showed up on You Tube - with credit given that it had been put there by Tunecore. Being a newbie to this social media stuff, I must've signed up as a matter of process and expedience, not really knowing what I was doing.

SO - now - if I get your question: if I've unknowingly, or carelessly, 'clicked the box' for publishing rights: HOW DO I UN-CLICK IT? Can that be undone? And if so - how & how soon?
The advice that's been given, and the 4 examples Michael pointed out, are assurance that agreeing to CD Baby or Tunecore's publishing 'grab' encumbers every one of those works - such that they cannot be licensed away to others.

If I'm still missing something here - help the Old-Guy 'get it'... and get out, a.s.a.p, if possible.
Bummer for those folks whose music Bob wanted - but could not use. Oy!

Cheers.
Last edited by funsongs on Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by CTWF » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:33 am

admin wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:50 pm
Of the 4 songs that Bob said he was interested in signing during the show, I got emails from Youtube shortly after the live show saying that ALL FOUR were published by Tunecore and CDBaby. Now they can't be signed or pitched :-(
As Peter wrote, what a bummer! Thanks for shedding light on this problem in the recent two Taxi TV episodes. Tom

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by Shalee » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:04 am

Distrokid is also up for contention with this, as I found this line in their terms and conditions under their grant of rights segment. If you distribute with Distrokid, they have the rights to do the following-

(2) reproduce, distribute, and prepare derivative works (including synchronization rights) based upon your Recordings, to the extent necessary for the purpose of engaging in any of the foregoing activities; and to collect all income from the foregoing activities; and to create reference files and fingerprints of the Recordings, and to store and use such files;

I'm getting clarification directly from them as to what this means- but it may put them out in terms of as a distributor if you want to use any music in exclusive libraries.

The mystery continues- will keep you posted!
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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by thegajman » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:17 am

Thanks for the replies guys.

I just had a read of the agreement that I have with CD Baby. Because I haven't chosen them to be our "publisher", it means that I can still sign Non-Exclusive deals for our songs with publishers.. however, I can't sign an Exclusive deal. BUT... I can terminate the agreement with 24 hours notice .. so if I was fortunate enough for someone like Bob Mair to be interested in signing any of our songs exclusively, that's exactly what I would do.

So in short, if I did elect to have CD Baby as our publisher it would be more complicated and who knows how difficult to get out of. Under the (non-publisher) agreement I can sign songs to non-exclusive deals with publishers but I can't sign exclusive deals without terminating the agreement.

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by Shalee » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:12 pm

Hey guys,
Ok, So I think Distrokid is in the clear for non exclusive libraries. I directly asked them about this and these was there response:

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out! I'm happy to help.

DistroKid is non-exclusive, but be aware that if you send your release(s) to the same stores via DistroKid and another service, the duplicate listings of your release(s) may cause complications and/or problems in those stores.

We only focus on digital distribution at this time, and we do some playlist pitching as well. We currently do not do any syncing licensing.

I hope this helps clear things up a bit! Thanks again, and thank you for choosing DistroKid. Have a great day!

Best,
Ashley
DistroKid Support
http://distrokid.com

So, Distrokid only distributes your music, rather than undergo any publishing for it on your behalf.

Which is a relief for any non exclusive TAXI pitches! But I'm still hesitant to distribute anything until I get either returned or have floated in the debris of unused forwards for a few months if I am pitching to TAXI listings with synch libraries that want an exclusive deal.

Given most of us write to pitch, I'm sure we want to be able to utilise all avenues for our music to get opportunities to be seen, noticed, grow our listener bases and to potentially make income. So it's good that this stuff is all being discussed and clarified- it makes us better music professionals.

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by tresero » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:03 pm

My question is how do you know if you signed the box? I only have one album on there now and it was added in 2006.

On my dashboard I don't really see anything other than monetize FB and YouTube which I turned off. Maybe I'm missing something? How do I find which tracks (if any) are granted publishing. This is TuneCore not CD Baby.

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by BMiller » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:57 am

I, too, have some songs that were released through cdbaby a few years back. However, it was my understanding that it was only the songs on the album that were under the contract to cdbaby. I wasn't planning at that time, or now, to submit any of those songs for a listing or to a music library. Am I correct in thinking that the new music I have written(non on that cd I released) for exclusive libraries are not affected by the cdbaby contract???

Thanks for any info anyone has on this!

Brad

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Re: Getting to the bottom of the CDBaby and TuneCore "CheckBox"

Post by funsongs » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:41 pm

I don't know if, or how, this might answer any questions - BUT -
my back & forth email swaps with CD Baby went sorta like this:
Q: How do I confirm that my account lists me like this - Songwriter: Peter Rahill; Publisher: Funsongs Music ? With NO publisher rights of CD Baby to my music?
A: We'll change your account from CD Baby Pro, to Standard; and, process a refund to you the difference you paid.

Hope that helps, some.
Now I've got to do the same for TuneCore - OR - should I just cancel my account with them?!

Cheers.
Peter Rahill
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