Colaboration splits

Before you rant, READ THIS!

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

User avatar
GuitarKit
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: Christchurch New Zealand
Contact:

Colaboration splits

Post by GuitarKit » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:10 pm

Hi Taxiérs.
I am entering into a collaboration with another Taxi member. Really looking forward to other input.

I gather that agreements are a person by person case, however just so I can be in the ball park (favorite taxi term)
what would be a typical colab agreement structure?
Maybe how you specifically go about your colab method.

Guitarkit

User avatar
fuzzbox
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:30 am
Gender: Male
Location: Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by fuzzbox » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:00 am

I'm from the UK and I have co-written a number of songs with writers from the US.
We agreed the splits and who is doing what and when BEFORE we started.
We did this via Skype and email.
We downloaded a free Song Splits template from the internet (just Google).
Altered according to countries which is pretty easy.
I signed my part then scanned and emailed to the co-writer who printed, signed and then returned my copy. Then we exchanged screen shots of our respective PRO entries.
The ensured all the relevant details are included in the metadata.

More experienced members can offer a fuller explanation of what else to do and Work for Hire agreements etc.

Hope this is helpful. :)
ImageImage

All You Need Is Ears - Sir George Martin
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence betweenWolfgang Amadeus Mozart

User avatar
Paulie
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 1998
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:23 pm
Gender: Male
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by Paulie » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:43 pm

There have been some other discussions here about this topic. I think collabs are the BEST way to get into libraries, at least, they have been for me. :)

Definitely agree on the split before you start any work, but in general I split all of my collabs equally among composers. In my view, which aligns with some others here, the collaboration would not happen without each person's involvement. So, unless you find yourself doing the lion's share of the work (playing, recording, mixing, etc.), I suggest a 50:50 split. You could go 75:25, or 25:75 depending on the project.

Paul
Paul "yo paulie!" Croteau
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." Beethoven
http://www.yopauliemusic.com | http://www.taxi.com/paulcroteau | https://soundcloud.com/yopauliemusic

User avatar
GuitarKit
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: Christchurch New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by GuitarKit » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:16 pm

Thanks, guys.

In this particular case, I have written and recorded everything. I just need one instrumentalist to play one track for me.
Would i be expected to pay up front for his track prior to any forwards and placements, or do payouts only exchange when a track is placed?

User avatar
annayarbrough
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 1223
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:18 pm
Gender: Female
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by annayarbrough » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:30 pm

GuitarKit wrote:Thanks, guys.

In this particular case, I have written and recorded everything. I just need one instrumentalist to play one track for me.
Would i be expected to pay up front for his track prior to any forwards and placements, or do payouts only exchange when a track is placed?
How you do it is really up to you. If you want to do it as a collaboration, you likely won't need to pay your instrumentalist upfront, and instead they will receive relative splits in future royalties. A split sheet outlining percentages, PROs and contact info is good to have—at the very least, have written communication.

If you'd rather own everything outright, a work-for-hire is a good way to go. In which case just get a record of the WFH agreement in one form or other! You'll then retain all rights to the music and can do what you like with it.

Pros and cons to both—doing it as a collab may save you money in the short-term, but the song will no longer be solely yours (not only does this mean splitting royalties, but you'll also need permission from both parties to pitch the material, and a mutual agreement on any deals that are offered). That's where a work-for-hire can be advantageous.

Hope this helps!

User avatar
Casey H
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 12283
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by Casey H » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:20 am

GuitarKit wrote:Thanks, guys.

In this particular case, I have written and recorded everything. I just need one instrumentalist to play one track for me.
Would i be expected to pay up front for his track prior to any forwards and placements, or do payouts only exchange when a track is placed?
In this situation, I would highly recommend a simple work for hire arrangement whereby you pay a one time fee to the instrumentalist and they sign a WFH release agreement (critical!), stating that they performed as a WFH and have no rights to anything as far as ownership, royalties, etc. There is no need to make this a co-writer arrangement which means that the other party will have to approve and sign all contracts (library deals, etc) down the road.

Robin Frederick's book on writing for Film/TV has a sample WFH agreement.

Best,
:D Casey

User avatar
fuzzbox
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:30 am
Gender: Male
Location: Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by fuzzbox » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:44 am

Robin Frederick's book on writing for Film/TV has a sample WFH agreement.
..ahh yes of course it does, see page 213. 8-)
ImageImage

All You Need Is Ears - Sir George Martin
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence betweenWolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Kolstad
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 4296
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:19 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by Kolstad » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:22 am

I usually collaborate if it is a situation where I need the writing, composing or producing skill of the other. If the other adds to the copyright (c), I consider it a collaboration situation. If I only need a specific track or vocal for something that I have already written, I go for work-for-hire, because then I only need the performance, and that doesn't add to the copyright (at least not the (c)).

The particular deals can vary a bit, as a vocal performance usually is of higher wfh value than a specific track (because vocals really sells a song). Therefore it is pretty common to be able to get an instrumental track for maybe 50-75$ (in the US), while vocals performances are up to double that (both can be more). It is also pretty common to include a clause where the singer will get an agreed bonus amt, if the song gross over 5k or more (if you sell the song on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes ect). This is to meet the lawful claim for fair compensation, which is important because the performer forfeit all rights to the performed track, and usually agree that his/her name can be used to market the song.

I've never done an instrumental wfh, though, so I'm not sure what is common here. I guess it can depend on how big a deal the particular feature is, but I have read accounts from lawyers who claim that compensations way below market price basically can be a liability, because the performer at a later date can claim that the compensation for signing off the performance rights was not fair (like 1$ deals ect.).

Another way to compensate is to agree upon a cut of the licensing, if the target is music for productions. Here again the percentage can vary, depending on if it is an instrumental track already written, an instrumental track that also needs to be written, a vocal ect. I have made deals that splits the licensing in half for an incredible vocal (you will have to administer that yourself, by sharing your revenue). Usually the deal should reflect the bigger the contribution, the bigger the cut, I think.

my2c

User avatar
Casey H
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 12283
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by Casey H » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:36 am

I've done instrumental track WFHs quite a few times in situations where I needed a single instrument added to a song. e.g. saxophone, violin, keyboards, etc. Though you CAN do this in ways other than WFH, it is definitely the simplest and cleanest way to go in a case like this. A typical session fee for an instrument line would be $75-$125 unless it was something REALLY special.

The only reasons I could think of for doing it as co-write instead are: (1) You can't afford a session fee ($100 is reasonable) or (2) The instrumentalist would really prefer a percentage co-write to the fee and you are OK with that.

One reason I prefer it as a WFH is once it's done and signed off, I never have to contact that other party to get contracts signed with libraries, etc. It's not the split share, it's just the minor hassle of getting that party's approval and signature on deals. And I've seen lots of things go wrong such as: You want to sign a library deal for the song but your now co-writer who played sax on the song doesn't agree to the deal. Trust me, it happens.

So if the instrumentalist truly wasn't a songwriter but only added an instrumental line, my strong opinion is go WFH.

Good luck! :D
Casey

User avatar
GuitarKit
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: Christchurch New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Colaboration splits

Post by GuitarKit » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:20 pm

Brilliant. Awesome responses. I am not only in the ball park. I'm batting up.
Thanks to all contributers.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests