Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

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mwb2
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Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by mwb2 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:26 am

Hi all,

I have little experience with deals so I don't have a good idea for what is 'typical'.

A library contract I'm looking at basically says they get any sync fees, plus the publisher's royalties, and I'd get the writer's royalties. This is for instrumental tracks.

Is this kind of arrangement typical? It bugs me a bit that they would not split any up-front sync fees. With that said, a bad deal is better than no deal and I'm at the very beginning of this journey so I'm not worried too much.

Thanks for any advice,
Mike
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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by mwb2 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:10 am

Thanks Paul - appreciate the input!

Cheers,
Mike
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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by JohnDroese » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:59 am

I am not much further down the road I have 5 contracts with 4 libraries both instrumental as well as vocal tracks and I have never not split sync fees so to me it seems odd. why would they not? especially if they are taking 100% of publishing? What are the other terms? length of contract? exclusive? Do you plan on working more with this library? if so why? I know sometimes it seems like any deal is a good deal but you never know what tomorrow holds. I would ask them to split everything 50/50 and if not hold it for the next library. You have been validated your stuff is good enough that a library believes in it..... There will be more

just my two cents
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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by SubRivers » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:20 pm

Not sure what Master Use Fee is exactly
I understand Master Rights as that allows a library 100% freedom to place a track.

But agree - it does sound more like another way of saying 100% sync fee.

Definitely worth getting opinions on that contract clause here.

Personal decision entirely but it's not something I would sign, but understand that others might.

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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:12 pm

mwb2 wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:26 am
A library contract I'm looking at basically says they get any sync fees, plus the publisher's royalties, and I'd get the writer's royalties. This is for instrumental tracks.Is this kind of arrangement typical?
Whilst a fair few libraries share the sync fees , in my experience you may well find that there is never any on instrumental cues especially for things like reality shows as a lot of Libraries operate under blanket licences and sync fees won't be applicable.

If they were songs that had taken a ton of work then I'd feel differently and be wanting to sign them somewhere to keep 50% of any syncs but for instrumental cues that I can knock out fairly quickly I wouldn't worry about it personally especially if it's early days for you. I think you've more to gain by getting some experience and contacts and hopefully some placements. You can always move on to better deals later as you gain more experience or if it doesn't pan out. Most of the income off instrumentals is going to come off the back end and you've got the right deal there ( unlike some libraries who are taking writers share)

It might not be the " best deal " but it sure ain't the worst. I would call it sub optimal rather than bad. My advice is go for it , get some real world experience and review your position down the line.

Mark

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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by SubRivers » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:07 pm

My problem with that deal isn't a practical one as in an actual sync fee landing "woo hoo".

More a reflection on the Library business ethics.

After all if those rights are so worthless why not split them 50/50

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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by eeoo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:15 pm

The only deal I've ever done where I've given up my sync is work for hire where they paid me up front a certain amount per cue. I was happy to do it for instrumentals because in my experience they rarely get up front money anyway. Otherwise all my deals have been at least 50/50 on all money earned by the song/cue. I definitely would not sign a deal like that for vocal songs unless the work for hire money was substantial!

Hope that helps!

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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by eeoo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:17 pm

And one last thought, in my opinion a bad deal is definitely not better than no deal, and probably is worse than no deal.

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Re: Library taking 100% of Master Use fee - normal?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:05 pm

eeoo wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:15 pm
The only deal I've ever done where I've given up my sync is work for hire where they paid me up front a certain amount per cue.
Yeah true, have given it up for up front " consideration fees " ..which has turned out to be more than the backend they've earned to date !

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