starting out without any biz wisdom

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kathia
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starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by kathia » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:00 am

Hi, I’m new. My name is Kathi or Kat for short.

It’s complicated. What’s complicated? Trying to do the metadata stuff, even trying to wrap my brain around it, it seems endlessly convoluted and so since I don’t know the right stuff off the top, I kept searching, researching. I had a simple question to begin with haha. The more I tried to find the answer the more complex, anyway, the original question I had was about whether or not to join a PRO. (duh) Then that turned into, OK, which PRO? in this learning curve I found out about the code packet, the ISRC numbers. OK, so it looks like savvy music biz composers know about these ISRC codes, and the other ones called ISWC. So it looks like an IPI number thingy is another more pertinent ID number if starting out, than any ISRC’s or ISWC’s. OK so I didn’t even know what an IPI was, even though I’ve been writing music for years. When I found out about it, I contacted a successful composer I know and asked her what does one do about these codes and PRO’s and all that stuff. She didn’t know either. She has a PRO, ASCAP, and I suppose they do all the metadata? I didn’t know what to say. Besides “you don’t know?” Someone asked on TAXI tv chat, something like “Do you put the data in before or after something is used?” and the answer was “Yes.” LOL because it looks like really there aren’t rules down on this, maybe because there is no one fixed way to do it.

All this time I’ve been doing this work w/o knowing any of the biz wisdom I think of it like my germination period, all I did was write for a stretch(years), and then finally reached out to a radio station 3 years ago with a collection which got played a number of times. (locally, NPR) And two other dj’s in other states and places contacted me. My point was to do music for visuals (tv, etc etc etc) so I realized I wasn’t going to get there through radio play directly, not that I wouldn’t welcome radio exposure. But I didn’t know any of the legal stuff you have to do. I joined Taxi a few months ago because of the incredible opportunities and thinking that this would kind of force the issue:)= and it has.

Here’s what I have so far:
1. Join a PRO and get an IPI number
2. Don’t go nuts over copyright
3. Submit some work
4. Forget about it
5. Keep working
6. Assign your ISRC’s or ISWC’s or have them assigned by a publisher if anything gets signed -
It depends on the situation overall-more research needed
7. Repeat
So I am researching the diff’s between ISRC’s and ISRW’s and who does what where for future reference

So, would you agree that the only thing for me to do right now besides getting my act together to submit is to join a PRO?
If I don't join a PRO until something is used does that work? If I didn't have a PRO would a potential publisher not want to deal with me? Or would they push that through just to get on with business?

Thanks for your time - these are probably the dumbest questions but anyway, best wishes,
Kat

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by edmondredd » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:38 am

Hey Kat, and welcome to the forums.
To make it clearer, first define what is it that you want to do:
- write instrumental for tv/films to taxi listings
- write songs (lyrics and music) for tv/films to taxi listings
- write songs (lyrics and music) for artists
- write songs (only lyrics) and collaborate with other musicians
- .. (the list go on)
But for the first 2, which are most of what Taxi members do (to my knowledge), all you need to have is to be registered with a PRO that is located in your country (preferably) and get your IPI number.
If you're in the US, you have the choice between 3 PROs (BMI, SESAC and ASCAP), in the UK you have PRS, in Canada SOCAN, in France SACEM and so on and so forth. You could look up online, and see for yourself. Each and every one his own opinion/taste and choice.

Regarding the copyright, I'd say better get a legal opinion, but FIW, I personally wouldn't mind get the 'official' paper from the copyright office. When you aim for film and tv cues, you'd generally write a large number of cues in order to generate royalties income. Spending your money on copyrighting all of your cues, wouldn't be a wise business decision. But that's just me.
If you aim to write to A-list artist, than you should probably think of registering your copyright.

If you're submitting to listings, all you have to do is to actually listen to the references provided and submit your tracks. if you get a forward, your track is not considered signed yet. You'd have to be contacted by the Publisher/Library, and they'll send you a contract to be signed. At this point you need to have an IPI, else, you wouldn't collect any back end monies.
So you lose nothing to register and be prepared, it helps you act professionally.
What also helps you is to have some 'basic' metatags on your mp3: full name, email contact or phone contact, and preferably your PRO and your IPI# (these are optional).
You could also add the key the piece is in, the tempo, and if you have any collaborators/artists with you on your track. Genre also is highly recommended.
But the basics will suffice, should the publisher needs to contact you.
Metatags are an easy thing, and I would suggest it you do it as soon as you finish a piece. Look up for some software that edit/add metatags online. There are a couple of good ones, depending on your platform.

And my last advice, keep writing. It's the thing that matters most,

HTH,
edmond redd
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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by Kolstad » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:57 am

Write all you can and make it competitive.
Register with a PRO and get IPI and ISWC codes.

That's all you need. You can use your PRO for advice on the rest.
All you write is copyrighted by default, so no more effort is really needed.
You can register your copyrights if you at some point need to sue someone in the US for copying your hit song. But untill you get a hit song..

Write all you can and make it competitive.

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by kathia » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:49 am

edmondredd wrote:Hey Kat, and welcome to the forums.
To make it clearer, first define what is it that you want to do:
- write instrumental for tv/films to taxi listings
- write songs (lyrics and music) for tv/films to taxi listings
- write songs (lyrics and music) for artists
- write songs (only lyrics) and collaborate with other musicians
- .. (the list go on)
.........................................
But for the first 2, which are most of what Taxi members do (to my knowledge), all you need to have is to be registered with a PRO that is located in your country (preferably) and get your IPI number.
If you're in the US, you have the choice between 3 PROs (BMI, SESAC and ASCAP), in the UK you have PRS, in Canada SOCAN, in France SACEM and so on and so forth. You could look up online, and see for yourself. Each and every one his own opinion/taste and choice.

And my last advice, keep writing. It's the thing that matters most,

HTH,
Thanks so much edmond, that's great, really clear. Right now I'm trying to do the first thing - write instrumentals for tv/films. I understood that you have to have an inside line and be nominated to join SESAC, and ASCAP may or may not accept depending on track record no pun intended, but it looks like BMI might be the one for me. I'm in US, MA to be exact - Cape Cod. Really appreciate your time and wisdom. :)
best,
Kat

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by kathia » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:58 am

Kolstad wrote:Write all you can and make it competitive.
Register with a PRO and get IPI and ISWC codes.

That's all you need. You can use your PRO for advice on the rest.
All you write is copyrighted by default, so no more effort is really needed.
You can register your copyrights if you at some point need to sue someone in the US for copying your hit song. But untill you get a hit song..

Write all you can and make it competitive.

Thanks Kolstad, I always took the idea that it would be a complement to be copyright infringed, but I don't want to be too loose about it because I don't have time for litigation :roll: Everything I have is dated, I have the copyright, formally registered or not but I don't want to worry about it. Like you say, the actual work is the important thing. So I am inspired now, thanks so much!
best,
Kat

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by kathia » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:09 pm

kathia wrote:
Kolstad wrote:Write all you can and make it competitive.
Register with a PRO and get IPI and ISWC codes.

That's all you need. You can use your PRO for advice on the rest.
All you write is copyrighted by default, so no more effort is really needed.
You can register your copyrights if you at some point need to sue someone in the US for copying your hit song. But untill you get a hit song..

Write all you can and make it competitive.

Thanks Kolstad, I always took the idea that it would be a complement to be copyright infringed, but I don't want to be too loose about it because I don't have time for litigation :roll: Everything I have is dated, I have the copyright, formally registered or not but I don't want to worry about it. Like you say, the actual work is the important thing. So I am inspired now, thanks so much!
best,
Kat

Just saw this interesting news:
In a groundbreaking show of unity, ASCAP and BMI, the nation’s two leading performing rights organizations, announced today that they will create a single, comprehensive database of musical works from their combined repertories that will deliver an authoritative view of ownership shares in the vast majority of music licensed in the United States.

http://variety.com/2017/music/news/asca ... 202507071/

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by DesireInspires » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:16 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if BMI and ASCAP merged in the near future.

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by davekropf » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:16 pm

DesireInspires wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if BMI and ASCAP merged in the near future.
Knowing their history, it would be like the Capulets and Montagues being ok with the marriage of Romeo and Juliet.

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by Casey H » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:19 pm

Kat
I sent you a PM.

:D Casey

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Re: starting out without any biz wisdom

Post by DesireInspires » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:43 pm

davekropf wrote:
DesireInspires wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if BMI and ASCAP merged in the near future.
Knowing their history, it would be like the Capulets and Montagues being ok with the marriage of Romeo and Juliet.
If the money is right, it can happen.

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