As this is the first time that I am producing my own work to such a high University standard, I wanted to make sure that I had official proof that the work was indeed my own. I understand what it’s like when you get into the creative flow in a studio environment and with late nights with session musicians people can get carried away with ideas and forget who has control over the situation. This is where the waivers come in. I wanted official paperwork to prove I had used a wide range of artists while retaining the majority of copyright for the work, I achieved this by researching laws on copyright.
I found a particular contract that matched my criteria perfectly. A ‘work for hire’ agreement is signed by the employer and employee, which gives all rights of the final product to the employer and states that any further payments are unnecessary. However I was frustrated to find that this only applied to the United States.
After much research I concluded that in the U.K there doesn’t seem to be a specific law on this matter. There are recent laws that,
‘require(s) record labels to set aside 20% of gross revenues from sales of all releases featuring session musicians in the extended term, into a fund for session musicians.’ (BPI, 2011)
Of course I do not fall under these provisos as I am not a record label. Nonetheless, it is still important to recognise the fact that the musicians understand the terms of the recording process that they are about to undertake. Therefore this renders the agreement extremely useful. I shall of course give any rights where due, for example in songwriting aspects while also recognising otherwise that I, the producer shall be the full copyright owner when the final product is delivered.
I created my own release form by scouring the internet for appropriate free templates and I created my own by editing the most appropriate parts which would be areas of concern for a potential copyright holder like myself. Here is the final document that I, and every musician shall have to sign before we commence the recording session.
During this project I have realised the importance of the A&R side of proceedings and I feel these considerations have helped me grow as a producer. In my next post I shall explain the importance of the managerial and organisational aspects with my custom made session sheets.
BPI. (2011). Copyright Term. Available: https://www.bpi.co.uk/copyright-term.aspx. Last accessed 3/5/15.
United States Copyright Office. (2012). Works Made For Hire. Available: http://copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf. Last accessed 5/3/15.