Hi everyone,

It's really great to find this place and I'm really looking forward to hanging out here and getting to know some of you.

I found my way here from searching around online for advice on composer-publisher deals. Basically, I have a deal on the table but it's with a small indie publisher and I want to find out if there's a significant difference between being signed to a relatively unknown publisher and one with more 'clout'..

of course, 'Duh!' is probably the main answer to this question but my quandry is the idea of an indie providing fewer clients with a more focussed service versus just being another 'small fish' in the big pool at a major and perhaps getting no 'push' at all..

Do people here think that it would be detrimental to my progress to sign with an indie - given that it's a gamble that they will actually have the wherewithall to maximise the exposure of my stuff?

(also, of course, it biases my decision that there is no deal from a 'major' on my table.. :D )

So, should I sign to an indie for 3 years to get the ball rolling? (I just want to be working regularly..)

Could it possibly really hurt my progress if they own the publishing but just sit on it and don't get me any placements?

Any thoughts from any of you who are more seasoned in the business side of things would be most sincerely appreciated.

ps. reading through the contract, though it's 'co-publishing' and the 70/30 split in my favour is good, it still seems a little 'over reaching' on the publisher's part.. i.e. looking to secure the rights to 'all' of my previous work that is yet unpublished... is this a massive 'red flag'?

Maybe I could post the contract up here (names etc. censored) so anyone who feels gracious enough could read through it and tell me if it basically sucks or not?!

please let me know your thoughts...

many, many thanks in advance!


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  • I could definitely read through it for you, I can't promise too much but It would be good practice for me and I'm sure I could help you out a little. I just took a class on publishing and copyright. I could also ask my professor who is an entertainment lawyer ;) haha.
  • wow that's so cool of you! goes to show, sometimes you just have to ask..! :) Thanks Peter.

    I just made a txt. file of it with the names removed, so i'm going to try and link it somehow.. if that doesn't work i'll copy n paste it here

    here goes..

    contract - names removed.rtf

  • Hey Peter,

    Just wondering if you've had a chance to look it over yet? Don't mean to hassle, just eager to hear your thoughts..!

    Cheers, Steve.

  • Sorry, haha I read it when you first posted it and was a little overwhelmed, after a bit of research all I can really see is these are the parts I would "be careful" about.


    First of all to answer your question, yes it could hurt you if they sit on your songs while having the exclusive right to publish them. You should be sure that if you do sign to remain actively seeking placements yourself, or with them.


    This sentence right here:

    "you hereby assign to us and our successors for the full duration of the Retention Period the whole and entire copyright and all your rights, title and interest in the Compositions for the Territory, including all vested contingent and future rights of copyright or similar rights whether now or hereafter known and to which you or your personal representatives or heirs are or may hereafter be entitled."


    Right off the bat, is sounds like they are saying that you are to assign to them the full and entire copyright...I may be crazy but I'm pretty sure the copyright ownership is split in a co-publishing deal like this. Even if they have exclusivity to publish the compositions.


    That word assign there is key though. I'm second guessing myself now. please don't take any of this advice too seriously, getting an entertainment lawyer is key.


    Watch out for section 2.2.8 as well.


    The income section seems ok. you split royalties 50-50, which is how a 75-25 deal works, and you get 70% of the sync fees. Nothing wrong with that. Seems to be in your favor on that end.


    I would be careful about the copyright ownership, be sure that when the term ends you get ownership back


    I would strongly urge you to get an entertainment lawyer or the likes. good luck though!



  • Wow, Peter! thanks so much for taking the time.. I really appreciate it. Your points chime with my own thoughts, it's just really good to get a second opinion - I'm much more certain of my own initial feelings now.

    I will take it up with the publisher as we're on fairly informal speaking terms - see if I can get it adjusted any before I shell out for a lawyer.

    So again, thanks a lot - I hope I can help you out sometime in return.

    Steve G.

  • A little point that I picked up; there are countries where, concerning performance and broadcasting fess, the composer/publisher split is not 50/50 eg. I can think of a case where it's 2/3 to composer and 1/3 to publisher, but under that contract it would be paid after the international transfer as a 50/50 split.
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