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Checklist For Download Contracts
PassiePassion
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 01:30:06 (104)  Reply with quote
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Checklist For Download Contracts

I joined the Dutch Musicians Organisation FNV KIEM
This organisation supports artists with contracts and other information
At a meeting we got an explenation about contracts
So i translated the info to my best abillities for others to use the knowlidge aswell
If you want to join a lable PLEASE READ THIS WELL
Then you wont make the mistake that loads of us have made
I know your in heaven when you get offered a contract
But thats the moment when you got to be extra carefull
You are so happy with the chance that you get that your mind is not working right
So read it carefully and be warned thumbsup

This is an example for independent lables or bands
The site that exploids your music is your licencetaker and distributor
Also called Retailer or Shopsystem
The Band-Lable is the masterowner and is called the Licenor of lable

So this checklist is NOT for contracts between master owner-lable and an Aggregator
Or a sales person who makes deals with other download supliers
An Aggregator is a big distributor

These are the 2 points that are most important to consider
1] NEVER sign a contract that is EXCLUSIVE
2] And it has to be easy to end the contract

1. Always get a Non-Exclusive contract

You do this to stay able to host your songs at various download sites
To reach more potential customers which is your motivation to put it online
The ONLY reason to sign an Exclusive contract is
If they offer you a supstansual advance payment
So if the lable is willing to give you 100.000 euros to buy musical tools
Then they spend money on you thus they got a right to bind you to them
At net-download sites they hardly do anything for you
So thats just a distributional task for them without investing any money in you
They earn their money because you give them the chance to sell YOUR product
So you are the one who offers them a way to earn money not the other way around

Another exception could be if you can get to customers that you normaly cant reach

In some contracts the distributor expects that the licencegiver
Is not only the owner of the recording but also the owner of the Author-rights
This means that if you didnt write the music and-or the texts you CAN'T sign the contract

Be very carefull with OPTIONS FOR THE DOWNLOADSUPLIER
Some contracts mention that you have to put your digital version at their site for future productions
So then you HAVE TO host your future music at their site once you get it on vinyl

2. Parties have to be able to unbind the contract in an easy and fast way

Make shure that the contract is only for a short time [ 1 year ] which will automaticly flow into a next year
That can be ended by one of the both parties looking at a waiting time of 1 or several months
Before the current year ends

A timesless contract with a short get away time is good aswell

You also got to make clear what the status of your songs will be after finishing the contract
For what time period will your songs stay available on the site and when will the final payment come
Some sites state that once you uploaded your music it has to stay on the site for 3 years
SellABand has 1 year if i recall right this for the so called investers on that site
So be clear about this since it limits your freedom of doing a new deal a lot

In almost every contract you'll see that the licencetaker expects that he can make Sub-Licences aswell
Thats not a problem but make shure that the same contract terms count on the sub-licence
And that the licencetaker stays responsable to do the payments
Make shure that the contract ending time, that counts for the licencetaker, counts for
the sub-licencetaker aswell

3. The payment and way of paying

The payments mentioned are mostly based on a procentage of netto income
Be shure that the definition of neto income gets stated clearly
And that its not based on an endless spending opertunity with an open end
Your procentage should be 50-60% of the netto price
But its important on what part the procentage counts off course
Sometimes you see clear cost payments for every download to make it clear

Get an on the side statement that clearly states what costs the downloadgiver can make
while spreading 1 download
What are the bandwidh costs, payment system costs, payments to rights organisations and other costs ?
Lets say you ask 0,99 for one download then what are the specific costs
And what is the netto amount for the band-lable
If there is no info about this in the contract then ask for an acounts example

Ask for monthly statements and payments
The downloadsuplier can only change the prices after a writen ok from the band-lable

Is it possible to have special promotional prices after an ok from the downloadsuplier ?
If thats the case how are the payments arranged then ?
If the downloadoffering site makes these actions without consulting you ,how much will you get ?
How many free downloads is he allowed to give in those situations ?

There are sites that have mebers who get special prices with their membership
What are the payments and how are they merged into the normal payments ?

4. Make clear statements about how you give your songs

It has to be clear on what way you offer your material and who takes care of the editing [DRM]
and adding of metadata so that you wont get the bill presented in the end

5. PROMOTION

On what way does the provider promote his site?
What kind of promotional things are done for you ?
Make shure that costs for these actions go to the download offerer
Is it a well known site or do customers need to search to find the site ?
Does the siteowner place baners on other sites where downloaders come to get customers ?
Is it possible to make a link to them from your artist page ?

6. A look into salles amounts and a checkup

Try to get the abillity to look into the salles statistics of the site
Salles amounts, information about the downloader, where songs got sold [statistics]
Make shure that you at least get your yearly AUDIT [Accountants check]

7. Guarenties of the downloadofferer

The downloadofferer has to take care of Authorrights payments and payments to the band-lable
And is responsable to do this within the time bariers

Some global points to look at that are different in every contract, but are less harmfull

1. Secrecy
2. How are the trax presented in lenght-Quality
3. Using of Logo, Name and Brand
4. Explicit have to's for both parties
5. On which right is the contract based [rulles are different in some foreign countries]
6. Unbind reasons for the contract and payments costs for unbinding
7. Way of communicating
8. Payments Royalty statements
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MaartenHercules
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 01:36:00 (108)  Reply with quote
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Do you have the Dutch version as well? That would be more easy for some of us.

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PassiePassion
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 01:45:19 (114)  Reply with quote
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For the dutch mates go here for much more info
http://www.checkjecontract.nl/nl/quickscan.aspx

I dont have the same text in dutch because i thought it was more usefull in english
That way more people can use it since most dont understand dutch
So i kinda made my own story to explain it as good as possible
But on the dutch site you take the same steps to check your deal

And go here to become a member of the dutch musicians organisation
http://www.fnv-kiem.nl/

Its not expensive and you can get free legal support for your membership
So if your a serious musician its well worth to join them as your bodyguards lol

But you can only start to use their services after you been a member for at least 3 months
I got 3 contracts waiting till that moment
If you want help earlier then you need to pay and you get help
After the 3 months basic legal help is free

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lyon810
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 03:23:12 (182)  Reply with quote
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Amy way you could make this longer???
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lyon810 tune into the special 8 hr event celebrating Progressive Motions tonight on Sense.FM!!!
Luke
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 04:07:35 (213)  Reply with quote
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lyon810 wrote:
Amy way you could make this longer???


If you want to take it seriously this is all the information you need.




Thanks for posting this, it's great information for a lot of the artists on here. thumbsup
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Luke | Please update your status
Jink
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 07:38:48 (360)  Reply with quote
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ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh all the information i've been wondering about. much thanks man. cheers.

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MaartenHercules
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 15:29:10 (686)  Reply with quote
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Thanks a lot, this is very usable!
I've been writing some sort of 'guide to getting signed for dummies' (both fysical and DD releases) which I wanted to post on t.nu once it's finished, and I have a lot of unanswered questions. On www.checkjecontract.nl they have this free advice line where you can ask your legal questions, which I'm definitely going to use!

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Tsvi
PostPosted: 12 February 2008 - 19:52:43 (869)  Reply with quote
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MaartenHercules wrote:
Thanks a lot, this is very usable!
I've been writing some sort of 'guide to getting signed for dummies' which I wanted to post on t.nu once it's finished,


I already have such guide on my presentation page and it covers everything.
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adamkellymusic
PostPosted: 25 June 2008 - 22:59:42 (999)  Reply with quote
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kinda hard to read, but otherwise great info, thanks! thumbsup
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Kalashnik0vv
PostPosted: 25 November 2008 - 19:49:42 (867)  Reply with quote
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Very useful! worshipping
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rydunbar
PostPosted: 23 January 2009 - 16:12:55 (717)  Reply with quote
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Very useful - thanks alot
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Frumbasjt
PostPosted: 20 May 2009 - 11:35:19 (524)  Reply with quote
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Tsvi wrote:
MaartenHercules wrote:
Thanks a lot, this is very usable!
I've been writing some sort of 'guide to getting signed for dummies' which I wanted to post on t.nu once it's finished,


I already have such guide on my presentation page and it covers everything.


Yeah I know that one. Wonder why it didn't get stickied.

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XNoBacK
PostPosted: 08 December 2009 - 00:26:56 (060)  Reply with quote
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thank you very much, this information its very hard to found.
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manupropria
PostPosted: 19 February 2010 - 04:41:19 (237)  Reply with quote
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alot of things to think of!! =O, but also alot of useful tips, nice man! thumbsup
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