Should I Get My Songs Back From My Publisher

 
       
 
May 23, 2017, 04:43 PM

MAB

Some years ago I sent a single song to a publisher from a tip that was given to me through a Songwriting Organisation that I belonged to at the time.
The song was returned to me after a couple of weeks stating that the song was not what he required at this time but said he would like to hear more of my material in the future at this time I was having another couple of my songs demoed by this Songwriting Organisation and when the songs were finished sent the songs to the publisher who rejected my first submission.

It was just a matter of days that he replied offering me a two song contract on 50/50 basis which I accepted and included a Reversionary Clause agreed by us both that the songs be returned to me after a period of three years should he be unable to place the said songs it is now well over five years that he has had the songs .

I have just recently had one of the songs remastered and wish to submit this song for film Sync can you advise me if the the said song is now free to submit without the publisher having any rights to the song or do I have to get in touch with him to claim the songs back and how would I go about this your advice would be very much appreciated.

Best

Royston    

  

 
     
Roy Hackers Joined Dec 23, 2008
  • Rank

Send PM

 
May 23, 2017, 11:17 PM

The contract you signed with the Publisher with the Reversion Clause should specify the conditions of Reversion. It should say that, if they have NOT gotten your Song ‘Cut’ and ‘Released’ in the three years specified, then the contract ends and the Publishing Rights Revert back to you. You can then market the Song to another Publisher or Artist or other ‘consumer’.

It is good to formally end the contract with written communication with the Publisher, for legal purposes.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
Avatar
Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
May 23, 2017, 11:41 PM

Royston,

Hi, good to hear from you. If it has been the three years and you have a reversion, the chances are it has automatically reverted to you. You might send him a friendly email, expressing your desire to excercise the reversion clause and there could possibly be some money he might claim you owe. If he paid for the demo, you would need to reimburse him first. But if you paid, there should be no problem.

The reality is that the single song agreement is one of the least binding documents there is. They are basically just saying, “sure, let me see what I can get out of this, play it for my friends, or just let it lay there and hope YOU get someone interested and I get half the song..” Most of the time, they are as quickly forgotten about as soon as they are signed. You see, publishers go through hundreds of songs a week and usually they are replaced in interest by others very quickly. If the publisher is trying to promote staff writers, artists, or in some cases, sell their catalog, single songs just round out a catalog for numbers.

If a publisher doesn’t keep regular contact with you, offer to set you up to write with his/her writers or friends, nurture an actual relationship, you are really not a priority. This is a public relations business and that takes personal contact. There are no “mail in” relationships going to replace that. They are having to spend every day trying to keep their businesses alive in a business where most music is now FREE.

What very probably happened is that they took the song on good faith, tried to play it a few times, got very little response, ran up against the “inside cut” where artists write their own songs, or the inner circles of the major publishing companies, hit writers, etc. are the only ones with access to artists. Might have tried it with some indie artists, put it on a “compilation disc” with dozens of other songs, which rarely get even listened to, and never past the first one or two, and after a few tries, went on with the songs they were stronger on, mostly one’s written by their own writers, their own artists, friends who are other publishers, people they owe favors to, or other business considerations, basically people who are paying them MONEY. Those all get priorities.

And hey, when the investor’s wife, who is 50 years old but still believes she can be a movie star, is demanding HER songs be pushed first, there really is no choice. Business is business.

So, you might drop an email, reminding him who you are, let him know the reversion is up, thank him for believing in the song, but you have decided to go “in a different direction. ” If he says “give him some more time” you can ask him for a list of people he has pitched the song to and what results and feedback he got. You also might ask for some references of people he has represented and contact them for some comments. From there, I’m sure you will have no problem getting your song back.

Don’t worry about it. Good luck.
MAB

 
     
Avatar
MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
May 24, 2017, 05:41 PM

Gary & MAB

Thank you very much for your interest & advice very much appreciated.

Best

Royston

 
     
Roy Hackers Joined Dec 23, 2008
  • Rank

Send PM