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etv78
11-09-2010, 09:37 PM
During the '80's especially, you hear that singers "inadvertantly" signed away royalties. First, how could that happen, and why don't you hear it happening now?

Huerta88
11-09-2010, 09:43 PM
The '50s/'60s, it was much more notorious. Most famously, a lot of black/R&B, and to some extent country and doo-wop, groups suffered this fate.

How does it happen? Easy. Some unsophisticated band that's been playing local juke joints is offered the princely sum of oh $250 to record a disk. They jump at the chance. The weasally agent has them sign a five page contract (do they read it? doubtful). The contract provides that publishing rights vest in the agent, the record company, whoever. Perpetuity and unexpected/massive oldies radio/cover band royalties ensue. Hick/ghetto musician dies in a pauper's home.

By the 1980s, certainly today, most artists were more savvy about publishing rights, hired lawyers, were aware of multiple and potentially lucrative distribution channels.

Mistakes still get made. I'm sure many artists even from the '80s or '90s are smacking their foreheads over not separately monetizing, say, ringtone or iPod channels when they signed off on selling "all forms of media."

Annie-Xmas
11-10-2010, 09:38 AM
I would like to mention that musical theatre has "grand rights"--the amount the composer and lyricist get paid every time their songs are performed in the show. These rights are by law non-transferable. Anyone who cheats anyone out of their grand rights cand have the show shut down legally.

Grand rights are one way of getting amazingly rich. The grand rights for shows like Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys are paying the songwriters amazing sums for songsthey wrote decades ago.

Little Nemo
11-10-2010, 10:06 AM
During the '80's especially, you hear that singers "inadvertantly" signed away royalties. First, how could that happen, and why don't you hear it happening now?You probably will hear about it happening to current artists in another decade or two. But current artists are still on the upswing of their career cycle - they haven't started their slide down yet.

silenus
11-10-2010, 10:38 AM
Grand rights are one way of getting amazingly rich. The grand rights for shows like Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys are paying the songwriters amazing sums for songsthey wrote decades ago.

I forget where I read it, but it seems Benny and Bjorn are making more from the songs of ABBA now than they ever did when they were performing. I don't know how much of that is a result of Mama Mia! and how much is a result of lower Swedish tax rates.

Annie-Xmas
11-10-2010, 10:42 AM
They are being paid a staggering amount of grand rights. Every time a production uses their songs, they get paid. When you multiple 12 songs x 8 times a week x multiple productions, it adds up very fast.

In his heyday of CATS & Phantom, Andrew Lloyd Webber was making $5,000 a day from the shows' grand rights.

RealityChuck
11-10-2010, 10:45 AM
The heck with Webber -- he has other shows bringing in cash. But I'd guess that 75% of the money the T.S. Eliot estate makes comes from Cats.

Annie-Xmas
11-11-2010, 09:21 AM
Lloyd Webber, sweetie. And the Eliot estate has made more from CATS than T.S. did when he was alive.

Too bad the LeRoux family couldn't hold onto the rights for Phantom.

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