If you’ve written and had songs published before – you are bound to have someone contact you about rights or licenses for your song. When it happens the first time – you can easily get wrapped up in the hype of “wow! someone wants to use my song!” and not slow down long enough to really evaluate the offer or the contract. Many times, a songwriter will sell his song short…literally…because he or she is excited about the prospect of having someone use it their project.
So what are the pitfalls and how do you keep from falling prey? In this article, I’ll discuss a couple of phrases that, depending on how you respond to them, may be the difference in your song putting money in your pocket…or you giving your song away for pennies.
“This is a low-budget film…”
I love that line! The line is a myth…the line is a slap in the face to a writer. Lets assume that they told the truth, instead. Would you honestly expect to hear someone say “we have a blockbuster on our hands that will land us a ton of cash and we specifically sought out your song and want to pay you top dollar!” ??? Not hardly. They want to pay as little as possible…and make as much as possible. For a writer to say “I understand that this is a low budget project so I will lower my expectations” is to degrade your song. They have the cash flow and they want your song…otherwise they wouldn’t waste their time on you! Don’t sell yourself short…don’t jump on the offer. Think about it…and make sure an entertainment attorney is involved on your end!
Part II is coming next week! Stay tuned!