Songwriters, ever get the feeling that you’re being screwed over?

By Hans Ebert

Below is something written on my Facebook page yesterday as something came to light about one of my songs.

Think about this: You write a song. It’s your art. Perhaps naively, you sign the Publishing Rights to a global music publishing house. Why sign it to them? Because they’re big and big is good and you think you might be the next Ed Sheeran. And then you hear- almost one year later- that the song has been sold to a client as a sync deal.

Has the songwriter been notified? Has the songwriter received a cent? Of course not, because they were not aware of orchestral manoeuvres in the dark.

Bottom line: Everyone gets something out of the deal except for the person who wrote the song.

Make any sense?

Don’t worry, it’s not going to end here. This is going to a much higher court and one major global music publishing house is going to have to deal with opening Pandora’s box and letting the evil genie out.

As I keep telling musicians, unless having iron clad copyright controls on original music, never ever share this, especially on social media where, after all these years, there are NO online copyright laws.

What I failed to mention when quickly writing the above is that the song in question has been covered in English and Mandarin by an act signed to the publishing company’s music division.

Have I heard it? How could I when I had no idea about this deal?

Which leads to this: Why do so many publishing deals lead nowhere? And why do music publishing companies sign up songwriters and songs and do diddley squat for them?

Of course, the same can be said about many music companies and their recording contracts.

An act is often signed for a supposed “worldwide deal”, but the record dies a quick death without even passing Go and ending up on Old Kent Road.

Why? Because either it’s not a “Global priority act”, or there’s no zero marketing dollars for anything other than streaming the music on Spotify which any dimwit could do on their own without selling their soul to the devil and doing The Mephistopheles Waltz.

So, who’s the music publishing company being talked about here? As the matter is now with lawyers, let’s just give this cursory hint…

#musicpublishing #songwriting #contracts #music #musiccompanies #screwed

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