Results to the poll: How much should be paid to songwriters for mechanical royalties?
By Jeff Price
Sometime in the 90’s, “artist development” for rock and alternative bands, got turned on its head. Gone were the days of a major label aspiring to propel an artist over many years to “rock legend” with multiple releases, tour dates, interviews and in-store appearances (Led Zep, Rolling Stones, Springsteen, The Byrds etc). Instead, new artists were given six weeks from the street date of their debut album to have a radio/MTV hit. If the first single from the album failed, the artist would typically get dropped; their career effectively over before it even began.
By George Howard
One of the interesting unintended consequences of the trend away from albums and back towards singles is that there is now less mechanical income being generated for writers. Remember, a label must pay the copyright holder of the song (i.e. the writer and/or publisher) for the right to “mechanically” reproduce the writer’s song on the label’s release (be it on CD, vinyl, download, etc.).
The current rate, as set by statute, is nine point one cents ($.091) for songs under five minutes in length. Labels often insert a clause into recording contracts that reduces this amount when the artist signed to the label is also the writer; this so-called controlled composition clause reduces the mechanical royalty that is paid by the label to the artist by as much as 25%.
After weeks spent listening closely to every track sent for consideration, Paul Barker (Ministry producer, co-writer, engineer, and bass player) has selected both Deadly Apples and Voltergeist to be on the companion album of FIX – THE MINISTRY MOVIE. The album tracklist will include bands like Tool and Soundgarden.
My dream of becoming a DJ…can now be a reality! With Algoriddim’s djay app for the iPad, you can discover your inner DJ or hone the skills you’ve already got. Load one song from your iPod library to each turntable deck showing on your screen. Then get to work mixing the two together – match their BPMs, scratch the tracks, and change EQ settings. If you like one particular string of chords you can set it to repeat. All done? You can export the resulting track to a Mac or PC through iTunes file sharing.
This week we’re turning on our mics with Marc Pinansky, singer-songwriter, solo artist, band member, writer, and everything in between. Hailing from Massachusetts, Pinansky has been a guitarist and singer in the band Township for several years, and more recently has been pursuing solo work as well. Read on to learn about his approach to recording, his background with music licensing, and his thoughts on label versus manager.