What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business: The Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& a Few Truths)


“For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.”—Danny Strick, co-President, SonyATV Music Publishing, Inc.
This completely revised and expanded edition of What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company executives, personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys. ...
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“For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.”—Danny Strick, co-President, SonyATV Music Publishing, Inc.
This completely revised and expanded edition of What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company executives, personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys. You’ll learn: 

*How the Internet has affected every aspect of the music business, from copyright and royalty issues to censorship

*How many musicians have seized do-it-yourself Internet opportunities to create successful business models

*How satellite radio, digital jukeboxes, and video games are affecting the music market

*How artists can maximize their chances for long-term financial health

*How the royalty pie is sliced—and who gets the pieces

*What snares and pitfalls to avoid when signing an employment contract
*And much more.
“The music business is complicated, and this book is very helpful in deciphering its pitfalls, opportunities, and challenges.”—Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide
“Thall’s book simplifies a complicated business, and it provides the reader with knowledge that otherwise is available only to those on the inside.”—Scott Francis, President, Warner/Chappell Music and Chairman & CEO, Warner/Chappell Music U.S.
“Whoever reads this book is getting expert advice from one of the most respected and knowledgeable players in the music industry today. I wish this book was available when I was looking to begin my career in the music business.”—David Renzer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Publishing Group
"Intelligent and accessible--rich in references, but easily understandable."—David Geffen
“A clear contender for the one indispensable work on the topic, this book delivers the goods. There is no one involved in the music business who will not learn and benefit from this ambitious work.”—New York State Bar Association

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823007080
  • Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
  • Publication date: 1/12/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 629,270
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xii

1 Introduction 1

Selecting the Right Attorney 2

Personal Representation 3

Deal Makers: Why You Need Them 4

Deal Blockers: How to Get Past Them 5

Staying the Course or Calling It Quits 6

2 Investors: The High Costs of Low Finance 8

The Costs of Being Heard 8

Of Investors and Investment Agreements 9

Finding the Money 9

Internet-Specific Offerings 12

The Safe Harbor Disclaimer 13

Getting the Right Advice 13

Paying it Back 13

Overcalls and Conversions 15

Commissions 15

Should He Who Pays the Piper Call the Tune? 16

3 Advances: Why They Seem a Lot Like Loans (and Vice Versa) 17

A Sad Story and a Happy Story About Advances 18

Is One Person's Money Another Person's Motivation? 20

4 Royalties: Some Unvarnished Truths 22

How the Royalty Pie Is Sliced and Who Gets the Pieces 23

Recording Costs 24

Payment on Less Than 100% of Records Sold 26

"New" Technology? 26

"Special" Categories 27

Two Diabolical Deduction Devices 29

Reducing Mechanical Royalties 31

Special Issues Regarding Controlled Compositions 32

The Beat Goes On: Other Important Deductions 33

Prepayment of Royalties 36

The Myth of Royalty Escalations 37

Free Goods 38

Lost or Misplaced Royalties 39

Chipping Away at Post-Term Royalties: Synchronization Licenses 39

Accountings, Audits, and the Statute of Limitations 40

How Responsible Should Record Companies Be? 42

The Effects of Digital Downloading on Pricing and Royalties 43

5 Personal Management: The Whys, Wherefores, and Watch Outs 49

What a Personal Manager Should (and Should Not) Be Expected to Do 50

Managing the Five Stages of an Artist'sCareer 51

Remakes 54

KMMA Keep My Music Available-At All Costs 55

Choosing Your Manager 59

The Question of Clout 60

Paying Your Manager 62

The Term of the Agreement 67

Extending or Terminating an Artist-Manager Relationship 67

Breach of Contract in Artist-Manager Agreements 72

6 Managing Your Business and Your Financial Future: When "Show Me the Money" Isn't Enough 74

What a Business Manager Does 75

Finding the Right Person 75

Certified Public Accountants 75

Auditing the Auditor 77

What Kind of Business is Being Managed? 77

Should You "Do Business As" or Form a Partnership? 78

Money Means Options: Resisting the "Keep 'Em Poor" Philosophy 84

Managing Your Money 85

Making It and Saving It 89

7 When Your Jon Is More than a Gig: Employment Agreements and Disagreements 93

Term of Employment 93

Duties 93

Reporting Lines 94

Confidentiality and Competition 95

Stock Options 97

Perks 98

Termination 99

Relocation and Re-Relocation 102

Visas 103

Disability and Death 103

Provisions That Survive Termination 103

Vacations 104

Release and Settlement 105

Employment Issues Specific to the Music Industry 105

Variations of Royalty Calculations 107

Employment Agreements with Celebrities and Others Otherwise Engaged 110

Mail 111

The Ownership of Ideas 111

8 Record Producers: Are They as Sharp as Their Points? 113

How 25% Can Equal 100% 113

Cross-Collateralization: It Does Not Apply to the Producer 115

Producers' Royalty Provisions: The Basics 116

The Producer as Author of the Sound Recording 122

Producers and Neighboring Rights 123

9 Getting Your Record Heard: A Practical Guide to Marketing and Promotion 125

Marketing Tools 125

The Goal-Oriented Campaign 126

The Record Contract 128

Do Record Companies Know What They Are Doing? 132

Victim or Victor? 133

Television Campaigns 134

Radio Promotion 134

Airplay and Payola 135

The Same Old Song (Only the Coda Is New) 138

The Beginning of the End? 140

A Brief Look at the Promotional Picture-From the Artist's Point of View 141

10 Touring concerns: Trials and Tribulations 143

The Club Tour 143

The Grand Tour 144

11 Merchandising: Your Band; Your Brand 160

Tour Merchandising 160

Retail Merchandising 169

Confidentiality 173

Compliance with Local Laws 173

End-of-Term Inventory and Sell-Off 174

Artwork and Photographs 174

Coupling 175

Life and Disability Insurance 175

Piracy 176

Audits 177

12 Audits: Truth or Consequences 178

Examining the Audit 178

The Flow of Money 181

Access to Registration Information 182

The Black Box or "Something Is Abyss Here" 182

Television Campaigns 183

Interest Charges 183

Statutes of Limitations 184

Conducting Audits In Foreign Countries 185

A Few Practical Suggestions 186

The Right to Audit: A Contract Issue 188

13 Music Publishing: The Odyssey of the Song 190

What Is a Music Publisher-and What Does It Publish? 190

Copyright: A Bundle of Intangibles 192

Financial Secrets and Realities 195

Mechanical Royalty Rates Outside of the United States 197

Top Gun-A Top Buyout for Paramount 198

The Administrating Function 200

Family Ties (Too Close to Sue) 201

When Your Publisher Forgets You 202

Foreign Taxes 203

At-Source Versus Receipts Deals 204

The Black Box Revisited 205

Copyright Reversions 206

14 When Rodgers Meets Hammerstein: Determining Songwriter Credits 208

Cowriting Agreements 208

Cowriters Who Are Band Members 209

15 Being Your Own Music Publishing Company: Pros and Cons 213

Self-Publishing 213

Getting in Touch with the Copyright Office 214

Why Bother Doing It Yourself? 218

Acquiring Copyrights 219

Reversion of Copyrights 219

The Value of the Copyright 221

The Impact of Administrating Costs on True Earnings 222

The Cost of Giving Away a "Piece" of the Publishing 223

16 Internet Entrepreneurship: Doing it Yourself 224

Competing with the Big Boys 224

Artist, Songwriter, Performer-and E-Commerce Expert? 225

Making a Living 226

Stealing and Protecting Against It 227

Do's and Don'ts of Internet Entrepreneurship 227

Manufacturing and Distribution 229

Podcasting 229

Instantaneous Dissemination of Live Performances 230

Creating a Website 230

Which People Should Do It Themselves? 231

A Word of Warning-And Encouragement 232

17 Lost, Misplaced, Neglected, and Abandoned: Royalty Opportunities You Were Never Told About 233

An Introduction to Neighboring Rights 233

Broadcast Mechanicals 234

Neighboring Rights in Our Own Backyard: Canada 235

Lost, Misplaced, Neglected, Or Abandoned: Which Category Are Your Royalties In? 236

Show Me the Money 239

Two Neighboring Rights-Friendly Countries: The U.K. and the Netherlands 239

18 Urban Music: The Beat Goes On 242

Roots 242

The Milieu 242

Urban Music: The Producer's Cosmos 244

Different Strokes For Hip-Hop Folks 244

Rap as Protest 246

The Importance of the Mix 247

Career Ceilings 247

Hip-Hop and Pop Culture 247

Business Management and the Management of Business 248

The Changing Image 249

Contractual Issues 249

The Rap Coalition: Self-Help Exemplified 250

Hip-Hop Rules 251

19 Classical Music: Dead or Alive? 252

A Little History 252

Demise or Rejuvenation? 253

An Essential for Success: Spirituality 257

New Life for an Old Genre 258

The CD Arrives: Both a Blessing and a Curse 259

The Internet: Is It the Answer? 260

The Role of Record Companies 262

The Composer-Artist: Special Considerations 265

Classical Management 266

Presenting the Singer 269

Music Education 270

20 Termination of Grants Of Copyrights: For Every End, a Beginning 273

Basic Term of Protection 273

Termination of Grants 273

"K-K-K-Katy" 274

Duration of Copyright: Subsisting Copyrights 274

Who Can Terminate 275

The Control of Termination Decisions 275

The Rights Granted 275

The Windows for Termination 276

When Automatic Renewal Applies 277

The Sonny Bono Term Extension Act 277

Keeping Records 277

The Technical Requirements for Termination 278

21 Compliance With Copyright Laws: Hints for the Corporate Counsel 279

Intangible Rights and the Internet 279

Licensing From Music Publishers and Sound Recording Owners 280

Copyright Provisions Applicable to the Internet 282

Term of Copyright 284

Sampling, Borrowing, and Stealing 284

Rights Management 285

Dangerous Language Alert 285

Music Clearance: The Music Industry's Revenge 286

International Issues: One-Stop Shopping 287

22 Catalogue Valuation: How to Improve Your Odds at Winning Big 289

Factors in Valuing Catalogues: An Overview 290

Evaluating Data 293

Who Owns the Catalogue? 296

Termination Issues 297

The "Trunk" 297

Who's Sorry Now? The Blackbird 298

23 Copyright Issues: A Sampler 300

Changing Copyright's Image 300

Copyright Infringement 301

Sampling 304

The Impact of the Internet on Recording and Publishing Agreements 306

The Internet Is Global: So What? I'll Tell You What 308

What Is to Be Done? 309

The Fairness in Music Licensing Act 312

The Copyright Term Extension Act: A Lesson in Leverage 312

MP3: How Two Letters and a Numeral Terrorized an Entire Industry 313

Napster and Post-Napster 313

24 Copyright: Can't Live With It-Can't Live Without It 315

Battles or Battle-Axes 315

Copyleft (aka Copy Wrong), But Not Copyright 317

The Clearance Nightmare 321

Copyright and Personal Property 324

Misuse of Copyright 325

Some Suggested Solutions 326

Index 331

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2003

    This book is great!

    This book delivers exactly what it tells you -- everything the DON'T tell about the Music biz. I found it helpful, enlightening and revealing. I gave a copy to my manager and told him to read it and then give it to my lawyer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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