Dear Rock and Roll Librarian,
I wrote it.
I sang it.
I produced it.
So where’s my money?
Sincerely, Independent Artist
Ah, yes. We hear it all the time, don’t we? Such sad tales.
Do you remember this one I told you about?
An entertainment attorney well known to The Rock & Roll Librarian, filled her ear with a sad tale the other day.
It seems a client of his had a team she trusted. This team proceeded to sign up for distribution through a third-party company who put the album up with CD Baby and other aggregators, all of whom were feeding the album out to online retail outlets including iTunes. Sales were awesome.
But after 18 months, the artist — who was also the songwriter, publisher, and composer — had not received any money from the sales. She asked her team to look into it. Guess what?
The third-party company had gone out of business and could not be found or contacted.
So the attorney’s client contacts CD Baby who says, “We don’t know who you are.”
She says, “I’m the artist! I’m the songwriter! I’m the publisher of my songs. I paid for the production of the album!”
CD Baby answers, “But you aren’t on the documentation. Company XYZ is on it. We can only talk to them.”
So the artist comes to her attorney. “Fix the problem, please,” she says.
The Rock & Roll Librarian asked the attorney how this could have turned out differently.
- The artist, as head of her company, should have confirmed the viability of the distributor.
- The artist, as head of her company, should have confirmed whoever did the paperwork for her would not and did not list themselves as owner of the works.
- The artist, as head of her company, should have guided her team.
This artist and her team would have benefited mightily from spending a few bucks with The Rock & Roll Librarian for services like the Gotcha Report and Paper Contract Review.