A woman contacted The Rock and Roll Librarian at the Circulation Desk with a request.
“Please, can you recommend a music publisher I can talk to that will buy Daddy’s songs?” she asked.
Her needs were simple. It seems her father died. In his Last Will and Testament, Daddy left her all the songs he had ever written. Back in the day, two of these songs were huge hits. She thought she was sitting on a gold mine of songs she could make money with. That’s what Daddy had always told her she was going to get.
A bit of research by The RNRL showed this woman had a huge problem: Daddy was prolific; he had hundreds of songs. But he had absolutely no documentation of agreements between his collaborators whose names were all over the notes in his files.
In other words: No split sheets.
Furthermore, the two songs of his that were huge hits he had actually written as a work for hire. He didn’t know they were going to be big hits, and he needed the money for his family right then. He was rightfully paid and all further rights to his songs were purchased by someone else.
The woman wailed, “You mean to tell me Daddy left me a pile of paper worth nothing?”
That was a sad, sad conversation and, truthfully, there was nothing The RNRL could do to make it all better because her Daddy had already screwed it up for her.
But she can help you not to screw it up for yourself or your precious children when you leave them your songs.
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