Unlike recording contracts, where record companies almost without exception take over an assignment of copyright in recordings for the introduction of such copyright, many (but not all) publishers will only have one assignment and will therefore have the right to collect revenue and manage rights for a limited period of time (the “rights period”, sometimes referred to as a “retention period”). In this agreement, this period has been set at ten years, but it is obvious that this will vary from case to case (the norm is between twenty-five and twenty-five years after the end of the period) and that it is really a matter of negotiation. In the case of an agreement focused on the placement of movies and televisions, the publishing house could insist on 100% of the release of the song (or 50% of gross revenue), as this song could be considered obscure or less commercial and therefore more difficult to place. In these cases, the songwriter always receives the author`s share of the income (the remaining 50%). This clause is important and should be read carefully, as the songwriter agrees to keep the publisher harmless for any violation of the songwriter`s agreement. This clause also contains provisions according to which the songwriter terminates the contract in the event of liquidation of the publisher and that, in this case, the compositions return to the songwriter. (ii) Covers — these are royalties on recordings of covers of compositions. The importance of “coverage” is addressed in clause 1.6, and publishers traditionally require such recordings to be paid a reduced royalty to reflect their work in obtaining coverage for the songwriter. You will see that in the definition of what constitutes “coverage” (clause 1.6), it must be obtained through the efforts of the publisher.
Publishers will often try to oppose this, arguing that any recording that is not by the songwriter should be considered a cover and qualify for a royalty. This mechanical license is used when an artist or record company wishes to record, on behalf of its recording artist, a song written by another person (the cover song) that will be recorded on the recording artist`s disc for distribution and sale to the public. As with admission contracts, publishing contracts are usually structured as an initial period, followed by a number of “option periods”. Options can always be exercised at the discretion of the publisher. Each of the initial periods and option periods are generally referred to as “contract durations” and the cumulative contract durations are referred to as “duration”. Agreements are usually structured, as here, the duration of each period depending on the provision by the songwriter of a minimum commitment of compositions. It is important to ensure that, although the duration of each contract depends on the delivery date of such a minimum obligation, there is a long stop (clause 2.2), often 2 or 3 years, to prevent a contract term from being endless if delivery does not take place for any reason. . . .