Kanye West Suggests 'New Recording and Publishing Deal Guidelines'
Kanye West has shared some more of his thoughts about recording contracts on Twitter in a request for greater transparency and freedom for artists globally.
Addressing the issue on Twitter yesterday Sunday (Sept. 20) in a series of tweets, the rapper, producer and fashion designer wrote: "NEW RECORDING AND PUBLISHING DEAL GUIDELINES"
"1. The artist owns the copyright in the recordings and songs and leases them to the record label / publisher for a limited term. 1 year deals"
"2. The record label / publisher is a service provider that receives a share of the income for a limited term. The split can be 80/20 in the artists favor"
"3. DEPENDANTS Artists must be dependent on no one but themselves to manage their catalog. You should need NO ONE else to understand the business you’re in."
"4. LAWYERS the first thing that changes about Record Deals is actually lawyers. We need Plain English contracts. A Lawyers role is to IMPROVE deals…. not charge for contracts we cannot understand or track. Re-write deals to be understandable from FIRST READ."
"5. EQUITY & BLANKET LICENSES ARE THE MAJORITY OF FUTURE NEW INCOME. If you’re with a major you have invested your ‘songs’ as shares in their power to get equity and deals. Almost ALL new deals now are based on ALL songs going to a store or app. The equity is the Artists".
"NO MORE blanket licenses. It should be clear from day one… what shares you get NOW and when you leave. If your song helps a deal over the line you invested in that store / app same as they did."
"UMG now has a 2.2 billion share holding stake in Spotify. This is the artists. The system as to how we get share balances on our royalty statement needs to be created and a system on when Artists can cash in."
"5. ADVANCES ARE JUST LOANS!! On Artists re-signing these stop. Advances are Loans with 75% interest rates (or worse). NO other business in the world takes a look at the business, buys shares, starts to profit when it profits. Record Companies have to buy into you, not loan you."
"6. ROYALTIES Again back to dependents. You need a business manager to read how you did? So you pay to see your money!!! NO MORE. Royalty portals need to show (and do not now) Every song you delivered Every store you are in How many streams per song Income per song".
"It sounds basic and logical but t does NOT exist. They focus on top earners and ZERO look at the 440 stores…. Only the top few. Artists are global. That’s why their contract territory says GLOBAL Royalty department in EVERY label. No more separating finance teams from the music (sic)".
"Are not just for royalties. They are for your entire business. Every audio file, every asset, every deal stored WITH the money. Money and Music must stay together. When your term ends, download it all. Leave (sic)."
"This is a call for all artist to unify ... I will get my masters , I got the most powerful lawyer in music and I can afford them but every artist must be freed and treated fairly (sic)".
"There are 5 main pillars in a professional musicians business Recording Publishing Touring Merchandise & Name and likeness".
The series of tweets come after West called out Universal Music about not telling him how much his masters would cost to purchase.
He previously tweeted: "UNIVERSAL WONT TELL ME WHAT MY MASTERS COST BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD TO BUY THEM ... Everyone please cover me in prayer ...
"I AM ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON THE PLANET AND UNIVERSAL WONT TELL ME WHAT MY MASTERS COST BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD THEM ... BLACK MASTERS MATTER".
The global superstar made a breakthrough with his No. 2 album, The College Dropout, in 2004. His follow-up 2005 album, the chart-topping Late Registration, earned him his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit with 'Gold Digger.'
West earned his first career GRAMMYs for 2004 for Best Rap Album (The College Dropout), Best Rap Song ('Jesus Walks') and Best R&B Song ('You Don't Know My Name'). He made his GRAMMY stage debut at the 47th GRAMMYs, performing 'Jesus Walks'.
With 21 GRAMMYs, West is one of the top GRAMMY winners in history, and is tied with Jay Z as the highest-decorated hip-hop artist.
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