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  • Sharing The Money Between Band Members

    1) How is the money earned shared between band members especially one musician contribute far more than the other members?

    2) Likewise do every musician have rights of the songs to play and use?

  • #2
    well, there is no one way to answer that. I will have to say it depends on the situation.
    One member contributes more...more what? More time, more effort, more songs, more beer?
    Rights to songs is easier. Whoever wrote it owns the rights unless they foolishly put everyone's name on the copyright filing.
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    • #3
      A lot of bands I know make so little money they just take what they get from the gig, and go buy themselves a nice dinner.
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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        'a nice dinner'? HAH! I'm happy if I can buy a loaf of bread and a jug of wine on what I take home...

    • #4
      Originally posted by zanshin777 View Post
      1) How is the money earned shared between band members especially one musician contribute far more than the other members?

      2) Likewise do every musician have rights of the songs to play and use?
      As others have said, what do you mean contribute more. If you mean musically by instrument played I would think that somewhat insulting.

      Now I have seen a band who one member provided all of the equipment so he took a slightly larger cut, but that was a very unique circumstance.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by zanshin777 View Post
        1) How is the money earned shared between band members especially one musician contribute far more than the other members?
        No set rules. But if one musicians thinks he/she has contributed more and deserves more, then he/she needs to bring this up to the others. They will either agree or they won't. If they agree? Great. If not? Then that one musician can decide what to do next.

        The other option is for the one musician to be the band leader, keep the gross proceeds, and pay the other musicians as hired players. ​

        2) Likewise do every musician have rights of the songs to play and use?
        Anybody can play and use any song. Someone has to pay the use fee, however. In America, at least, the venue owners generally pay the rights fees for cover songs that the bands they hire perform. If you happened to be a member of the band when the song was written but you're not one of the official co-writers? Then I don't believe you have any more 'right' to play and use the song than does any other musician in the world. But neither can the songwriter(s) stop you from playing it/using it either.

        Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't believe that, for example, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, which consists of the original drummer and bass player from CCR touring with other musicians, has any more legal 'right' to play John Fogerty's songs than you or I do. I don't think they get to claim them as "original" material and are subject to all the same rules that any other band playing CCR material would be subject to.​
        Last edited by guido61; 12-04-2015, 12:59 PM.
        ______________

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        • daddymack
          daddymack commented
          Editing a comment
          They certainly have the right to play the songs, even record them if they pay the license fees, unless there is a court order in place....not likely, but can happen.
          That said, I believe this is an issue of someone who feels they have put more effort into a project, and wants to walk away with the music as they are not getting paid more than the rest of the band...what is commonly called 'butthurt' around here...

      • #6
        Bands that work like a democracy where everything gets split evenly usually aren't doing very well. Its a sure sign the band has no business leader and therefore lacks direction getting good paying jobs.

        With most pro bands you have someone who does most of the business end. They know the contacts, they score the gigs and they are the ones who get the cash. The other members are normally hired help just like any other business. They get paid by the gig and that's all.

        I used to get $100 a gig back in the 70's.. 15 Years ago in my last cover band it was around $200 a show. I know the Guitarist got us jobs in the 2K range so he was taking home about $1400 a gig. I wasn't begrudging him what he made, mainly because the gigs were all high class stuff. Parties at Multimillion dollar homes with catered food and drink, Corporate parties for various companies around town. The Guy ran an AC business and had about 50 employees so he hob knobbed with allot of business owners. The band was just a side thing and his recreational sport.

        I did get tired of it and bailed out. Playing cover boars me to tears and even though the money was handy, I really didn't need it. Gas alone driving to rehearsals cut that in half. If the guy was a better guitarist I could probably deal with it. Guitar is my main instrument, I was just playing bass in that band. I could play circles around him playing guitar. He was one of those players where you knew he would never play better then he did 20 years ago.

        The rights to songs comes down to copyrights. The song is considered to be copyrighted when its been recorded. You only register it with the library of congress to protect your rights in court. The kicker is you need a layer for "everything" else. You have to spell out what the individual rights are in legal contracts. If they sign and then they break that contract, then you have legal grounds to take action. Unless they are specifically spelled out and you went through all that trouble, you have no legal means of stopping them. If they have no money you get nothing out of suing them and you're the guy who pays for the lawyer and court. Unless you're Mr money bags, forget it.

        Best option here is work with musicians who have strong morals. Don't rip their songs off and they wont rip your off. Anything else is like getting a divorce. you pay out the butt to get separated.

        If you want to, go to the Copyright site in DC on line. Its free to register then you can download a word file that explains all about the various copyrights possible. It can get extremely involved when it comes down to CD Artwork, Photography, Band members, Recording, Album layouts, Lyrics, Music, you name it. All can have separate contracts if you choose to design contracts that way. You can look at it as selling stock in a company. Each part of the band process can be copyrighted and you can have separate contracts for performing too.

        You got to educate yourself on the intricacies of all this stuff before you get there so you know what's behind curtain, one two or three. If you're the kind of person that always winds up with the wrong end of the stick you want to at least know the basics. This way you don't get screwed every time you turn around.

        For younger guys still in school, my advice is take a business course if you want to be in a band. A band is nothing more than a small business selling music. If you cant run it like a business, then don't think of it any more then a hobby cause that's all it will ever be.
        Last edited by WRGKMC; 12-30-2015, 03:30 PM.

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        • #7
          1) For example if you look at inside an Metallica album booklet you see the contributors which is next to the song name, above the lyrics.

          For example Ulrich/Hetfield; Let's say most of the songs it's written Ulrich/Hetfield in an booklet, next to the song names.

          Does that mean Hammett (Lead Guitar) and Newsted (Bass Guitar) got less money from the album income?

          2) Also does that mean Hammett and Newsted didn't make any contribution to the song on which is only written Ulrich/Hetfield.

          (I just gave an example. I don't know whose names are written on the songs mostly.)

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          • #8
            Those are typically the copyright holders. So yes, they hold the copyright to the material, so they, as the songwriters get more in royalties. They also likely have a publishing deal [in their case, possibly own their own publishing company] so another piece of the pie. They may have included the entire band in the publishing deal...but who knows?
            This is not to say other band members didn't contribute. Certainly somewhere there is a contractual document stipulating how the band splits royalty proceeds from recording sales, streaming, etc.
            "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

            Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
            "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

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            • #9
              Originally posted by zanshin777 View Post
              1) How is the money earned shared between band members especially one musician contribute far more than the other members?
              That's usually all negotiated between the band members, and at the pro level, is covered by contracts between the band members, their management, label and publisher. If one person is the center of the band and the leader, the artist the label wants to sign (with or without the others), they may have a better deal, or may even just hire other people to back them up. OTOH, there are bands where everyone shares equally in the profits - U2 is a good example of that. My understanding is that they split everything into four equal shares - one per band member.

              2) Likewise do every musician have rights of the songs to play and use?
              Not usually, but that gets into copyright law, and it comes down to who owns the copyrights. Typically it's the actual song writer(s) who do, but again, some bands give songwriting credit to all the band members, regardless of who did what. Again, U2 is a good example, but another one would be Lennon/McCartney. During their time in the Beatles, they agreed to credit everything that way, whether or not both had actually worked on the composition/lyrics or not.

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              • #10
                Thank you very much all for contributions.

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