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Film Score Publishing Admin Deal - Admin takes 100%?
Old 25th September 2020
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VitaEtMusica's Avatar

Film Score Publishing Admin Deal - Admin takes 100%?

I have a kind of strange deal that's come up with a movie I scored this past year. A distributor has come on board and is offering to act as admin for the score publishing... but they keep 100% of the publishing income. I have my own publishing company, could find admin with a large publisher if desired... so how does this deal make any sense? Why would they offer this deal as if it's doing me a favor? Am I missing something? They are mostly referring to overseas airing of the film and state that because they track the airing of the film closely, they can get way more royalties than I could by just going through my PRO. Can they get 2x the royalties I would normally get on my own? It's not a direct license thing, they're going through PRO's with their publisher.

Appreciate any insight as this is the first time I've seen anything like it and am scratching my head. The filmmakers didn't have enough money to just buy the music, so they allowed me to keep publishing. It feels a little like the distribution company is now trying to collect the publishing they would have if the filmmakers could have bought the publishing, but without paying anything. ???

What am I missing?
Old 25th September 2020
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bgood's Avatar
This sounds like they think you might not know what you’re doing lol
Old 26th September 2020
Nobody paid you any money. You retain all rights.
Old 26th September 2020
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jazz4's Avatar

Don’t think you’re missing anything man, it sounds to me like they’re just trying it on. They’re using the veil of “admin” and “doing you a favour” as a means to take 100%.

Can’t you just self publish and get the overseas backend via your own PRO/Neighbouring Rights? If they’re just going through their own PRO anyway, they’re literally doing no extra legwork - they’re just asking for all the publishing.
Old 26th October 2020
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Beermaster's Avatar

This is veiled attempt to become your publisher for this work - that's no necessarily a bad thing tho.

I guess what you have to ask yourself is 'Can I, as self publisher of this work, fully milk the potential sources of income, actively seek secondary usage and police and enforce unauthorised usage of the music ?'

Sitting back and expecting the PROs to get the performance residuals due to you as a fait accompli is never going to be completely 'right' ( that's one mine field of discussion on it own as one revenue stream ) - The other is potential income form the score in over avenues - which is where a good publisher earns it's keep !

Old 28th October 2020
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VitaEtMusica's Avatar

Thanks, all. I took it as an attempt to get something for nothing. Which it was. Pushed back and they offered up a healthy amount of money for admin rights, I retained all ownership, kept the non-exclusive status intact, and they are acting as pub admin in relation to the film only. Sometimes it's worth asking.
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