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Topic: Licensing/Buyout question?

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  1. #1
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    Licensing/Buyout question?

    I just had someone inquire about \"buying\" two cues from me. I\'m under the impression that they are low budget, so basically I want to sell (or license) them but I don\'t want to ask for too much... I need the credits at this point, so I don\'t wanna high ball them! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    What is a reasonable price to \"sell\" and what is a reasonable price to \"license\" two cues running time of 1:02 and 4:47 for \"low budget\"?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    Originally posted by kid-surf:
    I just had someone inquire about \"buying\" two cues from me. I\'m under the impression that they are low budget, so basically I want to sell (or license) them but I don\'t want to ask for too much... I need the credits at this point, so I don\'t wanna high ball them! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    What is a reasonable price to \"sell\" and what is a reasonable price to \"license\" two cues running time of 1:02 and 4:47 for \"low budget\"?

    Thanks!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Are they pre-written \"stock\" you already composed, or custom?

  3. #3

    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    Hey Kid,

    I really think your price depends on a few things:

    - where is this going to play? TV or cinema or internet or hall (dance, theatre)? Makes a big difference for me.

    - do you expect it to play in Europe, for eg (good royalties), or only in North America (not good for royalties)?

    - can you expect more work from these people in the future?

    - are they good at promoting their project? If they are and they don\'t pay you much, at least you can expect to get some exposure.

    IMV, it\'s very hard to judge what to charge a low-budget project unless you can figure out all the possible advantages for you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    Yes, it\'s pre written... I\'d never really given though to selling pre existing material?

    Good points, I\'ll take that into consideration in the future. But I mean low budget as in: It\'s
    for a short, so residuals aren\'t even a factor. They probably have no real money to speak of,
    but I feel I should try to work some deal just to add credits...

    I\'m not necessarily trying to make money (on everything) at this point, but I don\'t wanna do
    things for free either.

    *I have people who could work out a complicated deal, but not things as small as this [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


    Thanks guys!

  5. #5

    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    I would never do anything on a buyout - the only reason to do that is maybe a commercial or main title where they would pay you decently upfront. I would, however, license things - and you can go low ( or even free) for a short - I doubt they have any money. The downside of a short is there\'s never going to be any royalties from TV performances. But if you think it will get you in with a director/producer who may call you back for the feature, then I\'d license it to him for free. You look like a good guy and you still own the music to license elsewhere (hopefully for money). No big loss to you. Shorts are a tough thing - I don\'t really know how much the credit does for you, but I guess it\'s better than nothing. I\'ve done a bunch but I don\'t think they\'ve necessarily helped me based on the \"credit\" - it\'s more about they people that you meet involved with it that might look you up on their next job. And that\'s what it\'s all about......

  6. #6

    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    The situation with royalties depends on what you\'re doing music for. It\'s not uncommon in the game industry to sell the rights to a piece (as opposed to licensing) and also state in your contract that you require royalties. The exact terms can vary greatly--you could ask for 10 cents per SKU sold after 100,000 units, for example. You can also state that you require ancillary rights, where you will get paid again if your music is used in another medium (e.g. the game you scored becomes a cartoon, and so you get paid for that too).

    I\'m not sure how much of this holds true for other types of work, like writing for films, or theatre, or the like.

  7. #7
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    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    Thank you all, very helpful info indeed!

    Yes, when I first posted this I was unsure who was contacting me so I assumed perhaps it was someone with some cash since they were asking about a buy-out. I\'d prefer to license for most things, and definitely not a buyout for a short. Like you said, I\'d license it to them.

    But being a new guy, I\'m surely doing some things for free, in hopes of the building
    relationships. I\'m all about PR. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    I have another question though. Do you guys ever do an \'exclusive licensing deal\' (Is that what is called). What I mean is licensing it for a predetermined amount of time where they have \'exclusive\' rights to the work for this period. If so, what is the usual time period? 12 months? 18?

    Is this unusual?

    Thanks!

  8. #8

    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    Just curious, what\'s wrong w/ buy-outs?

  9. #9

    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    Ask Rachmaninov!

  10. #10

    Re: Licensing/Buyout question?

    \"What\'s wrong with Buyoutys?\"

    Well, in games probably nothing, because as far as I know (which is not much in the gaming world) there are no performance royalties.

    In film and TV, though, a buyout means that you sign over all rights to a piece of music, i.e. you do not own it, did not write it. You were paid for the work, now whoever paid you can do whatever they want with no further payment to you. This means that your name does not go on the music cue sheet as writer or publisher and you will never see one cent of royalties ever (while the producer will). Therefore, if you license something you will get your writers\' share (and sometimes publisher) on the cue sheet and will make $$ when it airs on TV. Furthermore, if you license an existing track you can license it in the future to someone else for more money and still make royalties on the previous license. Note that this is all in reference to licensing an existing track. If you hired as composer, for film or TV at least, you will usually give away the publisher\'s share on the cue sheet and will not own the music to license again. You will however go as the writer on the cue sheet and collect royalties whenever that music is used.

    Sorry for the long winded response.

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