By Clayton B Howell, BMI
letís keep talking about the business side of the songwriting biz.
First of all, weíve talked about copyrighting and thatís
important, but if your songs are actually going to receive airplay,
thereís something else you have to do that is just as important as
copyrighting. You have to have a publisher.
panic. Itís not nearly as bad as it seems. Many songwriters get
involved with artists that have their own publishing companies.
Traditionally, if you are letting someone else publish your songs,
there should be some kind of contract between the two of you that
states that for the price of the copyright of the song, the
publisher is ďbuyingĒ the rights to publish the song. This means
that they have the right to use the copyright to the song to obtain
royalties for airplay. Their duty is to monitor for all infractions
against your copyright and by having a publisher, then either ASCAP
Southern and Country Gospel have gone with Broadcast Music
Incorporated, (BMI) and Contemporary Christian/Worship songs have
gone with American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers,
(ASCAP). Donít ask me why this is the case, because Iím not
really sure, but that is what Iíve seen happen most often in the
songwriting biz. I think it has to do with Country stations are more
likely to play Southern and Country Gospel songs on their formats
and BMI is a big powerhouse in the Country industry. Both have their
pros and cons and you are certainly capable of figuring it out on
your own, so I wonít lecture you there.
went with BMI, because it was free to join and the publisher I was
working with at the time was member. Itís also cheap to get your
own publishing company registered through them, (about $125 for a
sole-owner, non-incorporated one), and then you get both publishing
and writerís royalties.
go into more depth on the publishing next time. Until then, keep
writing and re-writing the w
rongs in your songs. --