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Drummer licensed music without telling band mates...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SoulBeacon, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    The drummer in my band licensed music to an extreme sports video maker without telling me. The music came from a recording that we did about a few years ago with the drummer, myself, guitarist and keyboardist. Going into the recording there was no discussion of who is entitled to what and no discussion of song writing credits. There are no credits on the album. Our names are on the album. To be fair the drummer has fronted the cost for most things and I completely agree that he is entitled to recouping costs of recording/mixing at a studio, mastering at another, and getting vinyl pressed. He doesn't keep track of the amount of money he is sinking into the band so he can use the "recouping cost" argument till the end of time if he is allowed too.

    I've recorded alot of music with him over the years and I know he wants to capitalize on it somehow. What can I do to ensure that I am getting my fair share in the case that there is success to be had?
    If worst comes to worst I'm ready to walk and never record with him again (though I'm willing to gig with him) but what do you think is the best I can do short of walking? Thanks.
  2. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Get it in writing...
    SoCal80s, jamro217, RSBBass and 16 others like this.
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    So, how did you find out?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  4. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    Guitarist and Drummer told me but I think they thought it wouldn't be a big deal to me...
    DJ Bebop and chupacerveza like this.
  5. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Talk with an entertainment lawyer about the best ways to protect your interests.
    jamro217, Rezdog, gorneyg and 9 others like this.
  6. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    did they say how much of a deal he got for the group's material?
    zon5string and DJ Bebop like this.
  7. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    No, I have not spoken to the people who bought the music but I am going to attempt to speak to them.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    jfh2112, 12BitSlab, MCF and 4 others like this.
  9. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    no no no- "they" being the guitarist and drummer

    Also- going around to speak to the licensee is probably not a good idea. They have one point of contact. If you have other recordings, pedaling them would be the only reason to contact the video people.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  10. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    No they didn't say anything about the amount of money they received. They just said "it's gone back into band expenses".
  11. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    In that link I posted, there’s a line about “master rights” for the recording. Read that and do some research.

    BL seems like he has exercised what he believes to be his master rights (and looks to be justified if he’s paying for recordings and “owns the masters”).

    You could be entitled to publishing rights on that music. That’ll matter when you want to get paid for the synchronization. Consult a lawyer. You may also have a stake in the masters but unless you got something in writing, you may be SOL.
  12. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Your title indicates the drummer did this alone, yet you've then said the guitarist knows about it.
    Does the keys player know too?

    It does sound like you're being treated as 'just' the bass-player, not an equal partner in this band.
  13. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    If you can't trust your bandmates, you need a contract and someone to keep the books. Probably a good idea even if you do trust the others. Things change when the money gets to be significant.
  14. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    The keyboardist and myself have been treated like we're one circle removed from the inner circle. Guitarist and Drummer been together since the beginning and they are the ones going into financial ventures together for better or for worse.
    Keyboardist found out and I think he threatened legal action. Keyboardist and myself were out of the band when the licensing was taking place. I had recently reconnected with the drummer to gig and possibly record again. I don't think I am recording with him ever again though. I'll gig but not record. At this point its just seeing what I can do to protect my interests in the music that's been recorded so far.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  15. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    Thank you for the info, Sir.
    DirtDog likes this.
  16. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I just read through your other post about this drummer/band/situation.

    Honestly, I'd suggest you just walk away and not look back.
    I doubt you'll ever see a cent from those recordings.
    Look on it as an expensive lesson.
    If you've the ability to write, find others to work with, but, having learnt from this experience, get a proper written agreement done next time.
    DirtDog, MCF, Ekulati and 2 others like this.
  17. sgtpepper


    Jan 22, 2010
    Mexico City
    Mistake no. 1

    Mistake no. 2


    Yes, he is. You gave him that "power" since the very beginning, implicitly.

    He does keep track. What do you think? That he is doing this pro bono? He is getting his money back.

    Yes, he can. And so you could.

    A legal contract defining your fair share. Get a lawyer.

    Try to talk to him (them including guitarist) in a friendly way and just ask the questions you have. If this doesn't come up in a positive way. Just remember that sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.

    I wish you the best in this complicated situation.

  18. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    You're way too late, but if you want to do anything about this, and it seems you do not, you need a good lawyer.

    That you are still willing to deal with this person in any way, shape or form, well...you fate is on you. Don't expect sympathy here.
    getrhythm, MCF, Ekulati and 2 others like this.
  19. SoulBeacon


    Apr 2, 2017
    Ross W. Lovell likes this.
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Probably nothing. The chances of their being enough money made to make it worth hiring an attorney are almost nonexistent. If you have a couple of grand to burn, you could consult an attorney to find out what to do about the material he hasn't already licensed. A good attorney that knows the music business isn't going to be cheap and a cheap attorney that doesn't know the music business will likely be a waste of money.

    The only thing you can absolutely do is to make sure that you have written agreements for anything you collaborate on going forward.
    SoCal80s, pbass2, VoodooJazz and 5 others like this.

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