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asking for royalties and song writing credit in a Fiverr custom offer


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I am working with a buyer that wants me to write and produce a full "LP" worth of material. It will be released commercially as a package and titled "Punk Rock Horror Songs". He wants to give me credit and royalties. 

Can I put that I will receive royalties and credit in my custom offer, or do I need a special contract or agreement that operates outside of what Fiverr provides? Is there a contract template for this sort of situation?
Rick Sims

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Thank you. I don't want to engage outside of Fiverr. I want to set up an offer that stipulates I get royalties and songwriting and producing credit. I'm not sure that I can set those parameters in a basic Fiverr offer or if I had to use a different template or procedure.


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3 hours ago, ricksims875 said:

I want to set up an offer that stipulates I get royalties

The Fiverr ToS basally means you would have to receive those royalties payments through Fiverr. Meaning the Buyer would have to pay the fees and Fiverr would still take 20%.

It's one of the reasons Fiverr isn't ideal for building long-term clients or contracts.

If you want to be sure, you could always contact Fiverr to be sure. support@fiverr.com (Though, just to warn you, Fiverr gets pretty trigger-happy on bans for some things. Payment outside Fiverr is one of those.)

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20 hours ago, ricksims875 said:

I don't want to engage outside of Fiverr. I want to set up an offer that stipulates I get royalties and songwriting and producing credit. 

Which, unfortunately, would be impossible to do unless you communicate offsite. 

Fiverr (by design) is really only for 'work for hire' type stuff, so best advice would be to charge them an obscene amount upfront and then walk off into the sunset.

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I’m not sure why the confusion here but the answer to your question is “absolutely YES you can retain your songwriting publishing.”

There’s a massive amount of misinformation as it applies to the music industry’s consideration of copyright, publishing, writer royalties, the uselessly used term “commercial rights” and how a writer split sheet works.

Here is a super condensed version:

By law, the minute that a song is created the authorship and property belongs to the writer. In the case of litigation it is advised to protect your material by registering your work with the copyright registry.

Monies of musical audio recordings are divided in two major ways: one is the ownership of audio and the other is the intellectual property of the material as an idea. Ownership of your idea exists, regardless of who finances the recording of that idea. These are not the only divides, but for your purposes - these divisions most apply to your situation. 

Your client, like most clients, simply wants to profit off the audio recording. Audio recordings are owned by the person or persons who financed the creation of said audio. This is why record companies offer struggling artists “advances.” The company floats the money on the advance and the artist pays the money back through sales, shows and merchandise. At which point, the audio is owned by the artist, unless a contract states otherwise.

This is why (and how) Taylor Swift famously re-recorded her self penned materials.

Your client has already agreed to profit solely from the selling of the audio. Which is precisely how pitch writing works. Again, you are being hired to submit and relinquish ownership of audio recordings. This is not only true of fiverr - it’s true of everywhere. Because the person who pays for the audio, owns that audio. 

Not only can you retain your copyright, it’s absolutely foolish not to. It makes no difference to the commercial abilities of the client, as they own the audio. With this in mind, it’s advantageous to all parties for them to sell an enormous amount of copies. 

Many amateur songwriters refuse to learn the legalities of songwriting and accept wrongheaded truisms of the internet echo chamber. Words like “commercial rights” which actually mean “the ability to use someone else’s property in a commercial setting” often get twisted into “ownership.” Furthermore, songwriters are typically unaware that different ownerships exist in publishing and that 9.5 times out of 10, the client is only concerned with owning their audio, referred to as “masters” (if they didn’t write the material). 

Songwriting is a delicate, intricate, legally tricky environment. It requires study, speaking with entertainment attorneys and having access to people who have been through enough scenarios to understand your questions, to get a good understanding of the field.

No matter someone’s good intention, if you don’t have direct history with this industry - and if you’ve never had a publishing contract, record firm experience, retained an entertainment lawyer or worked on a songwriting staff - chances are that you’re giving incorrect information. This is most likely due to your having common sense. Music is a lot of things. Sensical isn’t one of them. The rules are designed to confuse and frustrate people who articulate and people who employ logic to make choices. 

Regardless, music does not work like voiceover. Or blog writing. Or copyrighting. Or any civilized industry on earth. It has its own set of rules, math and ideologies on ownership. It begins with understanding that songs are equal to 200% ownership and it gets stranger from there. 

However, the customer’s ability to purchase audio from you and own it, satisfies Fiverr’s “work for hire” structure. Which is fine, because that mimics working with any artist in any studio in the world. I have been informed by multiple internal sources that copyright is at the discretion of the seller - as I believe is reflected in the TOS. 

You should specify in your profile that you retain your publishing. You might also prepare a written statement that explains audio ownership versus songwriting publishing. This will ease the client and create a relationship more aligned to the music industry. 

Also, totally don’t engage with people you find on fiverr - off of fiverr. 

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On 3/24/2022 at 8:38 PM, imagination7413 said:

Meaning the Buyer would have to pay the fees and Fiverr would still take 20%.

Royalties occur from performance (which includes streaming), purchase of audio and sales channels. These sales are occurring off of fiverr. The monies are created by fans and third parties. Furthermore - these sales channels are acquired by the buyer. The seller isn’t instigating the tours, radio plays, album distribution, film/television or usage of the audio to other mediums. Fiverr and the seller aren't engaged in the finances it requires to market or obtain distribution and therefore their fees are exclusively obtained from purchases happening in other mediums. Those sales are independent and operate outside the designated lines of the agreed upon statement of purchase. Not to mention, the customer is a person on another platform - as royalties are generated by consumers. 

For all the seller knows, the transaction is over. If a buyer gets distribution in Walmart, that sell is occurring regardless of their interaction. Fiverr is not entitled to monies stemming from outside distribution instigated by the client and the purchase itself constitutes a new transaction. 

Fiverr realizes this. For that reason, they hosted a two day event encouraging sellers to market, sell and perpetuate their brand on various mediums, most of whom had representatives at the event (YouTube, SoundCloud etc). Fiverr understands that it’s in their interest for sellers to have external success stories. Nothing says “come and buy your material here” like a hit song that made some seller rich. 

The “proposal” generated between a client and the store “Target,” is not the same as the proposal being completed between a client and seller for one purchase of an audio recording. Nor is the purchase of a show goer, who contributed to performance royalties, the same as the original contract to “provide one song.” These are different transactions with entirely different people. Essentially, the seller is in a transaction with a fan on a different platform, being paid for a different service. That fan did not meet them on fiverr. Or even meet them. 

Now, if fiverr wants to initiate it’s own publishing firm, that’s a different story. That also requires them to track every audio source, in every instance, in every imaginable medium. 

My guess is that it won’t be long before we see fiverr work intimately with BMI and the Harry Fox agency. 

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