A reader sent me an email recently asking:
When you/I sign a contract with e.g. Pump Audio, does this “re-title publishing” come automatically with this deal or do they send some other deal to sign?
Does this “re-title publishing” end at the same time after the year or so as the normal contract ends, and what happens with the publishing deal info they’ve made with e.g. ASCAP?
My response was:
“I am not a lawyer, but the way I interpret the Pump Audio deal is that the re-title publishing is included automatically in their contract. They do not explicitly elaborate on it, which is no doubt intentional.
The publishing registration with the performing rights organization (ASCAP) is indefinite, because publishing royalties are generated not from the sale of a license but from the use of the music in a public context. By registering your songs under different titles, they are staking a claim to a percentage of future earnings that may occur if your music is used down the road by those who purchased the licenses. Most other organizations only take a piece of the initial license, in which case you receive all the publishing royalties.”
Here’s a screenshot of Pump Audio’s licensing agreement:
As it states, you are giving them permission to register your songs with performing rights organizations (PROs). Since most musicians will already have done this themselves, this means Pump changes the titles of your songs as registers them as new songs, with Pump as the publisher. They don’t mention the word “re-title”, though.
Also, the agreement states that they will “pay over to you your share of any resultant performance monies…”
“Your share” is quite a nice phrase, as that could mean just about anything. Including ZERO, I suppose.
Oh well. Enough about Pump. I’ve brought this up several times now, but I’m not sure how much it really matters. To most of us, a small percentage of something is better than a large percentage of nothing.
If anyone from Pump Audio wants to response, please do!