Rights & Royalties are very similar in the songwriting world and that of the book 📚 publishing world. Here is an easy explanation of how book rights and royalties work and how it is similar. Also the difference between indie publishers and traditional publishing houses.
Here is an interesting story I just read:
Kelis is not the songwriter or producer of “Milkshake” so her money stopped after she stopped performing it. She doesn’t get to make any decisions regarding the song. She does not continue to get paid from the song. Beyoncé puts out a song called “Energy” in which there is an interpolation of Milkshake, not a sample. Beyoncé legally clears the use with the songs producers and adds Kelis as a songwriter which means she can NOW get paid for years to come.
Kelis goes on a tangent calling Beyoncé a thief and says she could have had the decency to call her, even though she didn’t have a legal obligation to do so. Instead of Beyoncé responding negatively, she simply removes Kelis as a songwriter and the use of a simple “La La La” that would have gotten Kelis paid for life.
Now Kelis is back to square one, no credits and no money from a hit song she didn’t even own. And y’all thinking Beyoncé was wrong? If anything, it’s a surprise gift. Hey, I know you didn’t get taken care of for your single, so here is an opportunity where you are put you as a writer on my song so that you can get paid….
At Richter Publishing we allow the authors to keep their rights to their stories just like Beyoncé so you don’t end up like Kelis. Moral of the story, Kelis is like going to traditional publishing route, Beyoncé is smart like going the indie route. Be smart be like Beyoncé and read your contracts. Know what you are signing and what you are getting yourself into.