Fatback Band Letter

“Work for Hire”

February 27, 2012

Hey, I want to get right into it. In my “Stay Hungry and Beware” newsletter, I mentioned if you were administrating your Father's, Mother's, Grandparent's estate or your own copyrights and were a recording artist signed with a label during or after 1978, you need to know about “Works for Hire.” If you don’t know what that means, in short, that means you don’t own the rights to your songs, that someone else owns the rights. Although you wrote the songs and recorded them, if you signed a “works for hire” contract they can take the masters and make CD’s and sell around the world for ever after and on and on.

Congress amended US Copyright Law in 1978 knowing that artists just starting out were unlikely get a favorable contract. So after 35 years, you have the right to recapture the rights to your masters recording - after the initial period - so you can distribute to the world to buy. No one ever told me that, not even my attorney, but it’s the law. You have to notify the label 1 to 10 years before the 35-year period is up. 2013 will be the first test period, so if you recorded 1978 and after check with your attorney. Most of the old contracts didn’t have “Work for Hire’’in them, artists assigned ownership of the copyright on those masters to their record company. The label then controlled said recordings and decided how to exploit them for profit.

When the initial copyright period ends, which by law is after 35 years, the old regime wasn’t about to change the game that they been controlling for many years. I want you to read about what they tried to do to change the law without Congress knowing, just so they could still do business as usual. There’s a great article about this in the Austin Chronicle and what they were doing: worldwide Black Box Money. I do hope the industry can find away to give up its old practices and become more artist-friendly. The internet still has a long ways to go to catch up with the labels to produce a superstar. The label has that infrastructure, marketing and publicity. when the net figures that out, “goodbye old school.” If they don’t buy the internet out before then, for themselves if you noticed every time the independent created artist get a platform on the internet the majors buys them out. Get ready for a big WAR.

This termination will change the whole music industry don’t think it gonna down just that easily the fat cats aren’t gonna give up their gravy train cause they know that’s the beginning of the end, of their freely exploit and profiting from own masters long after they have been paid for, and keeping the royalties.

As a young artist starting out in this business, know what you sign.

A little more about our app, when you post five friends to get our app you will get a link to download a brand new song that’s only available in our mobile app.

A few letters back, I turned you on to the music of unsung musician Robert Damper. I'd like to introduce another friend of mine, bassist Dan Dean of Origin Records. I know it's not a name you're familiar with but he's a fantastic musician who has moved the Fender bass up another notch in a duo setting. I know — you've heard bassists in small sets, and after two songs you're ready to leave — but Dan makes the whole set interesting---- listen.

Downloads of the Month:
Featuring Dan Dean

Our downloads of the month are:
“Lover Man”
“I Got You (I Feel Good)”

Here's a nice note I received in response to “Love in the Tub”…

Hey Bill,

Just kickin' back at home listening to “Love in the Tub.” This one is a groovy cut, mellow sound, one of those tracks that makes you just kick back with a little champagne or wine and chill. Lady red is HOTT too, now being a DJ for 21+ years, I can say her flow is right on time and Pete thumps that bass, the groove is FATBACK for sure!!! Like the melody on the keys, too… Keep kickin’, Bill!


Fatback Band Droid App Launches

We have launched our Droid App, check it out here:


Video: “To Be With You”


Video: “I Feel The Fire”
Fatback at Southport Weekender


Fatback Live at the 02 in London 2009




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