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Producer Royalties – adequate renumeration

If you’re a producer, you know you’re an important part of the success of the artist whose tracks you’ve overseen. That’s why you’ll want to know how you’ll share in the royalties that the tracks bring in. This besides the points you get when you are co-writer.

Artistic producer

The artistic producer (producer), who carries out a sound or visual production with artists on behalf of a label or economic producer, is the owner of ancillary copyrights and is therefore entitled to an appropriate remuneration for his services. On the one hand, he receives this remuneration for his “work” on the production. For this, the contractual partners usually agree on a fixed amount (fixed remuneration).

Furthermore, the artistic producer usually receives a share of the proceeds from the exploitation of the recordings for the transfer of the exploitation rights to the tracks. The usual percentage is between three and six percent, depending on the producer’s negotiating position. One should not conclude a contract for less than three percent, as the remuneration would then no longer be appropriate in my opinion.

Often, with regard to the revenue share, offsettable advances are paid. Mixed forms are conceivable, e.g. revenue shares that are only paid after the production costs have been recovered.

Shares of other revenues are also conceivable. For example, some producers demand percentage shares of net revenues from all non-royalty income received by the client from the exploitation of the master, including payments from the exploitation of recordings in films (master rights). Whether this is appropriate depends on the individual case.

Agreements on producer royalties should always be made in writing – in these contracts, which we will be happy to draw up for you, regulations should also be made as to whether the producer is also a co-writer, i.e. has become a co-author.

Kai Jüdemann (Specialist lawyer for copyright and media law)