Thanks a lot, Gareth, for taking the efforts to make this PDF and the wonderful source of information! Excellent thread!
Thanks everybody else who contributed to this. As I´m about to do my first custom work this came in just right in time
Epic thread and in perfect timing. Thank you.
Great PDF Gareth!
What do you guys think about posting the PDF in an easily found spot on AJ so all authors can benefit from it? Possibly under the “Getting Started” tab?
Here it is people. I’ve made some additions, but 90% of the info is pulled directly from this thread. Thanks to all contributors from this thread.
I hope you all find this useful in at least some way, even if not all of it necessarily applies to you.
Thanks for this generous contribution Gareth!
What a thread! Worth its weight in gold… if it could be weighed
So much helpful stuff here. Gareth: let us know if you get that PDF made!
Contracts like Gareth described are an absolute must for large projects. While I am overall a trusting and optimistic person, the fact remains that without a comprehensive contract you will leave yourself open to issues later on that could have been avoided with a contract up front. These issues can and will arise even if the client means well. For example, without a contract to go back to, it will be hard to tell a client that they can/can’t do something with your material, and they will most likely feel justified in whatever they do since the contract either didn’t state the restriction(s) or didn’t exist in the first place.
I also believe that small projects should have a similar but less formal contract – this could just be an email that lays out all the rules of the game. The client can then respond to the email agreeing to the terms. That way you have it in “writing”.
Below are some good things to list for small custom work jobs – small meaning in scope, not money
1. Exact requirement of the job – length, style, edits, etc.
2. Deadlines – delivery of first draft, delivery of final product, etc.
3. Payment and payment time – so amount of money as well as when client will pay (usually immediately upon delivery of final product). It would be helpful to state something along the lines of “Payment shall be made within 24 hours of delivery of final product”, instead of just “upon delivery of product”. This will help to make sure payment is made promptly.
4. How/where credit will be given (or not)
5. License – where and how client can use the music (be VERY specific)
Type that info up in an email and have the client respond that he/she agrees to those terms. Then, if a problem arises down the road you have some good data to hand over to your high-powered attorney
Very useful information Ron, thankyou for this contribution!
This was one excellent thread. Kudos Gareth, Andy!
Edit: Must Read—Sticky.
You’ve done it again Gareth! Your wealth of knowledge & experience is astounding for your age. I’m adding this PDF to the hoard of composition advice on my desktop.
I’ve read your pdf guide and I love it Gareth! Thanks for the great share.
Well I use to put in watermarks in works before my client pays up the balance 50%. But I found ouy that annoys the hell out of them, so don’t do it! Just make sure you collect the remainder 50% before you give the master product. Too many times have we seen clients running off with the master mix and ignoring your payments.
But when that happens, dont fret. Move on!