Some Interesting Opinions in the INDY vs MAJOR Poll

The choices were(are): 1. NO Indy Projects for me!
2. Indy projects are ok, as long as the Majors still get pitched afterwards.
3. Indy Projects are my favorites, because they are not as demanding.
4. I don't care where I get cut, just get me cut!
5. Depends on the Indy Project.
6. Other (Please be specific with a response.)
respond to:

I will keep posting responses as they arrive. Some good points here.

From Ken Klar:
My Response Is: 6. Other (Please be specific with a response.)
Because I'm somewhere between 4. (I don't care where I get cut, just get me cut!) and 5. (Depends on the Indy Project.). I want the cut, but I would want it to have some potential (either exposure or monetary). Ken Klar

Steve Gregory:
#6 Yes! Indy is OK as long as I am the only one being considered; I think competition is politically incorrect. LOL
(*editor's note:. that made me laugh and wish I could agree!)

? (Who sent this one?)
As a struggling songwriter (!) I guess any cut is better than no cut, even indies. So, I'm for exploring very possible avenue. Also, occasionally, an indie cut gets heard by a big name who decides to cover the tune. Long odds, but what the heck.....

Rick Paul:
If I were to select from just your options, I would probably say, "a qualified #2." Perhaps that is actually #6, but let me try and explain. After we spoke about this general issue, I was thinking about it from different perspectives. To date, I have really only considered the issue as a self-published writer, and, from that perspective, my answer would probably be a solid #2. However, if I were to look at it from the standpoint of a writer who was signing one of my songs to a publisher, then I would not want an almost-no-money indie cut to end up nullifying the reversion clause if that meant that the publisher could then just sit on the song if desired, and still retain the publishing on it. Of course, the publisher wouldn't make any money on the cut, either, by doing this, but might well do it in the case that he/she stopped believing in the song or something, and then I, as the writer, wouldn't really be able to do much with the song because no other publisher will touch it, and the first publisher may not be willing to give up a portion of the publishing for opportunities where that is required to get a cut. On the other hand, from the perspective of the publisher, there is probably just as much work in getting an indie cut as getting a major cut, so it wouldn't really be fair to the publisher for that publisher to end up with nothing if it were as simple as having the reversion clause state that a major label, or major label/major artist, cut were required within the specified period to prevent reversion. Yet, an indie cut could be one step toward getting a major cut since that gets the song more exposure, and it could even turn into a major cut later on, if, for example, the indie act is picked up by a major. But this takes time, so the publisher who got the cut might be out of the picture by the time the act turned major. As I was thinking further about this dilemma, I had a few thoughts that might help find a middle ground: One possibility would be that the reversion clause could say major label (or major artist/major label) only to get rid of the reversion clause, but the publisher would still have the publishing on any cuts he/she got, even if they were indie. This probably needs to be tied to the artist, as opposed to the specific cut, since a rerelease on a different label would probably imply a new mechanical license and thus technically be a different cut even if the actual recording ended up being the same. Also, the act might be asked to rerecord it if their indie quality recordings were not good enough (e.g. Hanson), so the publisher should still benefit from that. And, if the act never goes major, the writer has the rights to the song outside of the one act, so there isn't any real issue with pitching it to others. And it is probably doubtful that another publisher would worry much about having to have an exclusion clause (i.e. "except for this one specific artist") attached to the publishing rights if the artist is still an unknown. Another possibility, and these possibilities aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, would be having an indie cut reset the clock on the reversion clause, which could still say major label (or major label/major artist). Thus, say the initial reversion clause is two years, but an indie cut is gotten after one year. That indie cut might then reset the reversion clause for another two years. Then, if after that point no further cuts arise, things revert back to the writer (possibly excluding the one initial indie cut). If a major cut arises, the publisher gets the rights. If the publisher gets another indie cut, then the clock resets again. Perhaps there might be an upper bound on how many times the reversion clause could be reset via indie cuts (mainly to prevent the situation where a less-than-reputable publisher just has an act he/she controls cut it for the minimum amount of money possible, just to retain the rights to the song, thinking the writer will one day go onto better things and people will come out searching for back catalog). Or maybe some clause that puts a minimum earnings level to the writer over some period of time to retain the publishing (which could mean a song that is cut frequently by different indie acts, or gets a lucrative placement in a film or movie, could actually be kept longer by the publisher if those cuts add up to whatever the minimal level of money stated is). Anyway, these are just ideas, but I thought I'd share them since you asked your opinion on the overall issue, and I thought about this after we'd talked. For me, the bottom line is that any cut is better than no cut, but I wouldn't want to tie publishing on a song up for perpetuity as a result of a single indie cut that ends up going nowhere, and I suspect most serious writers (i.e. in terms of wanting to have a songwriting career, as opposed to just getting their songs used) will have similar concerns on indie cuts.

Jeff Hutchinson:
I belive numbers two, three, four and six, other. All we ask for is a chance,you never know when or where that chance will come from.

Joe Piasecki:
In response to your poll I choose #4 I don't care just get me cut. I'm only a beginner at songwriting and although I have a clean sounding cd available, it is comedy material and may not generally fit into what you normally do... Thanks.

Kathy J:
4. I don't care where I get cut, just get me cut! 5. Depends on the Indy Project.
Gee, I can't decide between these 2! *grin!* There are a lot of factors which come into play before one can make an informed decision.....But #4 sure is tempting.

My response to your poll is this: > 5. Depends on the Indy Project. I certainly want to pitch to the majors, and part of what "it depends" means to me is that I would want the Indy project to have commercial potential. On the other hand, sometimes something appeals to my gut, and I believe in it enough to give it a shot. Thanks for all you're doing for songwriters and songwriting.
(*editor's note: just pass it on!)

Neil Haigh (UK)
I've just joined the Goodnight list and thought I'd respond to your Indy opinion questionnaire with a definite 4:
4. I don't care where I get cut, just get me cut! !!! This is the number that sums me up to a tee.
Note: " when you can't even reach the ladder - don't start being picky about which rung you may or may not need to put your feet on!! Regards.

Kathy Morgan Jones
Selfishly, I vote for #4.
(*ed. note: In my opinion, honesty is never selfish, just honest.)

Mark Kastle
Indies are going to be cornering a continuously growing percentage of the new Artists due to the changes within the industry, as well as the advent of relatively inexpensive home digital studios. I would prefer that things get done in the most expedient way. If that means go for an Indie deal, and pitch it to the majors afterwards, so be it. That is why there are so many Indie labels popping up everywhere...To take up the slack, and give others a chance.

Craig Manganello
#4. I don't care where I get me cut, just get me cut!

Sarah Mor
Your question is good food for thought. I have always said that I write music for people to hear and enjoy. Whoever wants to perform and record it is welcome to do so. But... I have to ask I want her to pitch my "great" song to the first project that comes her way... -- or to save it for the project that will will reach the most people? I will have to go with what's behind door number five. It depends on the project. If I believe in the artist and wish to share the first rights to my music with them, I will do so. There are some songs that I believe have different and brighter possibilities. Those I might choose to gamble on and wait for a better deal. All in all, I have had positive experience with independent projects, but not very profitable from a monetary standpoint.

Bill Turner
#4--For me, any cut is a cut in the right direction-- I've had 3 Indy Cuts--1 Solo, 2 as a co-writer--feels GOOD!


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