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Artist steals pre-produced version of the song
Old 23rd September 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Artist steals pre-produced version of the song

Hey, I searched around a bit but could not find any recent threads referring to a situation like this. I'm fairly new to hip hop production as a business and running a home recording studio. So I guess it's fitting that this being is my first experience I end up getting burned.

Over the period of the last few months, I have written, wrote and produced several tracks for a local rap artist with the intention of building my credibility and developing the artists career. Halfway into the project it became obvious the artist was a handful, drunk, basket case who had many personal and drug problems, which interfered with his rapping ability and wasted countless studio hours. He claimed he needed the rough mixes of a track we had a female singer feature on, so believing in my heart that good people exist and that it could benefit the final product I did. Since that e-mail we have made plans of finishing the project with him agreeing to pay compensation for my time and studio rentals. However, last night he posted the rough version of the song on his soundcloud with no credits to me and a statement that it's going to be on his upcoming EP.
I have received no compensation for any of the work I've done so far and he has no intention of paying or crediting me for my work. The female who sang on the hook on the track is unaware of the current situation in our business relationship and also has not released or signed anything saying who owns the rights to her accompaniment on the track.
Is there any legal action or action I can take up with Soundcloud to have my productions taken down?
I honestly knew that it was a goof move to give him the rough mix and the potential backfire, but now after the fact how can I redeem this situation and come out on top? Preferably without going to his house and busting knee caps, I'm too pretty for jail.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
MONSTA_ONE's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkleblanc ➑️
Hey, I searched around a bit but could not find any recent threads referring to a situation like this. I'm fairly new to hip hop production as a business and running a home recording studio. So I guess it's fitting that this being is my first experience I end up getting burned.

Over the period of the last few months, I have written, wrote and produced several tracks for a local rap artist with the intention of building my credibility and developing the artists career. Halfway into the project it became obvious the artist was a handful, drunk, basket case who had many personal and drug problems, which interfered with his rapping ability and wasted countless studio hours. He claimed he needed the rough mixes of a track we had a female singer feature on, so believing in my heart that good people exist and that it could benefit the final product I did. Since that e-mail we have made plans of finishing the project with him agreeing to pay compensation for my time and studio rentals. However, last night he posted the rough version of the song on his soundcloud with no credits to me and a statement that it's going to be on his upcoming EP.
I have received no compensation for any of the work I've done so far and he has no intention of paying or crediting me for my work. The female who sang on the hook on the track is unaware of the current situation in our business relationship and also has not released or signed anything saying who owns the rights to her accompaniment on the track.
Is there any legal action or action I can take up with Soundcloud to have my productions taken down?
I honestly knew that it was a goof move to give him the rough mix and the potential backfire, but now after the fact how can I redeem this situation and come out on top? Preferably without going to his house and busting knee caps, I'm too pretty for jail.
the best way to learn is to get burned . (sorry to say) . and imo i dont think its worth it 2 take legal action .. or if you do at least wait intill the song blows up then sue .. in til then learn from ya mistakes .. and next time make them pay up front . remember . its a business .. if you owned a clothing store would you let a drunk customer walk in and take clothing for free home and tell you he will pay you later then post his new shirt on face book .sayin check out my gear i got for free over @ kirkleblanc shop ?
Old 23rd September 2012
  #3
Moderator
 
Bender412's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Did you register a copyright for the track? Do you want to file an infringement lawsuit? Is it worth spending more time, energy and money on?

If not, move on.

Sent from my M886
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender412 ➑️
Did you register a copyright for the track? Do you want to file an infringement lawsuit? Is it worth spending more time, energy and money on?

If not, move on.

Sent from my M886
I agree with this, the money you spend between court fees and lawyers will more often than not outweigh any money you will recoup from the sale of such music.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
xanax's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
sadly i must concur with the others, learn from your mistakes... unfortunately this type of ish happens every day,and not just crazy drunk rappers.. my music partner worked on a track for a major high profile signed artist couple years ago..his team kept stalling him for payment saying the album was pushed back and the track might not make the cut, then the album dropped with the track f'in uncredited & it took another 12 months to get paid. i think some kind of contract or upfront payment should always be made, i don't know i'm not a studio engineer or anything but yea it's kind of business 101
Old 23rd September 2012
  #6
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VT-MHE's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
have a lawyer create a cease and desist letter. and serve it to him. it shouldnt cost you much to have it done. or look one up and print it out yourself lol. and have in there if your music isnt removed and no longer being used unauthorized against your permission that you will pursue with legal action and take them to court. chances are the guy will stop using your music for fear of being taken to court. should that not happen then you have to look into other options and as told really evaluate if its really worth the time energy and resources to expend on it. if you havent already copyright your music and if any money comes from it then sue the dude (which will also ccost you money lol)

best of luck
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
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VT-MHE's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax ➑️
sadly i must concur with the others, learn from your mistakes... unfortunately this type of ish happens every day,and not just crazy drunk rappers.. my music partner worked on a track for a major high profile signed artist couple years ago..his team kept stalling him for payment saying the album was pushed back and the track might not make the cut, then the album dropped with the track f'in uncredited & it took another 12 months to get paid. i think some kind of contract or upfront payment should always be made, i don't know i'm not a studio engineer or anything but yea it's kind of business 101
this is great advice. this is business. stop trusting people and cover your own ass! especially if you stand the most to lose in the situation and you always will with rappers.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Charlie-O's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Post the song on your soundcloud, give everybody their credit, spew some jive about the rappers up coming EP... ...and than move on.

Oh, but make sure you mix the song to def. the best mix you can get.

And make sure the song is set for stream only, no download.

Peace.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's easy to say "don't trust people" or "get the money upfront" but often a lot of opportunities show up exactly this way and it's hard to have success without taking chances.

Being that you wrote the song I would just find someone else to cut the song and let rapper #1 try to stop you.

Trying to stop him only makes sense if he's making money with it.

Good luck.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➑️
It's easy to say "don't trust people" or "get the money upfront" but often a lot of opportunities show up exactly this way and it's hard to have success without taking chances.

Being that you wrote the song I would just find someone else to cut the song and let rapper #1 try to stop you.

Trying to stop him only makes sense if he's making money with it.

Good luck.

nothin' wrong with this^
Old 23rd September 2012
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I think we've all been there, man... I had an artist release 15 unfinished tracks physically and on every download site you can imagine, while I was still working on the mixes. No credit anywhere except some tiny print on the back cover under their contact info. Absolutely no credit on the web. I'm over it now, but I'm quite sure things would be a little different for me if people in my city at least knew I did those tracks.

Rappers already think they are the center of the universe. Every time you work for free, the more they believe it.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #12
Gear Addict
 
eddie.machete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Least you could do is make a soundcloud account and call it something like "Atlantic a&r" telling him you love the track he stole off you, say you want to meet to discuss offering him a contract and a tour supporting someone he likes who is huge. Make him meet you somewhere there is a public webcam pointing right at the place you say to meet. Come on here and tell us all what time and give a link to the webcam so we can watch him stand there for an hour on his big break. Record the webcam stream and make sure all fans see it. Making sure they also know he was trying to get a deal and a tour on the back of your track he stole. Leave a link to your website in the video description. Profit.

sent from the future
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➑️
It's easy to say "don't trust people" or "get the money upfront" but often a lot of opportunities show up exactly this way and it's hard to have success without taking chances.

Being that you wrote the song I would just find someone else to cut the song and let rapper #1 try to stop you.

Trying to stop him only makes sense if he's making money with it.

Good luck.
Best advice in this thread
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie.machete ➑️
Least you could do is make a soundcloud account and call it something like "Atlantic a&r" telling him you love the track he stole off you, say you want to meet to discuss offering him a contract and a tour supporting someone he likes who is huge. Make him meet you somewhere there is a public webcam pointing right at the place you say to meet. Come on here and tell us all what time and give a link to the webcam so we can watch him stand there for an hour on his big break. Record the webcam stream and make sure all fans see it. Making sure they also know he was trying to get a deal and a tour on the back of your track he stole. Leave a link to your website in the video description. Profit.

sent from the future
Spending time going after old money (that doesn't exist) stops you from going after new money. Which is everywhere.

Good luck.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #15
Gear Nut
 
Kinetic_beats's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
[QUOTE=Rappers already think they are the center of the universe. Every time you work for free, the more they believe it.[/QUOTE]

So true lol
Old 23rd September 2012
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Kinetic_beats's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Give us his social networking accounts twitter/Facebook/soundcloud we will all bash him lol
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
MONSTA_ONE's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➑️
Spending time going after old money (that doesn't exist) stops you from going after new money. Which is everywhere.

Good luck.
nyce i like that can i take this lol
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MONSTA_ONE ➑️
nyce i like that can i take this lol
If you post it somewhere I'll serve you with a cease and desist. lol
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
MONSTA_ONE's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➑️
If you post it somewhere I'll serve you with a cease and desist. lol
ill just make you use ya own advice



Quote:
Trying to stop him only makes sense if he's making money with it
Old 23rd September 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
ksandvik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, put the material up on Soundcloud as WAVs with free downloads to pollute the material published without your consent as there's little you could do now.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinetic_beats ➑️
Give us his social networking accounts twitter/Facebook/soundcloud we will all bash him lol
I'm down as well lol let's troll this mofo
Old 24th September 2012
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Kinetic_beats's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Ok then lets get the info lol and let that hate begin!
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinetic_beats ➑️
Ok then lets get the info lol and let that hate begin!
lol post your story on reddit with his contact details, then kick back and watch the **** storm
Old 25th September 2012
  #24
Here for the gear
 
zoahk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
In the future make sure to get the artist to pay a fairly priced deposit of money which he will not get back until the contract or project has been ended, also make sure you encode details of who performs, produced and mixed the track in the file when doing a mixdown, this way if they go ahead and release it without your consent your credits will still be in the file if it is ever distributed.

I would not go with the advice up above that you start ruining his life, that's just immature and you don't wanna go make this guys life any harder, you're a recording engineer, not a vigilante. I say give him a day or two, fairplay, he made a mistake, but so did you in someways, we are all human, I say talk it over with him in a few days and work out something, it doesn't sound like it's been weeks since you last spoke to him, if that were the case then maybe action would be required, but just see how it goes for now, and learn from this.
Old 25th September 2012
  #25
Gear Nut
 
Kinetic_beats's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoahk ➑️
In the future make sure to get the artist to pay a fairly priced deposit of money which he will not get back until the contract or project has been ended, also make sure you encode details of who performs, produced and mixed the track in the file when doing a mixdown, this way if they go ahead and release it without your consent your credits will still be in the file if it is ever distributed.

I would not go with the advice up above that you start ruining his life, that's just immature and you don't wanna go make this guys life any harder, you're a recording engineer, not a vigilante. I say give him a day or two, fairplay, he made a mistake, but so did you in someways, we are all human, I say talk it over with him in a few days and work out something, it doesn't sound like it's been weeks since you last spoke to him, if that were the case then maybe action would be required, but just see how it goes for now, and learn from this.
What world do u live in?? I would bet money that dude burns producers an engineers at any chance he gets this sh** happens daily.. People like that don't deserve to be in the music business so put him on blast
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoahk ➑️

I would not go with the advice up above that you start ruining his life, that's just immature and you don't wanna go make this guys life any harder, you're a recording engineer, not a vigilante.
I agree with this. You get what you put out there. What you push, tends to push back. Take the high road.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinetic_beats ➑️
What world do u live in?? I would bet money that dude burns producers an engineers at any chance he gets this sh** happens daily.. People like that don't deserve to be in the music business so put him on blast
They don't. But you don't want to be seen as the "get even" guy either.

I know an artist that use to hire producers on spec to produce tracks for him. He was actually paying me but when it came time to make the record and record drums, I became aware that he had seven versions of the song fully produced floating around. That he never paid for. That's his karma.

He also played all the labels against each other in a bidding war and was eventually dropped by the one who did sign him. So he went back into the studio, recorded a bunch of new songs (all great songs BTW) and tried to shop a new deal. The old label was obviously done with him but the other labels wouldn't even listen to the songs. Karma is a bitch!!

It's a smaller business than you think and you can only burn so many bridges.
Old 25th September 2012
  #28
Gear Nut
 
Kinetic_beats's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➑️
They don't. But you don't want to be seen as the "get even" guy either.

I know an artist that use to hire producers on spec to produce tracks for him. He was actually paying me but when it came time to make the record and record drums, I became aware that he had seven versions of the song fully produced floating around. That he never paid for. That's his karma.

He also played all the labels against each other in a bidding war and was eventually dropped by the one who did sign him. So he went back into the studio, recorded a bunch of new songs (all great songs BTW) and tried to shop a new deal. The old label was obviously done with him but the other labels wouldn't even listen to the songs. Karma is a bitch!!

It's a smaller business than you think and you can only burn so many bridges.
I hear ya but u don't want to seem like that guy to get over on.. people like that guy should not get away with that kinda stuff it happens way to much and we producer/engineers need to start letting it be known IMO
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinetic_beats ➑️
I hear ya but u don't want to seem like that guy to get over on.. people like that guy should not get away with that kinda stuff it happens way to much and we producer/engineers need to start letting it be known IMO
That's very true. It's a balancing act. Notice in my story, I wasn't the one doing spec deals with this guy. You have to make judgements of the people you work with. I'm willing to do spec situations with certain clients but definitely not with others. I know one A&R guy that does spec mixing with dozens of mixers. Does the same for Mastering. I only mix for him if he's paying me. But others are just a "bit" unsure and I'm happy to prove myself to them.

One time this guy asked me to mix one of his songs on spec. He couldn't afford one of the "acronym" mixers on this project so he wanted to give me a shot. The problem was that he talked up that other mixer during the project so the band kind of got their hopes up. So before I get a chance to turn in my mix, he figures out the budget and gets their guy. Do you think the artist even wants to hear my mix?

Another guy asked me to spec a mix once, loved it, sent it off to radio research and they hated the song. Nothing to do with the mix. So he tried not to pay me. Screw that. I told him I'd never work for him again and he was able to figure it out.

So you have to be careful out there. But saying these guy's names in public or trying to shame them will not help your career. There will always be someone believing the other side of the story.
Old 25th September 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
LeoLeoLeo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Spec deal = don't spec' to get paid
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