Dean Serwin | Entertainment Attorney

Dean Sheldon Serwin


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Of Copyrights and Cowboys

Originally published in the Century City Bar Association Newsletter, June, 2012


Channel Intro

What sorts of videos will I be posting? Short, hopefully informative clips discussing different legal issues in the entertainment industry. Check back often to find view the latest.

Am I a Publisher?

Being a publisher simply means you own a copyright. You automatically own the copyright in each song you write.

What is a Publishing Company?

Forming your own publishing company is simply filing an application with a PRO.

What a PRO is and is not

A performing rights organization is a not a publisher; it is a company that collects your public performance royalties.

What is MetaData

Metadata is data about data. For you it means who owns and who gets paid from your music. This is why it is important. Without it being correct and complete, no one knows who to pay!

Get it in writing!

Why is it important to have signed, written agreements? So everyone knows what they can and cannot do and what they do or do not get.

How publishing splits work

The "writer's share" and the "publisher's share" are separate, but both are part of the same source of income: your songs.

Publishing Income Sources

There are 4 main sources of publishing income: (1) Mechanical royalties, (2) Sync fees, (3) Performance royalties and (4) Grand Rights payments.

Handouts & Outlines

Issues Involving Copyright
& Audio-Visual Works

My handout for talks I lead; a good overview.

Songsplit Sheet
with Notes

You should use this for every song you co-write with someone else.

Outline of
Trademark Issues

Questions you should ask yourself before filing for a trademark.

Producer Deal
Issues Chart

An overview of major issues in a producer deal from both artist and producer POV.