What is standard for a contract to make a derivative work and sell it?
Date: December 12, 2014
I want to make an arrangement of a work that is still under copyright and then want to sell the arrangement through my own self-publishing company. I just received a contract from the publisher (after trying for over a year!) and because I haven't really done this before, I was wondering if what I'm receiving is standard for these types of agreements or not. Here is some of what the contract stipulates:
-I would be granted the nonexlusive right to sell the sheet music at my expense throughout the USA and Canada and pay 25% of the sales to the publisher (copyright holder).
-The arrangement will be created as the result of a "Work-Made-For-Hire" and the publisher will still own the original copyright and is entitled to any royalties generated from performance of the arrangement. I must also send them two complimentary copies of the score and any recordings that are made.
-The agreement is valid for 5 years.
I think most of this make sense and is agreeable to me, but my biggest concern here is that if I have the nonexlusive right to sell this arrangement and I am sending them complimentary copies, they could easily publish the arrangement too, and as they are, in this case, a big and well-known publishing company with lots of resources, that could steal all my potential business and have received a great arrangement and sell it without having had to pay me at all for creating it. Might it be a possibilty to say to them that I will not ask for the right to publish and sell the sheet music if they will pay me a satisfactory amount for the creation of the arrangement itself instead?
Also, as I would be selling the sheet music through my website online, would I have to turn down sales from people oustide the USA and Canada? Should I ask that the clause in the contract be changed to say "worldwide" instead of "USA and Canada only"?
Anyone who has any experience with these matters, please let me know your thoughts and experiences. I greatly appreciate it.