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Been offered recording contract, song uses vocals from here

permalink   Tue, Apr 7, 2009 @ 4:52 AM
I’ve been offered a recording contract with a major label for a remix i done using some female vocals from this site. They want to release it as a single here in the UK.

The label do not know where the singer came from, i just said it was one of my mates!

Anyway they basically said they are more interested in the remix at this time because the genre “bassline / niche” is a popular form of dance music here in the UK and they’re confident a quick buck can be made.

I’m deeply concerned about the vocals being from here, is it even legal to release CC licensed vocals commercially? I lost out on my last record deal because the singer was a complete ass and didn’t want to be associated with my music style. She used to go on about CC licenses and keeping stuff free from commercialism.

What should I do? Is there any way to reverse a CC license on vocals. Other remixers have used her vocals already under the CC for non commercial purposes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
permalink   Tue, Apr 7, 2009 @ 5:42 AM
The CC license is set by the author. By using it in your work, you accept that you’re bound by the same license.

But all of that is OK - because NC just means that you can’t release it commercially without permission, so a terrific way to start would be to contact the singer and ask if she’s agreeable to releasing the track - and if so, whether she has any conditions (a share of any profit, official song writing credits, etc., etc.)

You also need to be prepared for the possibility that she declines. If someone does that, it’s not necessarily because they are an ass - but because they have very specific ideas of what music to be associated with.

So avoid any negative language, and demonstrate that you’ve read up about CC and you’ll be better off. Your comment that “you’re deeply concerned about the vocals being from here” is odd to me, because clearly you decided to use them - so you weren’t concerned at the time you downloaded them.

So ask nicely and professionally, and your chances are greatly increased. Good luck.
MC Jack in the Box
permalink   Tue, Apr 7, 2009 @ 9:08 AM
i couldn’t have said it any better than colab just did.

it’s up to the vocalist whether you can use her vocals for commercial purposes.
permalink   Tue, Apr 7, 2009 @ 6:46 PM
Keep in mind that we’re not lawyers, not even playing them on TV, so we don’t give legal advice around here.

That being said, if you’re about to sign any meaningful musical deal, I can only warmly recommend that you get yourself hooked up with a lawyer who knows this musical field a bit. Judging by your uncertainty of what CC licensing entails, I’m worried that you end up being taken advantage of, because you don’t have good advice on your side.

Also, your statement that the label do not know where the singer came from makes me wonder a little. The CC licenses used here all require attribution, i.e. one has to give credit to the people who’s work one is using in a remix. So if you’re playing it straight and fair and are giving attribution credit to the vocalist you have used in your remix, it should be trivial for the label to figure out who she is, because most of them have access to Google just like the rest of us. :-)

“Hiding” her from the label seems a bit shortsighted. If they are really after signing her, your misinformation just comes across as you trying to force yourself into a deal. And that doesn’t put you into a positive light with anyone who might be inclined to strike a deal with you.

If you play things honest and straight - giving credit where credit is due as per the CC attribution license - your chance at good things happening is much better: If the label really is impressed with your remixing and production skills, then why keep secrets? If the label is really only after the vocalist, and not you, then you being straightforward and your remix having gotten her a deal should make you proud and there’s a really good chance that the vocalist will be eternally grateful to you. I know, if a record label “discovered” an artist through a remix of mine, I would be incredibly happy and proud.

I’ll leave it at that, and wish you the very best in sorting out your way forward in this.