I want to tell you how I choose the contents of my books. There is a lot of literature on this subject, some of which are converging. It seems unnecessary to start dealing with these things with a great devotion because these subjects are already so well written. I leave some of the essential things to a lesser extent, but take the matter out. Instead, I try to bring my books to the situations where the most common problems occur. Surprisingly yes, they are pretty simple. We are dealing with the gap between theory and practice. It is often a question about experience and its amount. A few things can speak expertly, unless one has ever had one.
It can have an extensive knowledge of the industry, but ‘virginity’ is inscribed. This knowledge is not yet tested in practice. In accordance with this assumption, I try to bring readers to the situations where they most likely to end up with. It is my intention to confirm the information already available to them, but also to bring out the perspectives that are not immediately imminent.
Such a bi-directional rearrangement will help less experienced to get the basic knowledge of what you should at least know. On the other hand, it helps the more experienced to strengthen their own opinions on their own solutions. Behind the lines is therefore hidden a lot. I believe in learning by doing. Whenever one or two alarm clocks are entered in the text as it becomes appropriate, the reader will be able to evaluate their progress also in a busy schedule. That’s what this is all about.
It is completely different to do something for the first time as doing it a tenth time. It is also a different matter to be self-involved as to track the event from the page. In general, it is relatively easy to answer how a bid should be addressed. It sees it from the general level quickly, which conditions are appropriate and which ones do not. But when the same offer comes in a situation where you are responsible, it is not that easy. In such situation it will have to take a stand on the meaning of the agreement in many different dimensions. It will have to think about what the artist can do if she or he does not agree the offer. It will have to consider the consequences that will arise if one or more conditions are changed. It also has to consider the option of accepting an agreement as such, even if it may be possible for the artist to get a better offer next month. When your own contribution and related remuneration are added to calculation, we are already dealing with quite a large equation.
One task of the literature on this subject is to highlight the alternatives that would be available in that situation. However, it is not always advisable to copy all the solutions from the books, but to make your own applications. I try to include my books with the theme that enables the reader to reach essential points. Since there is so much information available about the subject, it is so easy to lose the story. There is no single correct decision, but every decision will have to take the responsibility. In some circumstances it may well be sensible to accept an unreasonably impressive condition if the contract otherwise balances this. In principle, however, it is not sensitive to act against the most influential laws in the field, such as transferring economic rights in the early stages of the career in exchange of having a bigger budget for the first album.
I usually highlight the situations that have repeated over years on several occasions. Even though the technology develops and, as such, issues change shape, it is often the same concern. From the side of the artist, they almost invariably return to their own freedom of choice and how to maintain it in a sensitive level. The artist has a dispositive power due to copyright for their own output. When it is meant to acquire a living, it is often necessary to transfer these rights. In order to succeed in that task, those rights must also allow to be engaged by other parties.
On the other hand, professional groups and businesses supporting the artist must be able to secure their share in the whole. Their rights, due to intellectual property rights, takes place behind the artist’s right. Since many sources of income in the industry allow accumulation of passive income, it is clear that rewards will be distributed in the long-term and with a delay. Well, intermediaries may change and often change during this progress. Here we come to the heart of the difficult matter. How long and how much the artist’s supportive action is relevant to justify the contribution from the artist’s rewards. Secondly, it is about the decision-making power as to how the related catalog should be organized if the parties are no longer in contact with each other.
Films provide a good and understandable example of this. Movie producers and its actors may set up a separate company for one movie only. When doing this movie, they work closely together. After the release and promotion, everyone continue their lives and work in other contexts. All the money produced by the film to its creators will be distributed in proportion to the shares that the parties have defined in their mutual agreement.
Almost every book of mine reflects on this problematic, at least in some respects. I believe that only internally strong organizations will endure a patina of time. If it is clear in advance that this will not happen, this should also be reflected in the artist’s actions and plans. Knowing to lock at the right time and knowing to keep the options open is a difficult equation to implement. I try to encourage everyone to make their own position first, but also to listen to more experienced people. In the next book, the same subject will be presented in another perspective. However, I will endeavor to take account of the issues already discussed when presenting a new one.
© Mika Karhumaa 2018