Okay (deep breath kids).
A lot of you don’t understand commercial “rights.”
Some of you are going to relate to this. Some of you aren’t (I like to set up my topics by stating the obvious. It’s a trap. Somewhere, I will go off the deep end).
Here in the land of Fiverr, it is inevitable that we will use each other’s services.
My service is music (it’s actually drinking coffee but that’s not really on topic). I write songs. Professionally and in the shower. Also, I write them here on Fiverr. I’m that guy you go to when you want a song for your album. Or for a theme song. Or as a gift. A jingle. Background content, an instrument track…
Whatever, you get it.
A lot of you have freelance gigs that are similar to mine. Maybe you’re an author, a poet, a writer, a creator … I’m with ya.
In my line of work, there’s a certain wrong headed standard… some ill mutation of a rumor that’s spread like small town gossip. My customers want my rights for their purchase. It looks something like this:
“Hey… could you write me a song, make a recording, play all the instruments, invent the arrangement, melody, concepts, mix and master the recording and give me full ownership of the rights, commercial usage and I’m gonna put my name as the writer so you have to sign an agreement. Also, I need a sample of one of your bodily fluids.”
Here’s the thing… none of these customers actually need that. Not one.
Follow me into the woods for a second…
When you purchase a “recording,” a “written blog,” “copy,” and many other items, what you’re actually purchasing is time and the product.
When you hire someone to write a song, you’ve paid for their time. You get a copy of the song. When you hire someone to make a recording, you’ve purchased the recording. Through the transaction alone, you now own the recording. It’s yours. You can sell it, trade it for crops, give it away, put a polka band on top of it… whatever… it’s your property.
What you don’t own, however, is my writing. As the writer, I can rerelease the song in a different recording. I can rewrite it. I can hire that Canadian rapper Snow to flow weirdly white Jamaican influenced rhymes on it (come on now, you remember “informer.” Clearly Snow is not busy).
Commercial rights, ownership and royalties are not the same thing.
Let’s be honest for a second.
You don’t know how royalty collection works. You haven’t the first clue about hiring a publishing firm to collect your quarterly dues. You’re not signed to a publishing firm and you aren’t going to hire an entertainment lawyer to seek out your back pay. You’re not going through a copyright registry and you’re not gonna barcode the material.
Because, if you did know these things, you’d realize that owning the publishing and writers royalties are not the same money.
In fact, it doesn’t impact ownership money at all.
Writers own their works. Our work is our creation. Not the recording of the creation, should we choose to give it to you. If you purchase someone’s time to write you a short story, what you’ve purchased is time. You may even profit from distributing said material in a product that you created. That won’t prevent the writer from publishing the same work somewhere else. Nor should it.
Stop telling me you need commercial usage for something that already belongs to you. Stop telling me you need full ownership of the material when it doesn’t impact you. Stop telling me about the corona virus (I look terrible in face masks).
Listen Colonel Parker, you don’t need your name on the song to sell the song. You really don’t need your name on the song to use it as the intro for your “Revolutionary True Crime Podcast.” Also… stop calling it “true crime.” You mean “crime.” Crimes are true unless otherwise noted. It’s pretty simple - if you’re watching TV and Joe Pesci shows up, it’s untrue crime.
If you hire a house painter, you bought materials and time. You didn’t buy the color that they painted your house. They can still use that color on a different property. It’s still your house and it’s still your paint that’s on it. If you want to scrape the paint off and sell it, the painter doesn’t care (your neighbors are gonna be a little wonky though).
So there. That’ll teach you. In one post, I’ve single handedly cleared up the confusion about ownership, writers royalties and usage rights. No one will ever ask about it again. Not one person on Fiverr anywhere will ever be wrong about it (see Dad, all my back talk did get me somewhere).
Also, from now on, no one will ever post the “I’m new, tell me how to make money because I don’t read forums and I’m allergic to google” topic ever again. I threw that one in as a bonus.