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Trevuar25

Freelance composing

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Hey I've been composing for a few years and I've heard a lot of composers are freelance and get paid per song and whatnot. When a company/developer wants you to compose for them what do you have to do to copyright your songs? does it automatically become a part of the game/project and become a part of that game/project's copyright? just curious.

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Completely depends on what contracts you sign. There´s not something like a standard rule that says "if you compose for a gamedeveloper, you lose copyright". But íf you give away copyright, you cán charge much much more. (dunnow how much, but I read 10 times somewhere I think. Could be complete bullshit though)

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This depends on what they are willing to pay vs. what you feel your music is worth. If they are willing to pay handsomely to buy the copyright, I'd write each track specifically for the project and give them full rights to it. On the other hand, if it's an indie project with little to no pay, retain the copyright and charge them per copy.

Also, payment per hour vs. per song should be treated differently. If someone is paying you to work directly for them, the material you produce is theirs (although this doesn't seem to be the case).

If you're just getting started out composing professionally, I'd go easy on the price you charge so you can build up a portfolio. Figure how much time you'll be spending on each track based on intricacy and quality and go from there. A couple of hours on a 4 channel MIDI file might pay for your lunch at a decent restaurant where as a 40 piece score fully mastered might get you a new car. ;-)

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Quote:
Original post by coderx75
A couple of hours on a 4 channel MIDI file might pay for your lunch at a decent restaurant where as a 40 piece score fully mastered might get you a new car. ;-)


The wink means that it won't (get you a new car). So far nobody I have worked for has been willing to pay more for full orchestral music (my specialty). It takes years to get into console composing and that is where the car money is.

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yeah, but another stupid question . how exactly should I go about copy writing my music? how does a song become "copy written"


I am a n00b :)

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The fact that you made it, means it's copyrighted. (That's 'right', not 'write'.) Anything else you do, such as registering it with the Copyright Office, is optional, and serves to make it easier to prove your case in court, should such a need arise.

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As for copyrighting, its a pretty simple process although it can seem overwhelming at first. You can read the full description and information at www.copyright.gov

Basically, the process amounts to sending in a couple copies of the music you wish to copyright (a burned CD even) along with a brief form and $35. Within a couple months you will receive your certificate of copyright.

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