Kanye’s 7 Sane ‘Guidelines’ for Fairer Recording and Publishing Deals

In the last couple of weeks Kanye West is using his twitter platform to talk about how he is trying to get control of all of his recording and publishing rights back. As part of his very public campaign, West came with a eight-part description of what he sees as fair record and publishing deals.

1. The artist owns the copyright in the recordings and songs

2. The record label / publisher is a service provider

If you sign a deal with a major label this could be a great starting point on the position a label has over your created work. For independent labels or artists this is very hard to realize due to the simple fact they have a smaller say in the amount they get from streaming services. a 50/50 split or 40/60 for independent labels would be more suitable and sustainable for both parties involved.

3. Dependants

For sure you as the creator knows you music and the end goal you want to reach. Advise and legal advice is always important to take note of and let you be inspired by take your own conclusions and follow your own paths. Just be vocal and stand up for your own rights.

4. Lawyers

5. Equity and blanket licenses

A blanket license is where a record label (or any group of owners) can authorize a set of rights to the user such that the user does not need to acquire specific permits. In certain ways that are used, blanket licenses make music licensing simpler for the licensing group. As an example, TikTok and Facebook have complete licenses to use music on their platforms. In much the same way, bars and restaurants obtain blanket licenses from ASCAP and BMI to play songs at their establishments.
Without a general license, Facebook and TikTok would need to obtain individual licensing applications from all artists on their own; a process that would take time, effort, and energy. Blanket Licenses are a simple, inexpensive solution to a problem that is otherwise very difficult to solve.

The power that major labels have over digital stores and streaming platforms is unheard of! having so much leverage on a platform that they can decide how much and how quickly they get payed where as an independent gets just the scraps that the majors left behind. take a look at this tweet by Cherie Hu who exposed the injurious equity the majors have 


Never take an advance even if it’s an offer you can’t resist. These loans you get are the things that kill artists and be also vigilant for the recouple fees that can and will be withheld from your royalties. Release parties, dinners, or drinks with the label executives can then all be withheld from your royalties and you would never know that it’s happening.

7. Royalties and delivery

As West is saying “It sounds basic and logical”. Sadly this is not the truth many labels and there distributors pay per quarter and you have no real sight on your stream. Spotify for artist gives you fairly good overview of streams and territory but many other can stil learn a lot from them. As an label to track all this data from all the different stores is almost impossible and we should look at ways to change this.

8. Portals

This is why we need blockchain in the music industry decentralise all your assets and over time give it all back to the owner and or have a contract renewal. Artist should own there work and there creative expression.