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Author Topic: A few questions about commissioned art/music...  (Read 1651 times)

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Street Magic

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A few questions about commissioned art/music...
« on: August 04, 2009, 12:04:22 AM »

Hi everybody!

So I had an idea that I like, and whether or not it ever happens, I wanted to ask some stuff here just in case. I was reading on Wikipedia about the songwriter Momus (incidentally, who wrote "I Want You, But I Don't Need You") and found the article about his album made up entirely of commissioned songs. Meanwhile, I have been wanting to find a way to get out of my little songwriting box where I come up with a bunch of songs about the same thing over and over and they all sound like crap. And I thought, maybe I could do something like this.

What I was specifically wondering about was legal logistics. If I were to take small commissions IRL (not over the Internet, I'm not quite mentally steeled for online money management: one of the reasons I don't have a credit card)... if I were to take small commissions IRL, how exactly would that work legally/money-wise? How would taxes go for the receiver and receivee? Is it tax-deductible? Would it be tax-deductible if it were more like a donation that happened to have a song given in return? Do I even have to worry about tax-deductibility for what I expect to be $5 to $10 donations (or less)? I would still have all the rights to the song, correct? And how would all this work if I stepped it up to the Internet (i.e. through Paypal or something)? How would the rights be affected if, say, I posted a video of the song online, or lyrics or sheet music?

I thought probably the easiest and least legal-laden way to do it would be to get the request, write the song, and if the recipient is happy with it they can donate to some sort of get-me-into-a-proper-recording-studio fund. Is that at all reasonable?

I'm sorry if some if this is painfully obvious or not at all relevant. I'm completely new to the whole "money" situation of the world (just got my first paycheck EVER a couple weeks ago; before that I had only an allowance, which in legal terms I believe was still my parents' money) so I have little grasp on anything legalese in relation to this.
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