independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Tue 2nd Sep 2014 2:15am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Does Warners own Prince's unreleased songs from the vault and unreleased B sides
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 2 12>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 11/29/06 11:06pm

gatling84

Does Warners own Prince's unreleased songs from the vault and unreleased B sides

I know that Warners owns the Masters of all released material that Prince recorded under them. But what about the unreleased songs in the vault and B sides that were not released? Does Prince own them even though they were recorded during the time he was still with Warners?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 11/29/06 11:58pm

P2daP

avatar

I'm not sure who "owns" them. but i'm pretty sure WB wont be realsing any of that materail. From my understanding when Prince severed ties with WB he agreed to allow them to realse 1 album of unrealsed materail and 2 coblation albums *in other words greatest hits** So i belevie he's done with them all together. as they have relased those 3 albums. "The Vault...Old Friends 4 Sale" in 1999. The Very Best Of Prince in 2001 and Ulitmate Prince in 2006.
"When eye want 2 hear new music, eye make it" Prince wildsign
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 11/30/06 12:13am

Snap

Here's my guess; though, I'm not "up" on all the ins and outs of publishing rights...

Warner Bros. owns anything recorded as "Prince" during the time he was under contract with them; therefore, if he was to outright release vault material, WB could have a case against Prince to collect on those releases. Now, if Prince were to go ahead and re-record these songs (now that he is no longer under that contract), he should be able to release them without WB claiming some sort of ownership. However, WB might still have a case if they find Prince releasing songs that they know he had written and recorded while under contract with them. The Vault (the book) lists MANY of these songs that have yet to be released. Apparently Crystal Ball with its previously unreleased Prince material was released without compensation being made to Warner Bros? So there must be a way around this. Like I said, I'm not sure how it all works. This is just my guess. I have a musician friend who's going through a similar thing. He's about to be signed to a big label, but he hasn't fulfilled his contract with a previous label who still owns rights to works published under his name. My friend is considering a name change so he can release songs with the new label. Though, a friend of mine who's in the industry is telling him he doesn't have to change his name. So... if anyone can offer more insight on this issue, please do so.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 11/30/06 1:12am

Ymaginatif

avatar

'unreleased B-side'?
A great way to start the day with a contradictio in terminis!
biggrin
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 11/30/06 2:04am

funkyhead

i cant see how they could, would they even know about every track he did other than reading about it in 'Turn it up'!, surely it's not like every time he recorded a track he would hand a master tape to Warners, God forbid that they are holding onto 'I Wonder', or '1000 Hugs and Kisses'!
Also just when does he get the Masters back, has he done some kind of deal with them?.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 11/30/06 2:40am

NouveauDance

avatar

Warners do not own them.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 11/30/06 2:52am

Patrick1985

avatar

warners own all the music recorded,doesnt matter if its released or not, thats pretty much what the contract is for
Like a Gb Major with a E in the bass
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 11/30/06 3:16am

metalorange

avatar

I guess it depends on the contract, and we simply don't know what was in that.

I really find it hard to believe, though, that Warners have any say in all those hundreds of recordings he has made in his own studios at his own expense. His contracts with Warners seem to have been to hand over a number of completed albums, not just 'material' that they would then decide on, so I think anything that wasn't handed over for final mastering still belongs to Prince. Crystal Ball proves it is possible for Prince to put old tracks on CD, I personally have never heard there was a compensation issue about the project. Also, for example look at Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, the title track is essentially a vault track created during his time with Warners, but there didn't seem to be any problem releasing it.

No, the evidence suggests Vault material belongs to Prince rather than the opposite.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 11/30/06 4:24am

KoolEaze

avatar

metalorange said:

I guess it depends on the contract, and we simply don't know what was in that.

I really find it hard to believe, though, that Warners have any say in all those hundreds of recordings he has made in his own studios at his own expense. His contracts with Warners seem to have been to hand over a number of completed albums, not just 'material' that they would then decide on, so I think anything that wasn't handed over for final mastering still belongs to Prince. Crystal Ball proves it is possible for Prince to put old tracks on CD, I personally have never heard there was a compensation issue about the project. Also, for example look at Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, the title track is essentially a vault track created during his time with Warners, but there didn't seem to be any problem releasing it.

No, the evidence suggests Vault material belongs to Prince rather than the opposite.



However, it is quite interesting that all released vault songs up to now were more or less edited and changed..even Rave and those Crystal Ball songs.
Could it be possible that he has to slightly alter the songs in order to release them legally ?
[Edited 11/30/06 4:25am]
laurarichardson doesn´t care about me sad

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 11/30/06 4:57am

metalorange

avatar

KoolEaze said:

metalorange said:

I guess it depends on the contract, and we simply don't know what was in that.

I really find it hard to believe, though, that Warners have any say in all those hundreds of recordings he has made in his own studios at his own expense. His contracts with Warners seem to have been to hand over a number of completed albums, not just 'material' that they would then decide on, so I think anything that wasn't handed over for final mastering still belongs to Prince. Crystal Ball proves it is possible for Prince to put old tracks on CD, I personally have never heard there was a compensation issue about the project. Also, for example look at Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, the title track is essentially a vault track created during his time with Warners, but there didn't seem to be any problem releasing it.

No, the evidence suggests Vault material belongs to Prince rather than the opposite.



However, it is quite interesting that all released vault songs up to now were more or less edited and changed..even Rave and those Crystal Ball songs.
Could it be possible that he has to slightly alter the songs in order to release them legally ?
[Edited 11/30/06 4:25am]


If he has, then the changes only have to be very minimal. The difference between the released Rave and the unreleased Rave is tiny, he just took out some slight orchestration if I remember correctly, or something like that. In which case he could still release his Vault items sounding practically identical if he so wished. But I tend to think that was more Prince tinkering with tracks than anything else.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 11/30/06 10:42am

gatling84

metalorange said:

I guess it depends on the contract, and we simply don't know what was in that.

I really find it hard to believe, though, that Warners have any say in all those hundreds of recordings he has made in his own studios at his own expense. His contracts with Warners seem to have been to hand over a number of completed albums, not just 'material' that they would then decide on, so I think anything that wasn't handed over for final mastering still belongs to Prince. Crystal Ball proves it is possible for Prince to put old tracks on CD, I personally have never heard there was a compensation issue about the project. Also, for example look at Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, the title track is essentially a vault track created during his time with Warners, but there didn't seem to be any problem releasing it.

No, the evidence suggests Vault material belongs to Prince rather than the opposite.


That's encouraging. I would hope that record companies wouldn't try to own unreleased songs.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 11/30/06 12:11pm

langebleu

avatar

moderator

1. The contract(s) would explain the technicalities.

2. It is highly unlikely that Warners 'own' any of Prince's music - the point made by NouveauDance.

3. What Warners are known / believed to have are rights assigned to them by Prince, under contract, in his music. So Warners have rights over the use of the master recordings of Prince's music released through WB. These rights revert to Prince over a period of time.

4. With regard to unreleased material, there is every possibility (I think likelihood) that the rights to this material are still retained by Prince. It seems to me that the best indicator of this is 'Crystal Ball' - a recording of which was offered up on the album / project of the same name to Warners, but was not released by them.

However, a recording (but is it the same recording, albeit slightly edited?) emerged on Crystal Ball after Prince left Warners.

Of course, this doesn't prove Prince had retained the rights to all of his unreleased material whilst with WB. It could be that he reached an agreement with WB during or at the end of his agreement that at the very least this recording would be available for him to release, even though perhaps they had rights over it.

But, ultimately, we still go back to the start - depends on the agreements.

(Edit on point 4 for clarification)

.
[Edited 11/30/06 15:15pm]
ALT+PLS+RTN: Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 11/30/06 12:37pm

origmnd

this is crazy talk

he was under contract for the material he released thru them. So he couldnt release
his vault material on another label until he left WB.

crystal ball was after the contract. some gold tracks (written during the contract)
ended up on CB, so its not WHEN they were written , its when and where they can be used.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 11/30/06 12:43pm

Snap

tora tora proved other wise
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 11/30/06 2:03pm

NouveauDance

avatar

Snap said:

tora tora proved other wise


Prince was still under contract then.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 11/30/06 2:50pm

NDRU

avatar

I thought he finished up his contract by providing them with 3 vault cd's the first of which was released in 1999.

I believe the contract is for albums, not music, and prince owns all the actual music (multi-track recordings) he recorded. That's why he was able to do 1999 again using tracks from the original, and intended to re-master all of his music, so he could fully own it.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 11/30/06 3:27pm

langebleu

avatar

moderator

origmnd said:

this is crazy talk

he was under contract for the material he released thru them. So he couldnt release
his vault material on another label until he left WB.

crystal ball was after the contract. some gold tracks (written during the contract)
ended up on CB, so its not WHEN they were written , its when and where they can be used.

I have edited point 4 because I don't think it was well expressed. I hope it is clearer.

Artists are not always bound under contract simply by the material they actually release. Although I don't believe it applied to Prince on this occasion, other artists have found themselves unable to release material subsequently that they did not get their record company's go-ahead to release originally (despite having written, recorded and offered the same material for release by the record company).

That's why I chose CB as a track specifically.

It probably demonstrates that WB had no claim over this previously unreleased material - because he was free to release it when he left WB - despite having written, recorded and even offered it up for inclusion on a potential album release to WB.

.
[Edited 11/30/06 15:29pm]
ALT+PLS+RTN: Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 11/30/06 3:35pm

NDRU

avatar

langebleu said:

origmnd said:

this is crazy talk

he was under contract for the material he released thru them. So he couldnt release
his vault material on another label until he left WB.

crystal ball was after the contract. some gold tracks (written during the contract)
ended up on CB, so its not WHEN they were written , its when and where they can be used.

I have edited point 4 because I don't think it was well expressed. I hope it is clearer.

Artists are not always bound under contract simply by the material they actually release. Although I don't believe it applied to Prince on this occasion, other artists have found themselves unable to release material subsequently that they did not get their record company's go-ahead to release originally (despite having written, recorded and offered the same material for release by the record company).

That's why I chose CB as a track specifically.

It probably demonstrates that WB had no claim over this previously unreleased material - because he was free to release it when he left WB - despite having written, recorded and even offered it up for inclusion on a potential album release to WB.

.
[Edited 11/30/06 15:29pm]



This may not be exactly the same thing, but some artists record an album for a record company, and the record company sits on it, not releasing it, and not allowing the artists to release it through someone else. But that's a finished product that the record company owns, not unreleased stuff.

Still I imagine different artists have different deals. Korn splits their touring money with their record company now.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 11/30/06 3:59pm

langebleu

avatar

moderator

NDRU said:

langebleu said:


I have edited point 4 because I don't think it was well expressed. I hope it is clearer.

Artists are not always bound under contract simply by the material they actually release. Although I don't believe it applied to Prince on this occasion, other artists have found themselves unable to release material subsequently that they did not get their record company's go-ahead to release originally (despite having written, recorded and offered the same material for release by the record company).

That's why I chose CB as a track specifically.

It probably demonstrates that WB had no claim over this previously unreleased material - because he was free to release it when he left WB - despite having written, recorded and even offered it up for inclusion on a potential album release to WB.


This may not be exactly the same thing, but some artists record an album for a record company, and the record company sits on it, not releasing it, and not allowing the artists to release it through someone else. But that's a finished product that the record company owns, not unreleased stuff.

Still I imagine different artists have different deals. Korn splits their touring money with their record company now.

That's a good example of how a contract can restrict release of material - again I don't think this applied to Prince. But it's difficult to describe this as 'a finished product that the record company owns, not unreleased stuff'.

The record company technically owns the rights to release it or not - in this example - but it is still 'unreleased stuff'. Admittedly, it is not sitting in an artist's vault never having seen the light of day, but equally it is still material never officially released for purchase.

The example you have described is what happened, I think, to XTC with Virgin. They had to offer up an album under the contract - and they did just that - but Virgin refused to release it. Even when they were 'released' from their recording contract, they were still barred from releasing the 'unreleased material' because it formed part of their album commitment to Virgin. As far as Virgin were concerned, they might not think the album was a bankable prospect, but they had still acquired the rights to prevent anyone else making money from the same material that they refused to release. As far as XTC were concerned, Virgin as good as owned it.

Of course it does not seem, in Prince's case, that the original CB album ever counted as part of his contractual album commitment, so no rights were ever likely acquired by WB in the material in this way.

.
ALT+PLS+RTN: Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 11/30/06 4:34pm

NDRU

avatar

langebleu said:

NDRU said:



This may not be exactly the same thing, but some artists record an album for a record company, and the record company sits on it, not releasing it, and not allowing the artists to release it through someone else. But that's a finished product that the record company owns, not unreleased stuff.

Still I imagine different artists have different deals. Korn splits their touring money with their record company now.

That's a good example of how a contract can restrict release of material - again I don't think this applied to Prince. But it's difficult to describe this as 'a finished product that the record company owns, not unreleased stuff'.

The record company technically owns the rights to release it or not - in this example - but it is still 'unreleased stuff'. Admittedly, it is not sitting in an artist's vault never having seen the light of day, but equally it is still material never officially released for purchase.

The example you have described is what happened, I think, to XTC with Virgin. They had to offer up an album under the contract - and they did just that - but Virgin refused to release it. Even when they were 'released' from their recording contract, they were still barred from releasing the 'unreleased material' because it formed part of their album commitment to Virgin. As far as Virgin were concerned, they might not think the album was a bankable prospect, but they had still acquired the rights to prevent anyone else making money from the same material that they refused to release. As far as XTC were concerned, Virgin as good as owned it.

Of course it does not seem, in Prince's case, that the original CB album ever counted as part of his contractual album commitment, so no rights were ever likely acquired by WB in the material in this way.

.



right, because the CB album wasn't finalized in 1986, it was just a work in progress.

I think record companies must use the tactic you describe with XTC in the case of bad relationships, or at least I hope that's the only time they'd do it. Maybe just a chip, in case XTC had a huge hit elsewhere, they can cash in on it.

apparently record companies can prevent you from even recording another record. If you have a couple on your contract, but they won't release another, it can revent you from working woith another label, either. This happened with No Doubt early in their career. I'm not sure how, but they worked it out somehow.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 11/30/06 4:50pm

Spinlight

avatar

NDRU said:

langebleu said:


That's a good example of how a contract can restrict release of material - again I don't think this applied to Prince. But it's difficult to describe this as 'a finished product that the record company owns, not unreleased stuff'.

The record company technically owns the rights to release it or not - in this example - but it is still 'unreleased stuff'. Admittedly, it is not sitting in an artist's vault never having seen the light of day, but equally it is still material never officially released for purchase.

The example you have described is what happened, I think, to XTC with Virgin. They had to offer up an album under the contract - and they did just that - but Virgin refused to release it. Even when they were 'released' from their recording contract, they were still barred from releasing the 'unreleased material' because it formed part of their album commitment to Virgin. As far as Virgin were concerned, they might not think the album was a bankable prospect, but they had still acquired the rights to prevent anyone else making money from the same material that they refused to release. As far as XTC were concerned, Virgin as good as owned it.

Of course it does not seem, in Prince's case, that the original CB album ever counted as part of his contractual album commitment, so no rights were ever likely acquired by WB in the material in this way.

.



right, because the CB album wasn't finalized in 1986, it was just a work in progress.

I think record companies must use the tactic you describe with XTC in the case of bad relationships, or at least I hope that's the only time they'd do it. Maybe just a chip, in case XTC had a huge hit elsewhere, they can cash in on it.

apparently record companies can prevent you from even recording another record. If you have a couple on your contract, but they won't release another, it can revent you from working woith another label, either. This happened with No Doubt early in their career. I'm not sure how, but they worked it out somehow.



That ain't true... Had Prince had his way, CB would've been released in the form he submitted to WB. They denied it and he cut some songs off to trim the fat. It wasn't a work in progress as far as Prince was concerned nor was it submitted for release as a work in progress.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 11/30/06 4:53pm

NouveauDance

avatar

Right, I think NDRU is confusing CB with DF.... it is all such a lovely tangled mess of creativity afterall. smile
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 11/30/06 4:54pm

NDRU

avatar

Spinlight said:

NDRU said:




right, because the CB album wasn't finalized in 1986, it was just a work in progress.

I think record companies must use the tactic you describe with XTC in the case of bad relationships, or at least I hope that's the only time they'd do it. Maybe just a chip, in case XTC had a huge hit elsewhere, they can cash in on it.

apparently record companies can prevent you from even recording another record. If you have a couple on your contract, but they won't release another, it can revent you from working woith another label, either. This happened with No Doubt early in their career. I'm not sure how, but they worked it out somehow.



That ain't true... Had Prince had his way, CB would've been released in the form he submitted to WB. They denied it and he cut some songs off to trim the fat. It wasn't a work in progress as far as Prince was concerned nor was it submitted for release as a work in progress.



that might be true, but we're talking about legal ownership, not artistic intentions.

It wasn't ever a finished Warner Bros album, it was a draft for Sign 'o the Times.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 11/30/06 4:56pm

NDRU

avatar

NouveauDance said:

Right, I think NDRU is confusing CB with DF.... it is all such a lovely tangled mess of creativity afterall. smile



That may be.
[Edited 11/30/06 17:02pm]
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 12/01/06 4:25am

wlcm2thdwn

I think so but Happy Feet is a warner brothers film and he did a song for that movie and they used his son KISS so who knows whats going on? I don't really care.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 12/01/06 5:27am

metalorange

avatar

wlcm2thdwn said:

I think so but Happy Feet is a warner brothers film and he did a song for that movie and they used his son KISS so who knows whats going on? I don't really care.


I don't know why people make such a big fuss about Prince contributing a song to a Warners film and soundtrack. As the stories about how it came about clearly reveal, he created the track because he liked the look of the film and it inspired him - it could have been on any label and he would have done the same. As for using Kiss, from the number of covers it would seem practically anyone can cover Kiss, they don't need to ask permission. The producers of this film only had to ask Prince's permission to change the lyrics, in fact just 2 words, not use the song as a whole.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 12/01/06 6:12am

realm

I know Juliana Hatfield recorded an album ' Gods Foot' for Atlantic and they simply paid for the studio time which is like $250,000. Atlantic won't release the material. They asked her to pay for the studio time plus a lot more money in exchange for the recording. Atlantic is sitting on the material in hopes she has another hit and then can capitalize.

Prince get's played with the greatest hits packages all the time. 3121 = WB pushing out another hits package. Flood the market P. Play a bunch of your cards with a major label some year. Make WB go bezerker.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 12/01/06 6:40am

SquirrelMeat

avatar

I've always been under the impression (and Prince's actions seem to match this) that the Warner contract only covers material released.

In other words, Prince signs a 3 album deal. To meet that contract, Prince has to submit 3 albums, and those albums have to be accepted by Warner. They have the right to refuse, but in doing so, they cannot claim ownership.

If they accept the album, they are given (and hold) the masters for manufacturing and contractual purposes. they are holders, not owners, for 25 years.

In the case of the 3 LP Crystal Ball, they rejected it, so therefore, any track that did not get a subsequent release while under contract would not be owned by Warners in any way.
.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 12/01/06 6:53am

Graycap23

SquirrelMeat said:

I've always been under the impression (and Prince's actions seem to match this) that the Warner contract only covers material released.

In other words, Prince signs a 3 album deal. To meet that contract, Prince has to submit 3 albums, and those albums have to be accepted by Warner. They have the right to refuse, but in doing so, they cannot claim ownership.

If they accept the album, they are given (and hold) the masters for manufacturing and contractual purposes. they are holders, not owners, for 25 years.

In the case of the 3 LP Crystal Ball, they rejected it, so therefore, any track that did not get a subsequent release while under contract would not be owned by Warners in any way.



That pretty much sums it up.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 12/01/06 9:54am

NDRU

avatar

Graycap23 said:

SquirrelMeat said:

I've always been under the impression (and Prince's actions seem to match this) that the Warner contract only covers material released.

In other words, Prince signs a 3 album deal. To meet that contract, Prince has to submit 3 albums, and those albums have to be accepted by Warner. They have the right to refuse, but in doing so, they cannot claim ownership.

If they accept the album, they are given (and hold) the masters for manufacturing and contractual purposes. they are holders, not owners, for 25 years.

In the case of the 3 LP Crystal Ball, they rejected it, so therefore, any track that did not get a subsequent release while under contract would not be owned by Warners in any way.



That pretty much sums it up.


And since Prince owns his own studio, recording is pretty much up to him.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 2 12>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Does Warners own Prince's unreleased songs from the vault and unreleased B sides