Kanye West had some more thoughts to share about recording contracts in a series of tweets on Sunday (Sept. 20).
“NEW RECORDING AND PUBLISHING DEAL GUIDELINES,” he tweeted at 1:26 p.m. ET before he began offering his seven — technically eight — various points.
“1. The artist owns the copyright in the recordings and songs and leases them to the record label / publisher for a limited term,” he began, noting that these deals should last for just one year.”
His second point suggested that labels and publishers are merely a “service provider” and should receive just a small share of the profit for a limited time. Kanye’s ideal split? “80/20″ in favor of musicians.
The 21-time Grammy winner also wants record contracts to be more easily understood. For his fourth point, he tweeted, “the first thing that changes about Record Deals is actually lawyers. We need Plain English contracts. A Lawyers role is to IMPROVE deals…. not charge for contracts we cannot understand or track. Re-write deals to be understandable from FIRST READ.”
Another thing he’s not too thrilled about? Advances. In his fifth item (technically sixth — there are two points numbered 5), he argues that musicians need to stop “re-signing” these. “Advances are Loans with 75% interest (or worse),” he tweeted. “NO other business in the world takes a look at the business, buys shares, starts to profit when it profits. Record Companies have to buy into you, not loan you.”
He also wants portals that will easily show artists how much in royalties they have earned. He also suggested that there should be portals that keep track of a musician’s entire business, from their audio files to assets and more.
“This is a call for all artist to unify,” he explained. “I will get my masters , I got the most powerful lawyer in music and I can afford them but every artist must be freed and treated fairly.”
The tweets come after several days of posting on the social media platform, including a string on Sept. 16 during which he complained about record deals and claimed to have 10 contracts with Universal. That day, he uploaded what appeared to be the contracts to Twitter, and also shared the phone number of a Forbes editor.
The last bit got him in trouble with the platform, which deleted the tweet and locked his account that night for 12 hours. “The tweet was removed for posting private information, and the account has been temporarily locked in accordance with our Private Information policy,” a spokesperson for Twitter told Billboard at the time.
He has also since tweeted about how he’ll help Taylor Swift regain her masters from Scooter Braun, who acquired Big Machine Records — and the pop star’s six-album catalog — in June 2019. West claimed Friday, “SCOOTER IS A CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND.”
See his latest tweets about guidelines for record deals below.