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polluxlm
 Rep: 208 

Re: Songwriting Credits

polluxlm wrote:

Maybe someone has done this before, but I searched all the GN'R catalogue (song by song and writer by writer) on ASCAP/BMI, GMR (Global Music Rights) and SESAC - since these organizations collect royalties on behalf of songwriters and their publishers, they list all the musicians who receive songwriting royalties for each song. The data there are the result of the way a band has decided to split the publishing rights/royalties between the members and may not be identical to to the writing credits in an album's liner notes - for example, a band member may not be credited as one of the writers of a particular song, but may be entitled to royalties for it.

I think publishing and royalties are split differently. Typically a band splits the former evenly, but since Axl felt he had to be paid more Steven ended up giving him 5% of his share to keep the peace. On songwriting however Axl said he received something like 40% of Appetite and probably more on the Illusions if we count the credits.

It seems in modern Guns your publishing is determined by how much you contribute to the song and loyalty to Axl, ie. Dizzy. But I still reckon the actual song writing royalties go to whoever wrote the song, so Axl gets 100% of that post on November Rain and anything else he is listed as sole writer of.

Blackstar
 Rep: 4 

Re: Songwriting Credits

Blackstar wrote:
polluxlm wrote:

Maybe someone has done this before, but I searched all the GN'R catalogue (song by song and writer by writer) on ASCAP/BMI, GMR (Global Music Rights) and SESAC - since these organizations collect royalties on behalf of songwriters and their publishers, they list all the musicians who receive songwriting royalties for each song. The data there are the result of the way a band has decided to split the publishing rights/royalties between the members and may not be identical to to the writing credits in an album's liner notes - for example, a band member may not be credited as one of the writers of a particular song, but may be entitled to royalties for it.

I think publishing and royalties are split differently. Typically a band splits the former evenly, but since Axl felt he had to be paid more Steven ended up giving him 5% of his share to keep the peace. On songwriting however Axl said he received something like 40% of Appetite and probably more on the Illusions if we count the credits.

It seems in modern Guns your publishing is determined by how much you contribute to the song and loyalty to Axl, ie. Dizzy. But I still reckon the actual song writing royalties go to whoever wrote the song, so Axl gets 100% of that post on November Rain and anything else he is listed as sole writer of.

The publishing royalties are the royalties from songwriting, and there are three main types: mechanical (the royalties songwriters get from record sales), performing (the royalties songwriters get from radio play and streaming) and sync (that has to do with owning the copyright and licensing a song for use in a movie, video game, TV show, etc.). ASCAP and the other organizations collect the performing royalties, so the percentages they control are definitely about songwriting.

Then there are other royalties that are not publishing and don't have to do with songwriting, but with the master recordings (not the composition) of the songs. So in the case of a cover album, like TSI, the band gets only this type of royalties, since they didn't write the songs.

This article here explains it all in more detail:

https://soundcharts.com/blog/how-the-mu … hing-works

What Axl said was that when the time came to split the publishing for Appetite, they used a formula that calculated the percentages according to what each one contributed, and the result was 40% for him. Steven said that with that formula he would end up getting practically nothing. However, they eventually didn't split it according to the formula. Niven suggested that it would be better to split it five ways evenly. So Axl agreed to give part of his initial percentage to Steven, but probably didn't agree to completely even shares regarding Steven, so it ended up being 25% for Axl, 15% for Steven and 20% for Slash, Izzy and Duff.

And it seems that despite the credits in the liner notes of the Illusions, the resulting shares of publishing royalties for songwriting were not essentially different than the ones for Appetite and Lies, in the sense that all Axl, Slash, Izzy and Duff got near equal shares. But the way they were calculated was more complicated (Slash talks about it in his book): this time they did use a formula, calculating who wrote what (e.g. Axl's 100% on November Rain, Izzy's 100% on You Ain't The First and everything else each member wrote), then that was applied to the album as a whole (at least for the songs that didn't have outside writers), and then it was divided per song, so they ended up getting the same fixed percentages for each song. And as a result, whenever a song is played on the radio (e.g. November Rain), they all get royalties for it, although Axl is the sole writer.

Only on CD the way changed and it was more based on what each member actually contributed to each song separately. And it couldn't have been done differently, since there were many writers, most of whom were not in the band anymore when the album was released, plus there were no partners this time, but Axl was the only owner of the band. It seems that Axl reserved a fixed 50% for himself for lyrics, melodies and probably production, and his percentage increased depending on whether he had a part in writing the music. And then the rest was split between the other member(s).

The royalties from the master recordings (not the songwriting) go mostly to the record label (since it payed for the recording) and the band gets a smaller portion of them depending on the terms of the contract with the label. From the 1992 partnership agreement we know that those royalties from the Illusion albums (as well as the revenues from touring, merchandise, etc.) were split between the three then partners, Axl, Slash and Duff (Axl had 36,3%, Slash 33,3% and Duff 30,3%). The royalties from the recordings of the then "old records" (Appetite and Lies) were split evenly (20% each) between the five members of the Appetite lineup.

polluxlm
 Rep: 208 

Re: Songwriting Credits

polluxlm wrote:

I stand corrected.

All of them must have made boatloads from Appetite alone. No wonder Steven managed to party for 25 years straight.

Re: Songwriting Credits

Sky Dog wrote:

I’m pretty sure Izzy Stradlin got a substantial amount of royalties from the Illusion albums. The 1992 partnership can’t take away his songwriting credits!

Blackstar
 Rep: 4 

Re: Songwriting Credits

Blackstar wrote:
Sky Dog wrote:

I’m pretty sure Izzy Stradlin got a substantial amount of royalties from the Illusion albums. The 1992 partnership can’t take away his songwriting credits!

Of course he did. Those shares in the partnership agreement (Axl 36,3%, Slash 33,3%, Duff 30,3%) were not about publishing (songwriting) royalties, but about other royalties/revenues (there was a separate agreement about the publishing). But he eventually got part of those other royalties, too; he mentioned that his lawyers made a deal so that he would receive royalties from the master recordings until 1997.

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