Artist, Producer & Songwriter Royalty Audits

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Audits are a rite of passage for successful artists, producers and songwriters. Our firm has been involved with various forms of royalty audits including record, publishing and touring audits. While an audit may be a rite of passage, each one can render unique results depending on the goals of the client and outcome of the audit. Our audit processes are designed to find the truth first. Then we establish quality controls with the label or publisher long after the audit is finished, so that previous mistakes can be remedied and monitored by the client and us. This long-term approach helps catalogs increase in value and generate additional cash flow for the client. The audit process can be key to pushing the label or publisher toward more transparency, or forcing them to reconcile or acknowledge mistakes. This often times leads to monetary gain and future commitments by the label, termination of agreement rights or reversions in some cases. Our firm screens, qualifies and hires auditors regularly, actively assists and monitors the audit process, as well as files suit if needed.

We work with artists, producers, managers and auditors from the initial notice of audit, to the summary presentation to the label or publisher, to the drafting and negotiation of the settlement agreement, or the filing of the complaint and litigating the differences.

Here are some examples of the work that we have performed for artists, producers and songwriters with regard to audits and the audit process:

  • Contract audit time period interpretations 
  • Tolling agreement negotiations 
  • Contract summaries for auditors prior to and during the audit process 
  • Contract language interpretation and research related to the audit 
  • Royalty spreadsheet summaries for various product sales and territory reductions 
  • On-site audit work with royalty auditors 
  • Litigation over improper payment and improper interpretation 
  • Renegotiations based on audit and future albums or songs to be delivered 
  • Specific negotiations related to lawyer’s fees charged for indemnification of copyright infringement cases 
  • Sub-publishing percentage limit negotiations 
  • Proper treatment of reserves and black box income 
  • Protection of audit findings under attorney-client privilege 
  • Co-writer royalty comparisons 
  • "Triangulation" and discrepancy discovery of producer and songwriter royalty statements
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