Kanye West Outlines His Proposed ‘New Recording And Publishing Deal Guidelines’

Through Kanye West’s recent issues with his recording contracts, the rapper has realized that not only does he want to get himself into a more desirable situation, but that he wants to do the same for other artists. In recent days, Kanye has taken to Twitter to share his vision for a newly structured music industry, in which artists are treated more fairly. Over the weekend, he crystallized those thoughts into an outline of proposed “New Recording And Publishing Deal Guidelines.”

The overall theme of Kanye’s outline is that artists should have more power and ownership over their music. His outline insists that artists own copyright of their recordings, that artists make more money off their work than their labels do, that contracts be easier to understand, and that artists have a more transparent way to see how much they are earning from their music.

After making his points, Kanye concluded, “This is a call for all artist to unify … 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.”

Find Kanye’s full outline below.

“1. The artist owns the copyright in the recordings and songs and leases them to the record label / publisher for a limited term. 1 year deals

2. The record label / publisher is a service provider that receives a share of the income for a limited term. The split can be 80/20 in the artists favor.


Artists must be dependent on no one but themselves to manage their catalog. You should need NO ONE else to understand the business you’re in.


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.


If you’re with a major you have invested your ‘songs’ as shares in their power to get equity and deals. Almost ALL new deals now are based on ALL songs going to a store or app. The equity is the Artists.

NO MORE blanket licenses. It should be clear from day one… what shares you get NOW and when you leave. If your song helps a deal over the line you invested in that store / app same as they did.

UMG now has a 2.2 billion share holding stake in Spotify. This is the artists. The system as to how we get share balances on our royalty statement needs to be created and a system on when Artists can cash in.


On Artists re-signing these stop. Advances are Loans with 75% interest rates (or worse). 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.


Again back to dependents. You need a business manager to read how you did? So you pay to see your money!!! NO MORE.

Royalty portals need to show (and do not now)

Every song you delivered

Every store you are in

How many streams per song

Income per song

It sounds basic and logical but t does NOT exist. They focus on top earners and ZERO look at the 440 stores…. Only the top few. Artists are global. That’s why their contract territory says GLOBAL

Royalty department in EVERY label. No more separating finance teams from the music.


Are not just for royalties. They are for your entire business. Every audio file, every asset, every deal stored WITH the money. Money and Music must stay together. When your term ends, download it all. Leave.”