Label Copy Coordinator
Proper credit for work performed in the production of a music recording is just as important to contributors as the payment they receive. Responsible for compiling this information and disseminating it within the record label is the label copy coordinator.
Before a record label releases an album or other recording, the copy coordinator is tasked with researching and completing a report that identifies every person who contributed to the product, as well as the publisher and copyright holders. This will include the artist performing the song as well as any session musicians, the writers, producer, engineers, arranger, and the studio at which the recording was produced. Live recordings will include different credits, but follow a similar format. Additional information is also listed concerning the format, the bar code for the physical product (CD), and the catalog number of each track. This information is translated onto the product’s packaging or included in the data for the download. The label copy coordinator releases the pertinent information to the mechanical licensing department within the company, and may be tasked with contacting publishers to collect rate information.
The label copy coordinator meets with the art department and other entities designing and laying out the CD packaging to ensure proper inclusion of names and relevant data from the label copy worksheet, and also to pass along additional copy provided by the artist such as thank you statements and lyrics. He or she is responsible for seeing that any changes to the musical tracks that affect credit are made in the label copy before release and disseminated to the proper in-house department. On a regular basis, this person will deliver project updates to his or her immediate supervisor for review, and must communicate with individuals both internal and external to ensure the highest standards of accuracy.
Skills & Education
A college degree in music business is recommended, with an emphasis on copyright law, communication law, and entertainment contracts. A firm understanding of label copy format and rules concerning credit assignment and verification is necessary, as is knowledge of record label processes related to recording the information into database systems. A high proficiency with standard word processing and spreadsheet software is required. The label copy coordinator should be comfortable operating in a fast-paced environment under minimal supervision, and able to perform proactively to identify inefficiencies in established processes. The individual in this role must be highly organized with a great attention to detail, and be confident in taking on new duties.
What to Expect
As a coordinator position, this role is considered entry-level to midlevel within the music business, though at least three years of general office experience is required. Therefore, an internship within a record label, publisher, or performing rights organization is encouraged. Unpaid internships are widely available across multiple segments of the industry, and can offer a tremendous benefit toward starting your career. This job carries with it a great responsibility for accuracy and thoroughness. A mistake that gets past the label copy coordinator and ends up on printed product can lead to lawsuits by copyright holders or contributors whose credit was left off the jacket. While a manager is ultimately responsible for checking your work, blame rolls downhill and a reputation for sloppiness will not warrant promotion. Successful employment in this role can lead toward advancement within the department, as well as opportunities in licensing and other areas within the music industry.
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