On Tuesday, we posted about the indiepop band Tullycraft, whose song “Sweet” had been licensed without the band’s knowledge to an ad for the hot-dog chain Wienerschnitzel; the licensing was handled by Darla, a California-based label that reissued some of Tullycraft’s early material a few years back. Last night we got an e-mail from Darla proprietor James Agren clarifying his side of the story, and he’s agreed to let us print it here:
do you want the whole story on the tullycraft/darla wienerschnitzel license dust up?
the fact of the matter is that darla owns and controls tullycraft masters: the first album + all the early singles. i purchased the master rights from sean back in 1998 and we reissued the first record and a compilation of all the singles shortly after. the agreement, signed by sean/tullycraft so i assumed he read it, includes a controlled compositions paragraph, which clearly states darla has the right to issue sync licenses without publisher or artist consent.
sean/tullycraft’s claim that the band hasn’t seen any money is just sean further attempting to paint me as bad guy and himself as abused artist. it ain’t so. as per our agreement all profits are split 50/50. sean asked me earlier this week when he would receive his money from the ad. i told him i hope we receive payment from the ad agency in time to include it in his next statement. sean knows his share is forthcoming.
darla records is a two person husband & wife operation. we’re in our 14th year in business. we pride ourselves on working hard for our artists & labels and looking out for their interests. every other band on the label is eager for me to find such license opportunities.
sean wants to make a big stink. i guess he doesn’t like hot dogs, ice cream and cookies. it’s ok i guess if he wants to disagree with me about issuing a license based on… whatever. i dunno. hot dogs & ice cream are delicious. i love ‘em. i don’t see a federal case here. there’s real controversial stuff commonly included in a list of things a label won’t issue licenses for: cigarettes, booze and porn. messages that contain hate and/or violence are now also becoming commonly included in that list. hot dogs, ice cream and cookies ain’t on that list.
You’re welcome, James–although accusing the band of disliking ice cream and cookies is a bit below the belt, no? Anyway, we hope this clarification (along with our more tut-tutty commenters’ teeth-gnashing) has reminded all the musicians who read Idolator to read their contracts, too, and to get a well-trained lawyer to go over them as well.