Q&A: Should I own my masters?

From the inbox… PabloBrazil writes: “How does it benefit me to own my own masters (recordings) vs. the record company, as long as the royalty and publishing arrangements remain the same?”There’s a lot of debate on this subject, and Peter Spellman from Berklee sums a lot of it up in this great interview.I generally advise clients to hang on to their masters for dear life, they way you would rescue a child from a burning building. Owning your masters gives you access to the widest array of opportunities over the long term. At the end of the deal, if you sell your masters, you’re selling control. If a song of yours becomes a huge hit years down the road, you won’t have the chance to really benefit from it. Even worse, you could wind up in a situation where your music gets tied up in legal or political label in-fighting that’s beyond your control.You should really consult with an experienced music attorney who can look at your specific deal to see which of your two options gives you the most security for the long term.