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Rootfire Cooperative Terms

Updated: August 2017

Coop Logo RFRootfire Cooperative Mission: To empower artists.  We contribute and participate in the progressive roots, reggae, and dub community by providing resources to artists for production, marketing, and manufacturing of recorded music.


I. Synopsis:

When an Artist releases music through Rootfire Cooperative, the Artist maintains 100% ownership and control of their music. The name and logo “Rootfire” and/or “Rootfire Cooperative” is only applied in the traditional “label sense,” in that it becomes a recognized symbol showing the Artist is a member of the cooperative and through its membership is dedicated to furthering progressive roots and reggae culture as a whole.


Rootfire Cooperative’s mission is to provide assistance in the creation and release of recorded music. Rootfire Cooperative provides both interest-free micro loans as well as administration services for Artists who seek an alternative to a traditional record deal.

II. Definitions:

Cooperative: an autonomous association of people who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit.

Microloan: a small, short-term loan with a low interest rate, usually extended to a start-up company or self-employed person. Typically, these loans do not exceed $35,000. Microloans started as a solution for impoverished borrowers in underdeveloped countries.

III. Structure:

Distribution: Artists are given the option of releasing music through their preferred distribution partner(s) or to work with Rootfire Cooperative to establish distribution partner(s) who fit the nature of the release.

Collection of Income: Income is collected by distribution partner, and paid back to Rootfire Cooperative dollar-for-dollar until the load is paid off.  When the loan is repaid in full, Rootfire Cooperative transfers distribution to Artist, and Artist retains 100% of revenue for perpetuity.

Microloan Financing for Marketing, Manufacturing, and Production:

Rootfire Cooperative and Artist develop mutually agreed upon album campaign budget. For the term of the campaign, Rootfire Cooperative provides funding in the form of direct payment to vendors on Artist’s behalf, which shall be counted as a loan.

Terms of Loan:

Artists agrees to repay loan under the following terms:

All income generated from album will be applied towards loan until the loan is paid in full.

Income generated from album sales at live shows will not be applied into album budget and will be retained by Artist. However, Artist will report album sales weekly, to be used in Soundscan reporting.

Cash Flow

Explanation of Cash Flow generated by Album Income:

  1. Income is collected by distribution partner →
  2. Income is paid out to Rootfire Cooperative from distribution partner →
  3. When loan is fully recouped, Rootfire Cooperative transfers distribution rights to Artist for perpetuity.

Revenue sources applied directly to loan:

  • Physical + Digital Album Royalties
  • SoundExchange Master Performance Royalties
  • Master side of Sync Payments (ie 50% total Sync income)
  • Pre-order physical sales from Artist’ webstore


  • Publishing
  • Mechanicals (only if they are paid out to any guest Artists or musicians outside of band)
  • Income generated from album sales at live shows
  • SoundExchange Artist Performance Royalties

IV. Example of expenses paid for as part of Rootfire Cooperative:

Expenses associated with album campaign that will be paid by Rootfire Collective:

  • Publicity Campaign
  • Radio Campaign
  • Album Art
  • Manufacturing:
    • CD
    • Vinyl
  • Mastering
  • Tastemaker Mailing
  • Advertising + Advertising Administration
  • Artist Website Updates (if required for pre-order campaign)
  • Press Photos

*This list is evolving and is not limited to services mentioned above. Artist and Management will work together to determine expenses on an album-by-album basis.

V. Funding:

The amount of funding is completely dependent on Artist’s sales history with the benchmark being that a full album campaign including production, manufacturing, and marketing shall break even within 12 months of date of release.

Name and likeness: Rootfire and Rootfire Cooperative

The name and logos for both Rootfire and Rootfire Cooperative shall be used in all areas that a record label’s name typically appears including album spine and back cover on packaging, the P & C lines; with the aim being to further establish the leverage of the Cooperative. It is understood by the Artist and Rootfire Cooperative that Rootfire Cooperative waives all rights and liabilities towards any ownership of the music or master recording.

Catalog number:

The album release will be given a number that establishes it as part of the Cooperative. ex: RFC001 or RFC007T

Press releases will include Rootfire Cooperative name where typically record label would be mentioned.

ie “The new album by BAND XXX coming out Sept XX through Rootfire Cooperative.”

VII. Length of Terms:

Artist agrees to terms until loan is repaid in full, whether from album sales or direct payment from Artist to Rootfire Cooperative. Once loan is repaid in full, Artist is able to continue as part of Rootfire Cooperative under current structure, or to re-release album in a manner of their choosing.

Rootfire Cooperative Accounting:

Rootfire Cooperative will provide loan statement for all loan payments made by Artist, updated monthly until the loan is paid off.

VII. Artist Agrees to Support the Cooperative:

Artist acknowledges general agreement with the following aphorism: “a rising tide lifts all boats”

The aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats” is associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy, and that economic policy, particularly government economic policy, should therefore focus on the general macroeconomic environment first and foremost.

By subscribing to this ideology, Artist agrees to reasonably and authentically support and promote the goodwill of Rootfire Cooperative as a whole.