A snippet from a Richard Dodd interview I was reading the other day:
"Roger Nichols recently brought to light the issue of engineers' rights. I agree with the principle that a work-for-hire ends when all commissioned versions are handed in and accepted by the record company. From that point in time, in perpetuity, the creative part of the existing mix should remain under the control of the original mixer. The record company has every right and facility to access the source of those mixes and to remix them. However, in my opinion, they do not, or should not, have the right to manipulate that existing mix and represent it as fresh product without consultation, input and further payment to the originator of that mix.
We should be realistic about the way to go about this. Let us not waste time in the courts or feed the legal system. We can quite easily turn in the masters the age-old way; i.e., all source materials, all final and requested versions. The session discs should be retained by the engineer and copied to one other responsible, honest broker or escrow-type storage facility. The immediate method to achieve this is to “omit” some of the “creative additions” from the session discs.
Perhaps the DAW software writers could give us a “Save Session As” option that locks out all visual information and prevents adjustments, only allowing transport functions. This means that the label can hit Play, listen to the agreed-upon turned-in mixes — Master, Vocal Up, Vocal Down, TV, etc. — transfer those mixes into their desired or future storage medium, and they won't have the ability to mess with the creative process that culminated in the mix that they accepted. As of now, the use of “analog outboard equipment” is the only “control” we have to prevent an unqualified misrepresentation of our efforts."