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The Musician’s Legal Companion, Second Edition

Book Description

Don't sign a recording contract before reading this book! The Musician's Legal Companion, Second Edition gets to the core of the legal issues you need to know about, in clear, straightforward language. Here you'll find easy-to-comprehend explanations of the four main contracts used in the music business: recording artist, songwriter, artist management, and performance. You'll also discover how to make the relationship with your current or future attorney more fruitful and cost-effective. This new edition includes expanded coverage of topics such as the use of independent producers, 360° agreements, distribution and marketing agreements, how radio and other media fit into an artist's career, film and television agreements, digital distribution, name and likeness agreements, merchandising agreements, and much, much more. With more than 25 years in the music business as a lawyer, educator, and writer, interacting with many musicians both personally and professionally, Michael A. Aczon shares the many lessons he's learned and takes you on a journey to a better legal understanding of the entertainment industry and your music career.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Introduction
  5. I. Pre-production
    1. 1. How to Use This Book
      1. Companion Questions
    2. 2. A Legal Primer
      1. Personal Rights
      2. Property Rights
      3. Trademark and Copyright
      4. Contract Rights
      5. Specialties
      6. Companion Questions
  6. II. The Four Agreements
    1. 3. Songwriting and Music Publishing Agreements
      1. Creative Considerations
      2. Collaboration
      3. Work For Hire
      4. Sources of Income
      5. The Writer-Publisher Agreement
        1. What Is Included in the Catalog?
        2. Who Owns What?
        3. Administration Rights
        4. Songwriting Commitment
        5. Advances and Recoupments
      6. Theme Variations: Timing Your Publishing Deal
      7. Reversions, Revisions, and Restrictions
      8. Sample Clearance Agreement
      9. Companion Questions
    2. 4. Recording Artist Agreements
      1. Background Material
      2. Exclusive versus Non-exclusive
      3. Contract or Lockdown?
      4. Creative Control
      5. Promotional Commitments
      6. Royalties and Advances
      7. Recoupable Costs
      8. Royalties Revisited
      9. Alternatives: Independent Record Companies
      10. Alternatives: Production Agreements
      11. Alternatives: Development Deals
      12. Companion Questions
    3. 5. Artist-Management Agreements
      1. Development
      2. Paying the Piper
      3. Packaging
      4. Industry Promotion
      5. Expansion
      6. The Exit Plan
      7. Major Contract Points
        1. Establishment of the Artist-Manager Relationship
        2. Length of Agreement
        3. Duties and Obligations
        4. Limits of Authority—Powers of Attorney
        5. Commission and Expenses
        6. Exclusivity
      8. Companion Questions
    4. 6. Performance Agreements
      1. Scope of Performance
      2. Where and When?
      3. Passing the Hat
      4. Travel and Accommodations
      5. Contract Riders
      6. Liability to Your Audience
      7. No-Show Penalties
      8. Merchandising
      9. Ancillary Audio Visual Products
      10. Personnel
      11. Side Musicians
      12. Agents
      13. Other Personnel
      14. Promoters as the “New” Major Labels
      15. Companion Questions
  7. III. Business As Usual
    1. 7. Business Entities
      1. Going It Alone
      2. Partnerships: All for One, One for All
      3. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies
      4. Joint Ventures
      5. Non-profit Corporations
      6. Deconstruction
      7. Get It in Writing
      8. Companion Questions
    2. 8. Other People’s Money
      1. The Five Financial Fallacies
      2. Preparing for an Investor
      3. Characterizing the Cash
      4. Companion Questions
    3. 9. Dispute Resolution
      1. Assess the Damage
      2. Remedies
      3. Self-Help
      4. Mediation
      5. Arbitration
      6. Small Claims Court
      7. Litigation
      8. Heading Off Trouble
      9. Companion Questions
  8. IV. Side Deals
    1. 10. Declaration of Independents: A Self-Release Checklist
      1. 1. Artist Agreements
      2. 2. Artwork
      3. 3. Consignment Agreements
      4. 4. Consulting Agreements
      5. 5. Copyright Filings
      6. 6. Courtesy Letters
      7. 7. Distribution Agreements
      8. 8. Manufacturing and Printing Agreements
      9. 9. Master Licenses for Compilations
      10. 10. Mechanical Licenses
      11. 11. Money Agreements
      12. 12. Musician/Vocalist/Model Releases
      13. 13. Music Publishing
      14. 14. Performance Rights Organizations
      15. 15. Producer Agreements
      16. 16. Promotion Agreements
      17. 17. Publicity Campaign Agreements
      18. 18. Samples
      19. 19. Studio Agreements
      20. 20. Trademarks
      21. Conclusion
    2. 11. Distribution and Promotions Agreements
      1. A Distribution Primer
      2. Physical versus Digital Products
      3. Physical Distribution Contract Points
      4. Digital Distribution Contract Points
      5. Promotions Agreements
    3. 12. Care and Feeding of Your Entertainment Lawyer
      1. Lawyer Shopping
      2. Maintenance
      3. Specialties Within a Specialty
  9. Epilogue: Lessons Learned
    1. Surround Yourself with Talent
    2. The Artist Is Your Access
    3. Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome
    4. Prepare Yourself Before Diving into the Industry
    5. Keep Learning and Teach by Example
    6. Take Some Chances
    7. Your Chosen Family Is Everything
  10. Glossary