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Music Law - Contracts

Page history last edited by Ruha Devanesan 10 years, 8 months ago


Below is a list of the kinds of contracts a musician might come across in his or her career.


Getting Started - band names, logo, website


Bands - band member sharing percentages worksheet


When forming a band, it's good to go over all the questions below and come to a decision on all these issues.  Then, members should sign an agreement laying out all the terms so that in case of a dispute, a per-determined agreement would control.

  • who owns/shares in the name, logo and service mark?
  • right to be contract signatory (who signs for the band on all the contracts?)
  • rights to writer royalties (who gets paid songwriting royalties? only band members involved in the writing of the song)
  • rights to sound recordings (shared equally among all members)
  • rights to accounting - all members usually have rights to view records and books
  • rights to performance income - shared equally by all band members
  • rights to merch income -  shared equally by all band members
  • right to outside income (endorsements) - shared equally except where product endoresement is by one band member as an individual
  • physical and hard assets of the band - owernership of equipment paid for by band is owned equally by the band. ownership of items purchased by individual band members - resides in just those who bought that property.
  • right to expel a member - majority vote? how will you do it?
  • ....  [see p.36 of Music Business Contract Library]


Solo artists

  • working with venues and clubs [booking agreement]
  • Hiring backing musicians - work for hire agreements


Working with agents


Working with publishers


Working with producers


Working with managers


Working with indie labels


Working with a recording studio


Working with publicists


Working w photographers/videographers


360 Management Deals


Digital Rights Management


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