So, you’re a new artist on the scene and you want to make sure you’re covered on all legal aspects?
No worries – We got you covered.
Here are 2 Important Legal Contracts for Artists and Bands:
Joint Songwriting Contract
This type of contract is an agreement where joint owners of copyright on a particular song or songs set out the percentages of ownership and the conditions in which they are permitted to promote those songs.
In the UK, joint writers are allowed to re-use lyrics or music they contributed in a song (provided there are not restrictions made by labels) but only when the portion of the work written is sufficiently identifiable from the other parts of the co-written work. This contract overrides this default and states that each writer owns an interest in the whole copyright, not just their contribution.
Example: If two collaborators get together to write a song and one writes the lyrics and the other writes the music, either author can grant non-exclusive licenses for entire composition (provided they pay each other their share of income) BUT neither is allowed to just pick their part of the composition and leave the other without continuing to pay their percentage of all the income if such is generated from the use of the part which the party wrote and re-used.
Learn more about contracts:
This contract is a type of band agreement that sets out how the group is run on a day-to-day basis, how decisions are made and what will happen to the band’s name, domain and logo if the band is dissolved.
This agreement also deals with the question of who is entitled to what shares of the songs and the income. This is a very tricky subject and a very emotive one, which is why the band should deal with it at the beginning of the relationship before money starts to be earned.This document works as blue print that band members can refer to when taking important decisions and help them settle disputes easily.
You never know what complications may come up as you go through your music career, so it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you’re prepared for any situation. Having your legal affairs in order will protect you from any unseen circumstances and make sure you (and your bandmates) always get what you deserve.