Some legal aspects of the music industry are not always easy to navigate. Not to mention getting legal representation can cost you an arm and a leg. Sadly, because many independent artists simply don’t have the funds for it, having proper agreements ends up being pushed aside or done improperly. We’ve discussed many other types of contracts for artists on the blog before, but this one is for the music producers out there. To help you out, let’s break down some of the most important types of contracts you may encounter as a producer.
Types of Legal Contracts for Music Producers
Session Musician Contract
Also known as a work for hire agreement, this is a contract where a musician agrees to perform a musical composition for a fee but renounces any further interests in the master recording. (aka the composition and waiving any other related rights like the moral rights.)
This one is a useful agreement that will help you avoid session musicians claiming unfair ownership rights or shares of performance income after they have already been paid a fee for their services.
Sample Clearance Pack
A sample clearance pack is a set of two contracts which will provide you with everything you need to clear the recording of a sample and the composition embedded in the recordings.
What it contains:
- Sample Clearance Agreement with Record Label: where the owner of a recording grants a non-exclusive license for the use of a portion of the Master Recoding in a new recording performed by an artist.
- Sample Clearance Agreement with Publisher: where the owner of a composition grants a non-exclusive license for the use of a portion of the composition in a new recording performed by an artist.
Producer Contract For Signed Artist
A producer contract for a signed artist is an agreement where the artist appoints a producer to produce a recording or a number of recordings for the record label that the artist is signed to. The label makes a budget available for the producer which is inclusive of a recording budget (money used to pay for studio and general expenses incurred in the making of the records) and an advance.
This advance, although non-returnable, is fully recoupable from the share of royalties the producer will get once the recordings are commercialized.
Keep in mind, this agreement is made between a producer and an artist who is already signed. Under a recording agreement, the masters produced by the producer will become part of the artist repertoire that is assigned to the record label.
The template also contains letters of direction to two things:
- label in respect to payment of budgets and royalties to producer and
- to SoundExchange for the collection of statutory performance royalties deriving from usage in radio, streaming services and TV music channels. (US version only)
Producer Contract (Production & Representation Agreement)
A producer contract for production and representation is an agreement under which a producer funds the recording of musical performances by an artist. The producer is assigned either:
- full ownership of copyrights and representation rights for the length of the term of the agreement.
- up until copyright is assigned to a third party label or
- once production costs have been paid the artist to the producer or recouped in the form of Royalties or otherwise. Termination of the agreement does not affect Producer’s entitlement to royalties.
Producer Contract (Pro-Artist)
A producer contract for a pro-artist is an agreement where an artist engages a producer to conduct recording sessions and deliver certain tracks for a fee. The producer will make reasonable efforts to present such compositions to labels with the view of securing a deal. In an event like this, this deal ensures that the producer will receive a commission on the advance by the label as well as royalties on future income.
Did you know that Symphonic has a service in partnership with Music Law Contracts (UK) to offer a wide variety of legal contracts for sale at great prices that won’t break the bank? We have contracts for various different types of situations and business dealings, each editable via PDF and/or Word. Not to mention, these include all the contracts we discussed in this post and many others.
Ready to get started? // Check out all the available contracts right here.