Legal contracts guide the relationship between artist and record labels

The evolving relationship of record label and artist | Rory Taylor -

legal contracts guide the relationship between artist and record labels

Legal contracts guide the relationship between artists and record labels? What is the difference between an Indie record label and a major record label? \n. This guide will familiarize you with the major steps behind getting your label up and running. The first step is, of course, pick a name for your record label. Forming a legal entity costs money, and one of the primary benefits of want to address with the artist (likely in a recording agreement) include. Symphonic Distribution offers quality music law contracts to help musicians and music Bundles; Record Label; Artist; Producer; Publishing; Booking and Live.

By contrast artists like the John Butler Trio and Radiohead are moving in the other direction and instead of giving more to major record labels are bypassing the major recording companies entirely.

These artists have shown that signing with a major record label is not the only distribution model for music and that each artist needs to work out a model that works for them.

The Truth About Record Deals (And How To Negotiate Them)

Why do record companies want to use them? Over the last decade, revenue from record sales has steadily decreased as a result of increased piracy and consumers choosing to forgo the purchase of whole albums in favour of digitally downloaded individual songs.

At the same time, revenue from ticket sales, merchandise and endorsement deals has steadily increased.

legal contracts guide the relationship between artist and record labels

From the perspective of the record labels, they are the ones spending money investing in the risky and expensive process of developing talent and they should be able to share in the increasingly at least comparatively lucrative non-record sources of income that arise from the artists' profile building.

Record companies no longer have to focus solely on artists that sell lots of records but can instead focus on acts that might attract big endorsement deals or on hard touring bands like the Grateful Dead that don't necessarily sell lots of records but attract a loyal fan base that come to all their gigs and buy plenty of merchandise.

In exchange for getting a bigger cut from the artists they represent, the record companies say they will commit to promoting artists for a longer period of time and will actively try to develop new opportunities for them. The record label becomes a pseudo manager and will look after the artist's entire career rather than only focusing on selling records.

Record companies are also interested in the potential for cross-marketing items such as CDs, ring tones, concert tickets and merchandise.

  • The Truth About Record Deals (And How To Negotiate Them)
  • Independent Label vs. Major Label Contracts

This could mean that the EP came out in January, the first single option claimed in March, the first single released in June, second single claimed in August and released in November, with exclusivity lasting for two months until after the final release. Artists today are fully dependent on their ability to cultivate an audience and generate hype. Restricting your freedom to release music is detrimental to that.

Instead, I favor option clauses, which give labels the right to put out future releases, on the same terms as the initial deal, if the first release and collaboration is satisfactory. This is how we structure our deals with our label Heroic. If the release does well, we have the rights to exercise the option and the artist is committed to sending us all his new music first, exclusively. Larger labels will ask you for a re-recording restriction, which limits your ability to record, license or exploit the compositions read: In other words, they want to prevent you from taking your song, recording it anew and licensing it to another label.

This is OK but do not sign for a restriction longer than five years after product delivery, or two years after termination of the agreement. It is not uncommon for labels to sign records and never put them out. This clause needs to include language that commits the label to releasing your record within days after acceptance of the product first single, follow-up EP, etcas well as granting you rights to get your recordings back in the case they do not release within that period.

When dealing with majors or larger indies, you will want to ask for guarantees on paper for marketing efforts. Bigger labels have internal marketing and radio departments, which you want them to commit to use. Physical and digital royalties. Artist royalties, or royalties in short, are the monies owed to an artist for the use of a master recording.

Arts Law Centre of Australia

The label pays these to the artist. The calculation of royalties should be specified in the agreement. You want these to be based on Net PPD published price to dealeror in other words, the wholesale price after store and distribution fees.

Signing your own artists, to your record label!

This applies to both physical an digital. One of the most important aspects of your deal is negotiating a fair royalty rate.

How and Why Major and Independent Labels Work Together

Labels often enter these negotiations with a low royalty rate, serving as an anchor for future discussions. The larger entities often have a company culture that encourages this, rooted in the old business model of the industry where the margins on physical sales were huge. In my experience, the forward thinking independents are usually much more forthcoming.

Mechanical royalties and controlled compositions. The controlled composition clause is the hardest part of a record deal to comprehend. You can find a more elaborate explanation of it in my indie guide to music copyright. When a label makes a copy of a record, whether physical or digital, a license is needed from the writer of the composition also known as a song embodied in the master recording.

This license is called a mechanical license from back in the day, where a copy was a mechanical reproduction. In the USA, a label can bypass the songwriter and get a mechanical license directly by performing a number of legal procedures — this is a compulsory license. So for every 1. Not all countries have fixed their rate by law, whereas others have — but not at a dollar amount.

legal contracts guide the relationship between artist and record labels

Because compulsory licenses enable labels to get mechanical licenses even if the artist is unwilling, or unreachable, the mechanical royalties in deals are always based on the statutory rate. This means that in reality, all the labels request licenses from the songwriters or their representatives, the publishers directly. Sometimes the recording artist of a record deal is also the songwriter, which is why labels always include a controlled compositions clause in a recording contract, that pertains to all the compositions the artist owns or controls.

Because when you have ownership of a copyright, you can negotiate mechanical rates that are lower than the statutory rate — which is exactly what the label will ask for. And to put a cap on the amount of records over which mechanical royalties needs to be paid — usually to 2 tracks per single, 5 tracks per EP and 12 tracks per album.

In that case, should you put out a 6 track EP, they only owe you mechanical over 5.

legal contracts guide the relationship between artist and record labels

When it comes to continuing the label for the future, it's harder to keep promoting artists of different genres equally. If you have a metal label that has three bands you can use one show to promote all of the bands.

If you have a metal band, a country band, and a rapper, you wont be able to promote those as easily. This will start to eat into your budget. Also if you start favoring one genre over the other, the artists will get mad. Artists and viewers have a collaborative relationship. Every viewer must in some way interpret the art being viewed if it is to succeed as art for that viewer.

Explain the relationship between blues artist and record companies? Blue artists have always been favored by record companies because of the wide appeal of the blue genre of music.

legal contracts guide the relationship between artist and record labels

It is a relationship that is built on mutual success one that …has lasted for many years and is strong now and in the future. What ways does the legal relationship between the parties in tort different to the relationship on contract law?

Legal Agreements

The legal relationship between parties differs between tortious law and contract law. Tort law is designed to compensate those who have suffered a loss or injury due to anothe…r person's wrongful act.

Contract law is encourages competent parties in a contract for lawful objectives, contract law deals with the relationship made between parties when forming a contract of norms. Common law governs all contracts except when it has been modified or replaced by statutory law or administrative agency regulations.