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The 11 Contracts Every Artist, Songwriter and Producer Should Know

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The 11 Contracts Every Artist, Songwriter and Producer Should Know

by Steve Gordon

Although there is no truly “standard” agreement, many music business contracts begin as “form” agreements before the terms are negotiated.

Often, there are two versions of a form agreement: one that represents the best interests of creators, including artists, songwriters, and producers, and one that represents the best interests of the companies that do business with them, such as record labels, publishers, and managers.

These parties typically have adverse interests.  For instance, while a record label will often attempt to secure rights in an artist’s sources of income beyond mere record sales, such as touring, merchandising and publishing, it is usually in the artist’s best interest to retain as much income from these secondary sources as possible.  Other agreements, such as contracts between co-songwriters or band members, seek to delineate the rights and duties of similarly situated parties in order to avoid disputes that might otherwise arise.

 

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