You’ve got your recording (or songwriting) contract in hand and everything’s coming up roses, right? You get your check, finally, but it’s not quite what you expected. If you sign not knowing what’s owed you then you might be shorted some well-deserved income. So make sure that anything you sign contains a statement to the following areas (preferably in your favor):
Performing Rights – this means you get a chunk of the change when your songs are played over the radio, television, Internet and at some public venues like concerts and such. And who keeps tabs on this? Check out ASCAP-http://www.ascap.com/index.html, SESAC– http://www.sesac.com/home.asp and BMI– http://www.bmi.com.
Mechanical Rights – This is the most commonly known. It includes anything physical such as tapes, CDs, etc. The Harry Fox Agency is nearly 80 years old and for artists with 2500 or less recordings they can learn more at http://www.songfile.com/ regarding small licensing.
Print Rights – Exactly that – anything in print like lyrics or sheet music.
Foreign Rights – Again, anything that deals with foreign publishing and licensing.
Synchronization Rights – Ever heard a Garth Brooks or Rolling Stone song in a movie or television show? That’s synchronization and it can mean big bucks although some artists overlook this very important right when signing.
If you fail to have some or all of these areas covered when signing a contract it can mean the loss of big money for you. If you can afford it hire only the best entertainment attorney to handle your contracts. A good attorney can be expensive, especially if he has to do all the legwork but you can save time and money by looking into products such as the 101 Music Business Contracts software at http://www.MusicContracts101.com. This easy to use, contracts creation software features over 100, professionally drafted, music business contracts and agreements. As with any contract you sign – be it a house loan or a recording contract – it’s best to have an attorney look the documents over before doing a final signing. However, a great money saver is arming yourself with knowledge, like 101 Music Business Contracts, before you ever set foot in a law firm. As the www.MusicContracts101.com site suggest, Protect Yourself, Your Music and Your Career – Get It In Writing!
This article was posted on January 07, 2005