Law and terms of the music industry

Radu-Cristian Perde

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    Hello everyone, I hope you're all doing good!

    Today I wanted to share with you a video and I highly believe that this is one of the MOST important video any of you who wants to be a professional musician could watch.
    See, the music industry is a complex beast that requires an understanding of it in order to be most prolific. One of my biggest issue in general with artist who wants to be pro is that they focus so much on the art and completely neglect to look into the business side of things so that they can understand properly what they are doing.

    Contracts and rights are a subject that I believe that every single musician who releases their music professionally SHOULD know. The labels company are know to be vicious and will screw people over which is why it's important to know YOUR rights and the terms of a contract to understand properly and thoroughly what you are doing.

    And so I wanted to share with you this video made by one of my favorite channel on youtube: LegalEagle. This guy is a real practising lawyer and his videos are always so informative and really well done. Now, I must say that he practices US law and so it might not be exactly the same around the world BUT I think this is a great starting point for anyone who seeks to be more knowledgeable and understanding of music law in general and to understand the different rights that circles around music so they can look into the law of their own country. In this video he talks about Taylor Swift and how she took control back of her music and how this is a very important step moving forward in the music industry.

    If you need any more convincing, Rick Beato is featured in the end and from my understanding, LegalEagle has represented him over disputes he had on youtube so... enjoy!!!

     
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    Jamie London

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    Excellent post my brother. After working in the industry and for a label for 7 years, you see some shit haha things can get really gnarly out there. Especially when you have younger bands who are just excited to have the attention of anyone. Incredibly important stuff that not enough peeps have looked into.
     
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    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    Excellent post my brother. After working in the industry and for a label for 7 years, you see some shit haha things can get really gnarly out there. Especially when you have younger bands who are just excited to have the attention of anyone. Incredibly important stuff that not enough peeps have looked into.
    Exactly. Labels prey upon young artists ignorance on the subject. They seduce them with really high advances and artist being convinced that this money is theirs, are ready to sign off their masters, different rights, etc... and then the label makes millions on their back while the artist first has to pay back the advance and then touches peanuts from the gross of their own art.

    Which is why education on the subject can make a huge difference and avoid some really big headaches!
     
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    Jamie London

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    Exactly. Labels prey upon young artists ignorance on the subject. They seduce them with really high advances and artist being convinced that this money is theirs, are ready to sign off their masters, different rights, etc... and then the label makes millions on their back while the artist first has to pay back the advance and then touches peanuts from the gross of their own art.

    Which is why education on the subject can make a huge difference and avoid some really big headaches!
    Managers as well, merch companies, etc etc. its overwhelming and horrifying and because it can be so overwhelming. There are a ton of predatory individuals in the industry and that needs to be in the back of everyone’s minds when they start to advance up the ladder a bit. And that’s not meant to scare anyone, it’s just being aware of that is a big step in avoiding being taken advantage of.

    I worked on the business side of things and even I was given the run around and screwed over by some people out there. This stuff is important. Like I said, excellent post duder. This was definitely needed here 👏👏
     
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    ari.mac

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    This was SO interesting. Thank you Radu for sharing. As a fan I've always overlooked this aspect of the business until, as mentioned in the video, the Taylor Swift case. I hope more and more artists will gain this type of knowledge to avoid those situations and have more control over their work. (Also, Taylor Swift was a legend for how she decided to manage all of this)
     
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    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    This was SO interesting. Thank you Radu for sharing. As a fan I've always overlooked this aspect of the business until, as mentioned in the video, the Taylor Swift case. I hope more and more artists will gain this type of knowledge to avoid those situations and have more control over their work. (Also, Taylor Swift was a legend for how she decided to manage all of this)
    Can't say that Taylor's music really appeals to me but I will always respect her for being a pioneer in taking the power away from the labels and giving it back to the artist. She just created a huge precedent and that is a huge step forward in the right direction for artists in general
     
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    ari.mac

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    Can't say that Taylor's music really appeals to me but I will always respect her for being a pioneer in taking the power away from the labels and giving it back to the artist. She just created a huge precedent and that is a huge step forward in the right direction for artists in general
    Totally! I think the same as you!
     
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    Calvin Phillips

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    This was SO interesting. Thank you Radu for sharing. As a fan I've always overlooked this aspect of the business until, as mentioned in the video, the Taylor Swift case. I hope more and more artists will gain this type of knowledge to avoid those situations and have more control over their work. (Also, Taylor Swift was a legend for how she decided to manage all of this)
    There was also a case with kesha over her producer basically not allowing her to make the music she wanted and she was in a three year court battle. Rainbow was the result after she won her case. Both of those female artists fought very hard to gain back what was theirs.

    You go a kesha show now those pop songs are legit played on guitar. She has a full band. Its literally a soft rock show now compared to pop shows that have the beat recorded.
     
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    ari.mac

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    There was also a case with kesha over her producer basically not allowing her to make the music she wanted and she was in a three year court battle. Rainbow was the result after she won her case. Both of those female artists fought very hard to gain back what was theirs.

    You go a kesha show now those pop songs are legit played on guitar. She has a full band. Its literally a soft rock show now compared to pop shows that have the beat recorded.
    Yeah,I heard of Kesha as well!! Taylor Swift made more noise tho. But both did a great job and paved the way for future artist for sure!
     

    Calvin Phillips

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    Well taylor had multiple albums to remake. That story is literally still going on where kesha is years beyond her but to say the noise wasnt as big is something i can't agree with. Kesha got her name out there got grammie nominations and started collabs with tons of musician's. She also had a documentary on mtv that lasted a fee episodes. I think it was six. A lot happened for her in that year.

    Taylor also has a lot going on due to her many alls shes remade. And ill tell you the remakes probably are produced beyond ways imaginable but nothing beats the raw original recording and i feel for her that shell never be able to call those hers again.
     

    Ed Seith

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    There are a lot of things that need to change about the broken system in place. We really don't NEED labels anymore, except because of the exclusive access they have to some promotional means (radio, including satellite radio, etc). I still have hope that a band the size of Avenged will seize the day (haha!) and break free from that model to establish a new path forward for younger artists that eschews the predatory label model.

    In the early 90s, some friends of mine - one of my earliest gigs was opening for them when they were only a few years old - got signed to A&M records. They got a standard deal, with, I believe, a quarter million up front for recording and promo, etc, and I think it was a 3 or 7 album option deal. The details are sketchy to me.

    What's NOT sketchy is that after they'd recorded the album and were ready to take on the world, the A&R person (artist and repertiore - the "talent scout" that manages the relationship between the label and the band's management) that signed them got into a bitter feud with A&M, and left the label on bad terms. It was bad enough that A&M - wanting to prevent that person from getting ANY money from their artists - put the band's album on the shelf, refusing to release it. They also refused to release them from their contract, fearing the A&R person would just re-sign them at a new label.

    The album they were so proud of never saw the light of day. They had to break up, because they couldn't be a band together or use the name of the band anymore. One of the guitarists killed himself. The drummer wound up joining another band and getting signed again (that band was Johnny Bravo) and put out a meh album that went nowhere, though I did hear a track or two on the radio at the time. He was the only one with any modicum of success in music, and it wasn't much.

    They were terrified for years, and sat on the whole thing, talking about it very little and not letting ANYONE hear the music. I only got to hear it like a year ago (dated, but really good - it could have seriously gone somewhere).

    Bottom line, never sign on the bottom line without EVERYTHING being reviewed by an experienced entertainment lawyer that you are paying and that you trust.
     

    ari.mac

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    There are a lot of things that need to change about the broken system in place. We really don't NEED labels anymore, except because of the exclusive access they have to some promotional means (radio, including satellite radio, etc). I still have hope that a band the size of Avenged will seize the day (haha!) and break free from that model to establish a new path forward for younger artists that eschews the predatory label model.

    In the early 90s, some friends of mine - one of my earliest gigs was opening for them when they were only a few years old - got signed to A&M records. They got a standard deal, with, I believe, a quarter million up front for recording and promo, etc, and I think it was a 3 or 7 album option deal. The details are sketchy to me.

    What's NOT sketchy is that after they'd recorded the album and were ready to take on the world, the A&R person (artist and repertiore - the "talent scout" that manages the relationship between the label and the band's management) that signed them got into a bitter feud with A&M, and left the label on bad terms. It was bad enough that A&M - wanting to prevent that person from getting ANY money from their artists - put the band's album on the shelf, refusing to release it. They also refused to release them from their contract, fearing the A&R person would just re-sign them at a new label.

    The album they were so proud of never saw the light of day. They had to break up, because they couldn't be a band together or use the name of the band anymore. One of the guitarists killed himself. The drummer wound up joining another band and getting signed again (that band was Johnny Bravo) and put out a meh album that went nowhere, though I did hear a track or two on the radio at the time. He was the only one with any modicum of success in music, and it wasn't much.

    They were terrified for years, and sat on the whole thing, talking about it very little and not letting ANYONE hear the music. I only got to hear it like a year ago (dated, but really good - it could have seriously gone somewhere).

    Bottom line, never sign on the bottom line without EVERYTHING being reviewed by an experienced entertainment lawyer that you are paying and that you trust.
    Jesus.... That's so sad. But I imagine a lot of promising bands have been through this and never got another chance to shine. It's so sad really. It's hard enough not being able to achieve your dreams, but to see your dreams destroyed because of something like this is on a total different level
     
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