Last year I signed an recording artist to my record company to submit 5 (at least 4) phonograph records. A year has passed and she never submitted even 1 album yet. She emailed me stated she wanted to be a comedian now. So can I hold the agreement so my record company can keep her from using the same professional stage name within the entertainment industry?
Attorneys would want to view the agreement to give you proper analysis, but without having seen it, probably not.
Further, there seems to be no point in doing so.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
I think you mean you signed an artist to a 1-record deal with 3 or 4 successive options for more records. But I don't really know what your contract says.
Here's the thing. No lawyer who hasn't seen the contract at issue can tell you what it says or means. Does it require the artist's delivery (of what? usually artists don't deliver albums, instead they agree to record songs which the record company owns)? Does it claim to own the rights to the artists "professionally known as" names, trademarks, etc.?
Usually record companies sign artists based on "demo" recordings, which are often re-recorded at the label's expense so they're commercially acceptable. Did that happen here?
No offense, but anyone truly in the music business needs their own music lawyer to prepare their contracts and advise them of their rights under state and federal copyright and trademark law.
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Estate Planning Attorney
I agree with my colleagues, you need to consult with an attorney to talk details and options. The answer will probably lie in the agreement. If you have not already, you should contact a contract attorney to help you structure these agreements to avoid these problems in the future.
Best of luck!