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What does my record label own?

Charlottesville, VA |

Any materials recorded and/or obtain for the purpose of and in the context of this contract under the purview of label x are the exclusive and sole property of the company. As in the preceding, such entity, specifically, label x, have exclusive rights to all materials created and made under this management agreement, in the context of said agreement and as per this legal and binding contractual arrangement. As abovementioned, all royalties will be paid to the undersigned artist(s) in a timely manner and after such intellectual properties have manifested (in a fixed form) as commercial releases. If label x were/was not the original executive producer(s) of a musical project and/or single/maxi-single/EP released by the signed artist(s) prior to signing a major label record deal that has as per this agreement come into the purview of label x, will by the signing of this contract with the inclusion of parties involved, be added to said projects as executive producer listed and as a result, be given the same rights to advertise, market and promote each of the project(s) signed to label x as stated above and with the full and complete consent of artist(s) involved.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

A few things occur to me as I look at your question:

1. Having reviewed many, many recording contracts in the past, I can say that the clause you quote is unusually worded and very amateurishly drafted. Also, why, for example, is there a reference to 'this management agreement?"

If you want to have a contract that is clear and that isn't likely to possibly create all kinds of problems for you in the future (due to various ambiguities in the contract), you need to have somebody work on this on your behalf who knows what they are doing. The fact that you have to even ask or wonder what this clause means, that's a real red flag here. (Sorry to be so blunt.)

2. In most cases when a label presents an artist with a contract which is not clear or professionally drafted, that's the first red sign that the label in generally doesn't conduct its business very professionally. There are probably exceptions to that generalization, but still, it's always a red flag.

3. Also, if you have your own attorney review a contract this poorly drafted, it will usually increase your legal cost (as opposed to if the contract were professionally done), since it's takes substantially more time for an artist's attorney to review ( and get corrected) a poorly drafted contract than it takes to review a professionally drafted contract.

3. In most instances in which a label is acquiring rights in previously recorded recordings, it is made VERY clear in the contract that they are acquiring those rights. Also, traditionally a separate "acquisition price" has been paid for the label's acquisition of ownership of the pre-existing masters. That's not so much true anymore. I just looked at the first draft of two new major label 360 deals last week and in both cases the label was acquiring rights in all pre-existing masters and not paying anything for them. From an artist point of view, that is something that the artist's attorney should try to negotiate out of the contract. In some situations, the label is willing to do that, and in other situations, not willing. It depends on which major label it is, and also on how much, if any, negotiating leverage you have.

Good luck.

The above is not intended as legal advice and does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship, as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

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Asker

Posted

Hi Bartley. Thank you so very much. It appears I cannot address the attorney above you, but this contract was one I signed knowing very well it was shady..a long unimportant story as to why that is. Regardless, I signed with another label, a professional label at the same time, they have been and aware of one another. The snippet from above is from the unprofessional label, based in the u.s. they are not a major label. My other label, a professional, well known label is not a major label either, but they are a trusted indie label. The trusted indie label is in England. I might move there. In that case, I was considering that if I don't sell anything other then what I have handed them online, it might be ok...I don't want to ask you that and more because you have been very kind with your descriptive answer already.

Bartley F Day

Bartley F Day

Posted

Sure thing, good luck. Bart

Asker

Posted

To clarify: I want to know if this means they own my music before signing and or after signing. Believe it or not, the rest of the 6 page contract is babble, advertising the label. The only legal portion is the one I cut and pasted above, obviously replacing their names and label name with x.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Great counsel. I learned a lot from it.

Posted

I can appreciate how articulate you are being in framing your question but the truth of the matter is that you need to retain an entertainment attorney to review the terms of your agreement and give you a legal opinion.

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Posted

thank you ivan. i really appreciate it.

Posted

I agree with Attorney Parron. Consult with an Entertainment Attorney who will review your contract an advise you accordingly.

Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 www.MyImmigrationLawyer.info NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.

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Posted

thank you J. Smith

Posted

The language you quoted looks like it was pulled from a contract. If it's a contract that an attorney prepared for you, your best bet is to ask he or she to explain it. If you are trying to put together your own contract and you found the above paragraph in a form somewhere and are trying to figure out what it means and whether you should use it, that says to me that you're trying to fit someone else's form document to cover your business, in which case I also advise you to get to an entertainment lawyer and have something drafted that is right for you. Either way, I join the chorus here: go get some good legal advice for yourself.

If my answer was helpful to you, I would appreciate if you would mark it either "helpful" or "best answer" if you feel that applies, as AVVO gives us rating points based on feedback. Thank you! Please note that the above answer is not to be construed as legal advice. It is my personal opinion based on your question, and it was given without obtaining the detailed information that I would normally request in order to render comprehensive legal advice. I advise you to consult with a local attorney of your choosing to obtain specific legal advice. The fact that I answered your question does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me.

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Rochelle S. Rabin

Rochelle S. Rabin

Posted

Darn -- I meant "ask HIM or HER to explain it." It's late. I'm better than this, but you get the idea.

Rochelle S. Rabin

Rochelle S. Rabin

Posted

Since I understood your question to mean that you owned the label, I answered accordingly. If you are the artist quoting from the contract that you signed with the label, then 1) go have an entertainment lawyer review the contract, and 2) don't sign anything in the future without having someone review it for you.

Posted

Like the other attorneys noted, the clause is not a model of clarity. From the poor draftsmanship, and the inclusion of the extraneous term "management agreement," I would speculate that the label is not a true label with any real power to do anything with your sound recordings. At best, they may be able to introduce you to a real record company and claim a big piece of it. I'm not sure if it is ever worthwhile signing such agreements. Good luck.

No attorney client relationship is created with this post and no legal advice has been rendered. This is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any specific set of facts which have been reviewed by me. The information contained in this response has not been verified and is not necessarily accurate or reliable, or applicable to any particular jurisdiction. Always hire a licensed attorney to represent your legal interests.

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Posted

Thank you so much David! I think since my other contract is still valid ( with the legitimate label in the uk ) that I can release and work with them and the USA "bad"label cannot do anything about it., since they were aware I signed with the uk label at the same time as them. I think they can only utilize the 3 singles I released to them. Other then that, I think ( and hope) it is a dead issue. It should also be noted i paid them to sign ( yes, sketchy) ..so i dont know if that changes the game anyway, but regardless, Again, thank you so very much. :)

David M. Slater

David M. Slater

Posted

The fact that you paid the "bad" record company makes it even worse. I am guessing that they won't be able to do anything for you. Hopefully, you did not sign away too many rights to them or that they will seek to enforce such rights. Good luck.

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