Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video Oral agreements and record keeping, part of Music Law: Recording, Management, Rights, and Performance Contracts.
- Should you ever use an oral agreement?…Maybe. An oral agreement is the simplest,…least expensive method of making a contract.…It's fast, no drafting wordy documents.…And it's cheap, no legal bills.…But not every oral agreement will be enforced by a court.…Some music contracts must be in writing.…For example, an agreement to sell a copyright,…known as an assignment, must be in writing.…Other agreements transferring rights…should be in writing as well, and in most states,…a contract must be in writing if it takes…longer than a year to perform,…or if it's for the sale of tangible property…over a certain value, typically $5,000.…
Equally important, common sense dictates…whether you should make an oral agreement.…If there is a chance that a dispute could arise,…or that you may need to prove the contract's terms,…then you should probably get it in writing,…even if it is an informal written agreement…drafted on a napkin.…Remember the Chinese proverb:…"Even the palest ink is better than the best memory."…By the way, electronic contracts and electronic signatures…
For example, when it comes to record contracts, it's important to know how advances and royalties work, how to maintain creative control, and what happens when a member leaves a band. Rich also tackles management contracts, describing what managers can do for you—and what to do when you need to let them go. Next, he explores the basic terms, riders, and payment options in performance contracts. Then learn about releases, artwork permissions, publishing and producer agreements, and other types of legal arrangements. Rich wraps up the course with a discussion of oral agreements, attorney fees and roles, and five basic rules worth remembering for every music contract.
DISCLAIMER: This course is taught by an attorney (or other instructor) and addresses US law concepts that may not apply in all countries. Neither LinkedIn (including Lynda.com) nor the instructor represents you and they are not giving legal advice. The information conveyed through this course is akin to a college or law school course; it is not intended to give legal advice, but instead to communicate information to help viewers understand the basics of the topic presented. The views (and legal interpretations) presented in this course do not necessarily represent the views of LinkedIn or Lynda.com.
- Why bother with a contract?
- Understanding terms, options, royalties, and deductions
- Making provisions for marketing
- Including warranties and indemnity clauses
- Hiring a manager
- Understanding performance contracts
- Getting permission to use samples
- Creating a band partnership
- Record keeping
- Going through mediation or arbitration