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Entries in Legal (20)

Tuesday
Jun192018

The Legalities Of Touring

You’ve read these tour articles a thousand times — I’ve written plenty of them. By this point it’s no surprise that touring is hard. It’s no surprise that touring is expensive. And it’s no surprise that making your money back doesn’t often happen for DIY bands on their first couple of trips.

That said however, there are legalities to consider. A band is a business, whether you want it to be or not. A tour is a venture. And musicians are people who bring their own lives and difficulties to the table. So when you’re looking to tour, consider some of the legal problems that could stop you from being able to fully experience or continue to tour in the future!

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Wednesday
Feb142018

Hosting A Concert Soon? Keep These Security Tips In Mind

In light of the tragic outdoor concert shooting in Las Vegas, many concert planners are taking additional precautions when planning large events, both outdoors and indoors. But even small concerts need some kind of security plan to ensure the safety of concert goers, bands and event staff. Below are four things to consider when planning your next concert.

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Tuesday
Feb062018

Songwriters Beware Of The Music Modernization Act (H.r. 4706)

The stage is set for a brutal tug-of-war over tens of millions of dollars between individual songwriters and their publishers. H.R. 4706, also known as the Music Modernization Act, provides many benefits and updates to the arcane royalty structure of US copyright law. However, there are some provisions concerning unclaimed and unmatched monies which, as currently drafted, could lead to a myriad of problems for creators.

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Thursday
Jan252018

Urgent Warning!: Time Is Running Out For Artists & Writers To Exercise Their Termination Rights Under U.S. Copyright Law

 1976 Copyright Act provides for the termination of copyright transfers – but authors need to act within a limited timeframe. Creators are entitled to reclaim their copyrights regardless of any contract stating otherwise after certain time periods. Therefore, even if an author, artist, musician, photographer or songwriter signed a contract which purports to transfer all rights in a work for perpetuity, the Copyright Act provides that the author of the work can terminate that grant and demand that the rights revert. Authors and creators are now entitled to terminate their contractual transfers and demand back control of their copyrights; authors can terminate their book publishing contracts, songwriters can demand return of their musical compositions from music publishers and recording artists and record producers can demand return of their sound recordings from the record companies.

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Friday
Oct202017

Concert Backlash: How To Deal With A DWI Charge When You’re Innocent

Imagine you’re leaving the stadium or arena, after having enjoyed a performance from your favorite singer or group. The police pull you over and put you through the process of testing your sobriety. Even though you haven’t had any alcohol, or perhaps had just a small drink that wouldn’t put you over the legal limit, the police charge you with either a DWI or a DUI.

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Thursday
Oct052017

Did Led Zeppelin Steal Stairway To Heaven? 

I don’t think that any respectful musician should be proud of violating the copyright of another one. With all the social networks that exist nowadays, if someone makes a plagiarism, the news will spread worldwide in a matter of minutes. It is far too embarrassing of a place to put yourself in.

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Friday
Sep152017

Moshpit Mashup: 4 Applicable Tips For Injuries Acquired At A Concert

Whether it’s a headline concert or a full blown festival, there’s nothing like a live concert to help you appreciate — and experience — your favorite bands. Unfortunately, concerts and festivals are also great places to get injured, whether it’s a mosh pit, an equipment malfunction, a grounds safety issue, or any of a long list of things that could go wrong. Of course if you’re attending a concert, it’s important to stay safe and protect yourself as much as possible from potential injuries. But if you do get hurt at a concert, here are a few tips you should keep in mind from a legal standpoint.

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Friday
Sep012017

Fight For Your Rights: What To Do After Being Arrested At A Concert

Going to a concert is supposed to be a fun way to enjoy an evening. However, if you are unruly or otherwise break the law, you could be taken into custody. It is important to remember that being arrested doesn’t mean that you are guilty. What can you do to protect your rights after being arrested at a concert?

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Friday
Jul282017

How Singer/Songwriters Can Save $100K Right Now - Today! 

$100 K. I thought that would get everyone’s attention. And it’s the first thing I say when I meet with young singer/songwriters and their parents as we start the educational process of moving up from the basic performance skills of singing their own songs and playing guitar or piano to the rarefied air of the art of entertaining. That’s what I do these days as a live music performance coach.

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Monday
Apr242017

Legal Basics For The Diy World: Artists, Authors, Creators And Musicians

Under US copyright law, copyright (literally, the right to make and sell copies) automatically vests in the creator the moment the expression of an idea is “fixed in a tangible medium” (in other words, the moment you write it down, type it or record it on tape). With respect to music specifically, there are really two copyrights: a copyright in the musical composition owned by the songwriter and a sound recording copyright in the sound of the recording owned by the recording artist (but usually transferred to the record company when a record deal is signed). It is important to remember that you own the copyright in your work the moment you write it down or record it, and you can only transfer those rights by signing a written agreement to transfer them. Therefore, you must be wary of any agreement you are asked to sign. 

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Friday
Jan202017

McCartney's Sony/ATV Lawsuit More Of The Ripple Effect Of The Issue Of Copyright Terminations Under U.S. Copyright Law

Just as the music business has been staggering back to its feet after the digital assault started by Napster over a decade ago, another hard blow to the industry business model is starting to have ripple effects. Recording artists and songwriters from 1978 and after are now entitled to start terminating their contractual transfers and demanding back their copyrights. The 1976 Copyright Act, in a provision that has generally been overlooked until now, provides for the termination of copyright transfers. Even if an artist or songwriter signed a contract that purports to transfer all rights in a work in perpetuity, the Copyright Act provides that the author can terminate that grant and demand that the rights revert to the author in a shorter period of time. This is a great opportunity for artists and songwriters to get a second bite at the apple, so to speak, and get a better share of the income earned from their creative works.

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Wednesday
Jan042017

Legal Basics For Artists, Authors, Creators, And Musicians

Four Essentials:

1) Copyright Protection

Under US copyright law, copyright (literally, the right to make and sell copies) automatically vests in the creator the moment the expression of an idea is “fixed in a tangible medium” (in other words, the moment you write it down, type it or record it on tape). With respect to music specifically, there are really two copyrights: a copyright in the musical composition owned by the songwriter and a sound recording copyright in the sound of the recording owned by the recording artist (but usually transferred to the record company when a record deal is signed). It is important to remember that you own the copyright in your work the moment you write it down or record it, and you can only transfer those rights by signing a written agreement to transfer them. Therefore, you must be wary of any agreement you are asked to sign. 

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Thursday
Oct132016

Judicial Approval Of Contracts With Minors - A Necessity For Businesses (Record Business, Modeling Agencies & Tech Companies)

If a person or entity contracts with a minor they need to understsand the law. From managers to production companies to modeling agencies, and even technology start-ups, the predicament of employing or contracting with a party under the age of eighteen has become an increasing problem. The minor is not bound by the contract and may disaffirm the contract at any time during minority or within a reasonable time after reaching majority. Without a valid written agreement the employment is “at will” under the law of most States which means the minor can depart at any time. The dilemma created by a minor’s ability to disaffirm a contract is that it may seriously jeopardize the employer’s financial investment in the services of the minor whether it is the ongoing efforts of an agency to develop the career of a young talent or the technology company’s expectation that is owns the copyright in the code created by the teenage whiz kid it employs.

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Tuesday
Sep062016

General Licensing Infographic

Editor’s Note: This infographic is intended to visualize the world of General Licensing and how proposed changes could affect songwriters and music licensees. For more information, please check out the proposed SXSW 2017 Panel, “General Licensing: Where Are My Royalties?”  (Votes are also encouraged; voting ends 9/2/16.)

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