The Most Common Types of Music Publishing Agreements Explained!

All music starts with a composition, which is one of the reasons why I love the area of music publishing. Despite the low streaming rates, there is still a lot of activity and money to be made on the publishing side of music. Whether you are a writer signing with …

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Don’t Get Screwed Over : 3 Scenarios Where a Handshake Deal Isn’t Enough

Musicians often ask me when they need to “get it in writing” as opposed to just having a verbal agreement or handshake deal. The real answer to that question is that you should always get agreements in writing, but there are three frequently occurring scenarios where it’s essential. Doing so will provide you with much …

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Are You Sure You Own Your Masters?

What are Masters? Throughout the music business, master recordings or “masters” are typically regarded as to as the original or official recording of a performance fixed in a tangible medium like tape, ProTools file, or even mp3, from which copies can be made. Masters are usually recorded in a recording …

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Key Clauses in Management Agreements Part 3: Sunset Commissions

By:  Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. Last time I discussed commissions in management agreements, but what may be a surprise is that management agreements often also have another kind of commission involved – one that remains after the term of the agreement is long over and the manager and artist are no …

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Ask a Music Lawyer: Is the Poor Man’s Copyright Enough to Protect Your Songs?

A work that meets the standards of originality is considered to be copyrighted under United States law when that work is “fixed in any tangible medium of expression,” (17 U.S. Code §102) which means that the work is put into a physical medium that can be reproduced, like writing it …

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Key Clauses in Management Agreements Part 2: Commissions

In a recent article I explained the term of a management agreement, and in this article I’ll discuss management commissions; arguably the other most important clause of a management agreement. The commission is the amount of money the artist will pay the manager under the contract. This is usually done as …

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Is It Ever Worth It to Give Up Copyright Ownership of Your Songs? A Music Lawyer Explains.

By:  Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. Retaining ownership of the copyrights may be one of the most important decisions in an artist or writer’s music career. The person who owns the copyrights is the one with the control over how those works are used and also the one entitled to the …

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What’s the Difference Between a Music Library and a Music Publisher?

Music libraries have exploded in popularity since musicians and composers discovered synchronization (“sync”) placements as an opportunity to make money and gain exposure in the music business. However, songwriters are often confused about the differences between music libraries and music publishers, especially because many libraries are trying to cross over …

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