My First Contract

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stevehacker
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My First Contract

Post by stevehacker » Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:05 am

Ok folks, I'm new to this forum kind of thing, so I HOPE I'm posting this correctly. My apologies in advance if I'm doing something wrong here. I also will say right up front that I know I'm NOT supposed to give company info here, so I won't. That being said, I'll only say that I'm being offered a contract from a "Music Library in England", thanks to a Taxi forward (100% of my material has been forwarded with Taxi, with the exception of ONLY ONE Dispatch listing).I'm posting this to find out if I can ask specific questions about my contract here, since I know some of you have been around the block a few times, and also, since I'm several hundred miles away from the nearest music attorney (rural Southwest Georgia). If I can open up a dialog with some of you about my contract that would be great, as time is moving rather quickly I'm hoping that simply being a member of Taxi is an adequate "filter" to protect me from "Song Sharks" and the like, but I just need some confirmation on some of the aspects of the contract.Thanks very much in advance...Stevestevejhacker@yahoo.com

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Re: My First Contract

Post by davewalton » Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:51 am

Congrats on your library placement and other forwards. Very exciting.One of the big benefits for me was getting the comments from others that have been through a lot of this stuff so at least I could determine what's "normal" and what's not. It's not legal advice, of course, but if you post something like "they're wanting a non-exclusive 50/50 split down the middle", most of us will tell you that's not a red flag and a very common arrangement.Yes, post away!Dave

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Re: My First Contract

Post by matto » Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:11 am

Quote:I'm posting this to find out if I can ask specific questions about my contract here, since I know some of you have been around the block a few times, and also, since I'm several hundred miles away from the nearest music attorney (rural Southwest Georgia). If I can open up a dialog with some of you about my contract that would be great, as time is moving rather quickly Congratulations to you Steve! Yes you can ask questions about contracts here as long as they are not so specific as to allow somebody reading this to find out who the company is. Please understand however that none of us are truly qualified to give you legal advice. If this is your first deal, my advice would be to hire a qualified entertainment attorney, and have him go over the contract with you and explain the various clauses to you. This will give you enough solid knowledge to evaluate this (and similar contracts in the future) on your own. This can be done over the phone or via internet, you don't necessarily have to meet the attorney in person. Your local songwriter's association (I would imagine there has to be one in Atlanta) may be able to provide you with some leads.The point of this is NOT to engage the attorney for some lengthy negotiations on your behalf (which most likely would not be worth it for a music library contract), but to get yourself educated on these contract matters by somebody who's actually qualified to educate you... .Good luck,matto

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Re: My First Contract

Post by stevehacker » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:32 pm

The more I think about it, this thing may be too long to ask questions here. The more I read it, the more confused I get. I DO NOT WISH TO BREAK ANY RULES, so tell me if I would be doing so, but, as long as I BLACK OUT all company info, is there someone I could fax this contract to or email scanned JPGs so that I could get some more detailed help? I know I should high-tail it to the nearest entertainment attorney, but that's like 250 miles away, and since I still am saddled with this darned day job, that's not such an easy trip. I realize that's risky business, and I know no one here wants to substitute for "legal counsel", but I sure could use advice based on your comparing this contract to your own experiences perhaps...again no rules to be broken...I'm clear on that Thanks,Stevestevejhacker@yahoo.com

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Re: My First Contract

Post by edteja » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:36 am

Steve,I understand your dilemma--I'm in the middle of nowhere too. But like Matt said, your best bet is an attorney, and you can fax the thing to them as easily --they call you back and fill you in. I've done that before and it is MUCH cheaper than going in and discussing it. Even if folks here share their experiences, there really is no such thing as a standard contract (my lawyer says). You can ask the lawyer about the parts you want to understand.
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Re: My First Contract

Post by davewalton » Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:04 am

Quote:Steve,I understand your dilemma--I'm in the middle of nowhere too. But like Matt said, your best bet is an attorney...Yes, and specifically an entertainment attorney that has experience with these types of contracts in this particular industry. Since you're going to take the time to fax/email/phone, the time spent doing that is the same regardless of who the recipient is. Actually less time with an attorney since you don't have to take the time to redact the company info. General questions are fine here (..."they want 50%, is that normal?") but it really sounds like you'd be better served with a one-time phone appointment with an entertainment attorney to fully explain the clauses in the contract and the contract in general. Cost is maybe a couple hundred dollars(??). That's just a guess but it's probably not far off. You don't need Hollywood's top legal mind for something like this. Dave

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Re: My First Contract

Post by stevehacker » Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:21 am

Ok...In that case, can someone recommend an entertainment attorney, since I now realize I am not bound my geography? Thanks, Steve

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Re: My First Contract

Post by andreh » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:42 am

Hey all-I agree that some time with a specialized lawyer is warranted to fully understand the intricacies of these contracts.However, it would still be beneficial to look over and discuss examples of contracts currently in place for reference. Since there is surely variety among them, the more we can share, the better armed we'll be to negotiate fairly for ourselves (and as a community as a whole).I'm willing to post a couple examples later on when I can scan them (with client names removed, of course), and I hope others will be willing to do the same.Is there a downside to sharing this info that I'm not considering, or is everyone just more paranoid than I? Andre
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Re: My First Contract

Post by matto » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:33 am

Since this is Taxi's forum I don't think we should be scanning contracts and sharing them with the general public without Taxi's permisson...I think there are several downsides to sharing your own personal contracts for general public discussion, not the least of which is that people WILL take your personal lay opinion as legal advice no matter how many times you tell them not to. And of course a contract that might be right for you in your specific situation may be wrong for somebody else. Since you have no control about who reads your "advice" or how they use it, you basically open yourself to potential liability issues. Not something I'd wanna do.

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Re: My First Contract

Post by aubreyz » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:27 am

Quote:Since this is Taxi's forum I don't think we should be scanning contracts and sharing them with the general public without Taxi's permisson...I think there are several downsides to sharing your own personal contracts for general public discussion, not the least of which is that people WILL take your personal lay opinion as legal advice no matter how many times you tell them not to. And of course a contract that might be right for you in your specific situation may be wrong for somebody else. Since you have no control about who reads your "advice" or how they use it, you basically open yourself to potential liability issues. Not something I'd wanna do. Not only that, but if the actually company that sent the contract would probably not appreciate it either.

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