Monday, August 15, 2011

There's More To It Than Just Performing...

America's Got TalentImage via WikipediaMusic Law:


How to Run Your
Band's Business


By Attorney Rich Stim




When my nephew joined a band and I started to talk to him about his next "gig" or "going on tour," it made me wonder...he didn't know how to respond to any of my questions about the business side of their activites. His response was that so-and-so did all that. That's when I thought this book might be of value... Since then, and having enjoyed recent programs such as "America's Got Talent," or "So You Think You Can Dance," "The Voice," or the newest on Karaoke, I thought about how many of the contestants were literally coming in off the streets, with no understanding of anything but that they had talent and wanted to win.


Still, not everybody would be chosen, but many would have been "seen" and perhaps begin to be contacted to explore many more options that were now available! With my business background, I automatically knew there was much more to it than just performing!


Music Law: How to Run Your Band's BusinessAttorney Rich Stim knows that too! And the best thing I liked about his book is that he oftentimes includes specifics on "how not to get screwed!" Not only is the manual very well written, it includes a supplemental CD and users can get free legal updates at Nolo.com. Needless to say, I became very impressed with not only the author but the publisher...I would even go further to point out that the book is so comprehensive that, in my opinion, it is a valuable resource for any performer, not just those who have a band.

There is so much valuable information that goes beyond the basic business-related issues into the specific world surrounding music production. Let me share some highlights provided in no specific level of importance:
  • Major label agreements are outside the scope of this book. If your band has been offered a major label recording contract, you'll need an attorney or an experienced manager to help you negotiate the deal.
  • Business names versus trademarks. Registering your business name...does not guarantee your right to use your name in business or to use that name to identify your products...
  • Attorneys should disclose a conflict without being asked, but they don't always do so. Always ask your attorney if there is a potential conflict...
  • Some entertainment attorneys shop the band's music to record labels and music publishers. These "shoppers" use their industry connections to obtain deals for the band and are paid with a percentage...
  • It's getting harder and harder for a band to land a gig...As in dating, there is no surefire way to get a gig. It's a matter of luck, timing and making the right impression...
  • After the applause dies down and the equipment is packed up, the band's manager...walks into a funky office where the club owner is counting the evening's receipts. If all goes well, the owner reaches into the metal cash box and pays...Sometimes, however, a club owner or concert promotore may refuse...
  • Touring can be exciting, but it's also expensive... An excellent sample Tour Budget spreadsheet is provided!
  • Copyright! So much to learn... Plan on spending time on ensuring your work is protected, your contracts are comprehensive...
You may not use everything in this book; however, in my opinion, you should read the entire book so that you at least begin to understand the scope and complexity of putting your talent out there in the music world. Have fun, sure...but don't be stupid. This book will ensure you've got yourself covered if you use it carefully.

Got Talent? Think You're Going to Make Lots of Money? Be Smart and Learn the Business Side of Sharing That Talent! Highly recommended.

Book Provided 
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