Signing a record deal is a pivotal moment in any artist’s career. This moment can be extremely confusing for the inexperienced. It doesn’t help that contracts can seem very daunting to someone who isn’t familiar with “legal language”. Before you sign on the dotted line, consider the following tips.
Get Legal Advice
Don’t rely on your Google “legal expertise” to read a contract. The first thing you should do is to seek out the help of a professional. You’ll need a second, third, and fourth pair of eyes before signing your band away. Be prepared to negotiate different terms if a company wants to “screw” you over.
Saying “No” To Transfer Of Copyright
What do we mean by “screw” you over? Phrases like “work-for-hire” or “transfer of copyright” should be warning signs in a contract (unless for remixes). If you agree to a transfer of copyright, the label has all rights to your work. Don’t let this happen by spotting these key words.
A Working Relationship Between Your Team And The Label
Your PR team has been working with you from the get go. Being a part of a label company shouldn’t change that. In fact, it should only enhance your promotional efforts. Make sure the communication between your company and PR team is solid. To stay on top of this, ensure that YOUR communication skills are at its prime.
Congratulations if you’ve reached the stage of getting signed. Make sure there are no future surprises in your career.
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Kathy Nguyen is a digital artist, aspiring entertainment professional, and lover of live music. You can find her tweeting her playlists, youtube-ing documentaries, and getting lost in your neighborhood.