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Recording contracts

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by TheDarkProject, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. TheDarkProject

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    I was just wondering if any of you have experience with contracts offered by record labels? A lot of people seem to have problems with their contract so I'm assuming there's nearly always something bad in all of them! What sort of clauses are common?
     
  2. Briody

    Briody Member

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    I've had some experience with labels. I've signed contracts with Century Media, Metal Blade, Masoleum, Rising Sun, etc.

    Bad Clauses =

    1. Taking your merchandise rights. NEVER, and I mean NEVER sign these away. This will be your only income on your first tours.

    2. Reduced royalties for non-home country. This is a TERRIBLE clause. This means that you only get full royalty rates in your home country. You could be an American band selling big in Europe, but only receiving 25% royalty rate in Europe.

    3. Length of contract. A long contract (say 8 albums) is NOT your friend. The record company can drop you at any time anyway, so the long contract only benefits them. Try for a shorter deal, like 1-3 albums.

    4. Exclusive rights. Don't allow the label to own everything you do. You need to be free to do a side project if you like. A good compromise is to allow the label 'right of first refusal', meaning that they have the right to bid first on any side project you do.

    Hope this helps.

    Mark
     
  3. hydrogrind

    hydrogrind Member

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    good, point 1.
     

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