As entertainment lawyers in Miami, one of the most disheartening things for us to see is a musician trapped in a contract with a music label that is no longer actively promoting the band or recording their music. This is known as being “put on the shelf.”
Before even signing with a music label, you must research possible labels to determine what each company will offer you and what will be the most beneficial to your music career. Talking to artists already signed with the label in question should provide you with honest feedback to help you make the most informed decision possible.
Once you begin negotiations with a music label, there are two tools you can utilize to avoid one day getting “put on the shelf.”
Insist on a music release clause being included in your music label contract. This clause will require the label to release each of your tracks within a specific time period and to a particular market with required promotional support.
A termination clause gives you the right to abandon the label contract if specific goals are not reached within an agreed upon period of time. Goals that can be required in the clause include number of record sales and revenue earned within the allotted time. If the agreed upon goals are not met, then you will be released from the contract. But if you have not included this clause in the initial contract, then you could become stuck on the shelf, so to speak.
Chase Lawyers is a boutique entertainment law firm that advises and represents clients in legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters and intellectual property. If you are planning a music career and have questions about contracts, contact our Miami entertainment lawyers today to ensure your path to stardom is a smooth one!