How to Review a Music Video Contract

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

You’ve spent time carefully crafting a music video that captures the essence of your band and the heart of your song. For days, you’ve sifted through seemingly countless Miami music video production companies. Of the three possible candidates that remain, you have interviewed the producers to see if they would be the best fit for your music video project.

The temptation may be to go with your gut and simply choose the music video production company that feels right. However, you would be doing yourself and your music a disservice if you did so without carefully reviewing and revising the music video contract offered by each of your finalists. Now is the time to have your lawyer review the document, or if you don’t already have a lawyer, this is point in the process when you should seek a lawyer for a consultation.

Making money from your music video is rooted in what is called your “intellectual property.” A good Miami entertainment lawyer will understand how to help you create, protect and make money from your intellectual property, which is key for making a profit as a musician.

What each company will initially send you is just a sample music video contract. A lawyer will evaluate how professional each contract is, or whether companies simply copied and pasted legal jargon from random contracts. You should take into account professionalism when determining which music production company in Miami to hire.

Specific “work-for-hire” language must be present in the music video contract, which ensures that the video copyright belongs to you and not the producer. If this language is missing, then the producer will own the copyright and can therefore control where and how the video is used. Your lawyer can ensure that this does not happen to you.

A payment plan should be included in the initial music video contract so that you’re not paying all or even half of the fee upfront before the producer completes any work. In case the producer is not holding up his or her end of the agreement, you need an early-termination right included in the contract. Also, a confidentiality clause is recommended so that the producer and crew cannot talk about the filming with anyone outside production.

An experienced entertainment lawyer is the key to ensuring that you get the most out of your music video contract. Chase Lawyers is a boutique entertainment law firm that advises and represents clients in legal matters related to music, sports, television and film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters and intellectual property. If you are planning a music career and want to develop a music video, contact us today to help make your path to stardom a smooth one!

Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

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