No other industry has gained more accessibility over the past decade than the music industry. With more affordable software, recording equipment, and distribution fees, we’re now truly living in the age of the independent artist. In the past, music lawyers were primarily called upon to assist as an intermediary between artist and label, but in the growing world of young entrepreneurs, musicians will need much more guidance. Technology has significantly altered the playing field for the music business, but legal protection is needed more than ever before. Let’s breakdown some of the roles of an entertainment law firm and how they can assist with the ever-evolving music industry.
As practically all musicians transfer their work into digital mediums, the possibility of work being stolen or “ripped” increases significantly. Luckily, with tech advances in the past few years, companies such as Youtube have instituted software which can identify when your work is being copied. Without getting into all of the intricacies of copyright, trademark, and publishing law, it’s best to understand that an entertainment law firm is available to identify cases infringement and act upon them accordingly. Additionally, an entertainment lawyer that specializes in music law can help artists fill out the forms and paperwork to achieve these government protections correctly. Sure, most musicians can probably accomplish the paperwork on their own, but when it comes to holding entities accountable for stealing your work, you’ll need much more assistance from professionals.
The other side of potential snakes attempting taking credit for your work are the many collaborations which can be handled in a mutually beneficial manner. When a piece of music reaches a level of success, numerous kinds of licensing requests may come in from brands hoping to include the recording in their programming. In order to use your work legally, these entities must pay for the correct license for the format which they wish to use. Music lawyers can help with overseeing these licenses to ensure that the original creator is adequately compensated. The compulsory cover license is a particularly useful license that cover bands need in order to profit from their performances.
While we mentioned above that we are in the new age of independent artists who no longer need to rely on record labels for distribution, major labels still exist as pillars for worldwide reach. Furthermore, when a song becomes such a huge hit, the artist will be flooded with a range of offers to sign their talent. Depending on the situation of the artist, signing to a label may be the best move, but the jargon contained in such contracts have robbed musicians for decades. In order to avoid having your publishing taken away, an entertainment law firm is absolutely necessary to inspect the contracts you’re looking to sign. Copyright protection, licensing, and negotiations of contracts are only a few of the core services that music lawyers bring to the table, but there are many more to cover. With a bit of knowledge, artists today can navigate the shark-filled waters of the music industry to express themselves without sacrificing their integrity or pocket.