I cannot stress it enough. You should never sign a contract without thoroughly going through it first. Especially when it has to do with your music career.
Fortunately, my message was heard loud and clear by a new client of mine, who we shall call Mr Songwriter. He was presented a rather lengthy 360° recording, publishing and management contract by a well established record label, who we shall call The Record Label. Well to my client’s fortune, the contract was riddled with numerous clauses which have the potential to jeopardize his music career, and which were spotted early enough to prevent damage. Some of these clauses were obvious, whereas most where subtle! The subtle clauses are the ones you must be careful of.
I was approached to read through the contract and weigh in. I did just that, and have decided to share my report with those of you interested. Given the time constraints and the length of the contract, I could not do a clause-by-clause rumble, as my report would have been easily 30 pages in length, so my meager 7 pages will have to do. Read it if you actually want to get an idea of the type of contracts that still exist. Many people think that the big scary contracts I warn them against are like ghost stories – some believe, others don’t. The truth is, they exist (the contracts that is, not necessarily the ghosts).
I always have an open door policy when it comes to contracts. Contact me first before signing, and I can steer you in the right direction. It’s so easy for a lawyer to advise you before entering into a contract, but it is almost impossible, not to mention costly, to get a lawyer involved after the contract has already been signed.