What Type of Music Law Do You Do?
Updated: Mar 18
This is a question that I get from prospective clients a lot. The quick answer is "pretty much any legal issue that touches on music."
One thing that I do not do as a music attorney is shop record deals for people. In the past, the way that many artists obtained major label record deals was to have a music lawyer shop their demo to different industry contacts.
I do not offer this service for a few reasons. First, the music has to be good enough, and many times it is not. Second, even if the music is good enough, I would have to have the right relationship with the right record label that is a good fit for you. Finally, even if I had the right relationship with the right label executive (and, in some cases, I do), labels don't really sign artists based solely on demos anymore.
The most common scenario today is for an artist to either sign a production deal with a producer who works with them to put out music to the public (before having a record deal) OR for the artist to put out a DIY release. From there, it's all about seeing if the artist can get organic listeners and build it on their own. The role of the major record label is to find existing successful artists on streaming platforms and then magnify their success to the other pop culture channels where labels still hold power. So, while I don't shop deals to major labels, here are some sample entertainment and music law services I have recently provided:
Reviewed and negotiated a major label imprint agreement for a new R&B artist.
Reviewed and negotiated a touring agreement for a crew member of a Grammy Award winning muti-platinum band for a world tour.
Formed a non-profit organization and applied for 501(c)(3) status on behalf of a multi-platinum rapper.
Reviewed licensing agreements for a famous podcasting personality.
Reviewed multiple synch and master use licenses, including licenses from major label artists
Provided start up business counsel to side musician of multi-platinum band
Negotiate recording agreement and touring agreement for side musician in well-known touring band
General counsel for multiple artists with 100,000+ monthly Spotify streams
Trademark, band agreement, and royalty negotiations for touring band with 200,000+ monthly Spotify streams
Drafted recording artist agreement and publishing agreement for start up record label