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The Musician's Business and Legal Guide [Paperback]

Mark Halloran


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Musician's Business & Legal Guide (4th Edition) Musician's Business & Legal Guide (4th Edition)
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Book Description

July 17 2001 0130316814 978-0130316813 3

Demystifies the music business and the indecipherable body of law which shapes it!

  • Provides vital information about how the Internet is changing the way music is marketed and sold.
  • Expanded/updated information on the impact of the Internet on legal and business issues.
  • Appendix includes names; URL and mailing addresses of major industry associations and organizations, as well as a list of the important industry publications.

Definitive in scope and written specifically for musicians and songwriters by top professionals currently working in the industry, this book provides substantive information on actual practices—with clause-by-clause commentaries on all major contracts in the industry, featuring extensive analyses, not just forms and casual commentary. Clarifies the language, shows actual practices, and offers advice on what to watch for. Requires no background in law or business; is written in plain English, not "legalese." Chapters are written by lawyers, managers, agents and business people working in the music industry in New York and Los Angeles.


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From the Inside Flap

Welcome to the third edition of this book. (There were also three prior editions published under the title The Musician's Manual, the first in 1979.) As the music business changes, we strive to keep each new edition current. We have updated all the chapters and have added five new ones: Digital Downloads and Streaming: Copyright and Distribution Issues; International Copyright, Getting Started as an Internet Artist, Royalty Statements: Audits and Lawsuits; and The Internet and Music. However, the basic messages from the first edition remain constant. At some point in your professional music career, you will learn that there are legal questions implicit in almost everything you do. Whether you write, perform or sell a song, your actions give rise to rights and obligations that you should consider. The time to learn is now.

The purpose of this book is to demystify the music business and the seemingly indecipherable body of law that shapes it. And to help you "make it" by explaining the industry and the laws that govern it.

This book is a collection of chapters written by people that work in the music industry. Many are lawyers; some are musicians. We have tried to make our information comprehensible to everyone, and have avoided presupposing a lot of knowledge on your part.

At this point, we must present a few warnings. First, there is no substitute for obtaining competent help as you build your career. Talent agents, personal managers, lawyers and business managers are trained to guide you. Their expertise costs money, but you must think of these expenses as an investment in your career. Also, the chapters written by lawyers are designed to identify problems, not to give specific solutions. If you have a legal problem, do not rely on the information contained in this book; see an attorney. The chapters in this book are not the law, but merely describe legal applications, in general terms, for the music industry. Additionally, before you photocopy our forms for submittal, check with the organizations to which you are submitting—they may require you to fill out their original forms. In many cases, these forms may be downloaded and submitted via the Internet.

There has been a radical change in the way musicians can access information since our last edition—the Internet. The U.S. Copyright Office and virtually all other major organizations involved in the music business now have Web sites that make their information instantly available and up-to-date.

The Internet is also a new source of distribution of both songs and sound recordings, and as acts as an advertising and promotional tool for musicians. There has been a flurry of lawsuits against those that have given away the music you create. Thankfully, the music copyright owners have either prevailed in court or have negotiated settlements-but regulating the Internet in a way to protect your works and have their use paid for, remains the greatest challenge.

One final note-although this book is a useful tool, musicians should write music, not contracts. Unless you devote your time and energy to developing and exploiting your talent, this book doesn't matter. Make it matter.

Mark Halloran, Esq.
Coauthor and Editor

From the Back Cover

Demystifies the music business and the indecipherable body of law which shapes it!

  • Provides vital information about how the Internet is changing the way music is marketed and sold.
  • Expanded/updated information on the impact of the Internet on legal and business issues.
  • Appendix includes names; URL and mailing addresses of major industry associations and organizations, as well as a list of the important industry publications.

Definitive in scope and written specifically for musicians and songwriters by top professionals currently working in the industry, this book provides substantive information on actual practices—with clause-by-clause commentaries on all major contracts in the industry, featuring extensive analyses, not just forms and casual commentary. Clarifies the language, shows actual practices, and offers advice on what to watch for. Requires no background in law or business; is written in plain English, not "legalese." Chapters are written by lawyers, managers, agents and business people working in the music industry in New York and Los Angeles.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Keep Coming Back to This Book Sept. 3 2004
By Ran Walker - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book to fill out my music law library. Among the many books I have read are Passman's book "Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry", "This Business of Music", and even Moses Avalon's more gritty book "Confessions of a Record Producer." While all of these books provide a great deal helpful information to understanding the music business, they are not really books that contain samples of what the actual contracts look like.

I bought The Musician's Business and Legal Guide a while back just because of the sample contracts. After sorting through the plentiful boilerplate contracts, I found that the information prefacing the agreements, i.e. that actual chapter contents, were even more invaluable than the contracts, which in themselves are pretty thorough. While I use my own hybrid, individualized contracts for the entertainment clients I represent through my law practice, I find myself constantly flipping back to this book as a reference since it covers such a wide range of information. In addition, the annotations in the sample contracts helps to illustrate the degrees of flexibility usually available to those contracts and what the terms actually mean.

This book is definitely not, as another reviewer stated, a book that you set out to read from cover to cover like Passman's book, but it works tremendously well as a reference to go to from time to time. My copy is highlighted and marked all up (and I'm one who normally writes in books).

The value of this book seriously exceeds its cost, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to see how the concepts discussed in other music business books play out legally.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 19 2006
By Crystal - Published on Amazon.com
People think music business is all about creation and keeping the fans happy. Well it mostly is but a young artist can become stuck in all that legal stuff. For somebody who is new that can be very difficult and people could take advantage of this and try to cheat you so this book is about all the legal involved aspects of the music business. This book will offer you a detailed explanation of everything that concerns the people in the music business. After you read it you will know what to avoid and understand the issues as they are explained in an easy and franc manner.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have May 29 2008
By ATC2 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Weather you in the business or getting into it, this book is essential. Even if you have a lawyer. Good insight...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legal Ease Feb. 13 2008
By Bruce A. Baldy - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is so crammed with info and knowledge coupled with insight into practices of the industry and courts its like attending a credited law school.With basic torts and concideration of all parts and many elemental workings of the industry.It is a must have.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive- ea. ch. written by another person June 1 2007
By Adam Frange - Published on Amazon.com
This is comprehensive & each chapter was written by another expert, so you're bound to like something!

This can be a substitute to the book: "Everything You Need To Know About The Music Business" (Donald Passman)

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