Put it in Writing!
Donít ever underestimate the importance of putting everything, and I mean everything, in writing, especially when it comes to music contracts. You just canít trust promises or handshakes that people give you anymore. Anything and everything that is discussed must be put in writing in music business contracts. Over the next few minutes, I hope you will grasp just how vital this is.
It is crucial to put every promise and every single decision made, no matter how minuscule it seems at the time, in writing. If the deal goes sour, you donít want to end up penniless and caught in a he said, she said type of situation. You could spend years in court and end up in more debt than you were before. Your signed recording contracts will be the only defense you have. If the issue at hand is not included, you might just out of luck in the judgeís eyes.
You may have heard that oral contracts can be legally binding and you are right, some can be. There are four types of oral contracts that will not stand up in a court of law, an illegal act, if the terms of the agreement were not specified, if one or both the parties were mistaken or if the subject or terms are prohibited by law. But honestly, there is no way to prove something 100% unless you have written and signed music business contracts or several unbiased witnesses. Otherwise, you may be involved in a situation where it is your word against another personís and no one can predict the outcome of that.
You should also be careful with emailing and text messaging and trying to apply these to the terms of recording contracts. At this time, laws relating to electronic communication and their validity in a court of law are still in their infancy. Donít count on an email or a text message as your proof of the contractual obligations of any party. The only thing that you can rely on is a written contract, typed up and signed by both parties, with witnesses.
Unfortunately, the best way to protect yourself, your career and your income is by doing everything by the book. There have been several famous cases of bands or artists, such as Vanilla Ice, O-Town, Toni Braxton, Garbage, NíSYNC and Courtney Love claim that they have been given a raw deal with their music business contracts and have ended up in very bad positions. So, it definitely pays to put, not only everything in writing but to have a firm grasp and understanding on every last drop of information in your music contracts.
About the Author: About the Author:
Ty Cohen, the online music industry's most recognizable voice is the former owner of a successful independent record label, current owner of Platinum Millennium publishing and nation-wide music industry seminar speaker and panelist. He is also the author and creator of over 40 best-selling music business books, reports, courses, audio products and other music industry "How to" resources, that have helped tens of thousands of individuals like you to successfully find their way in the music business. Visit http://www.order-yours-now.com/ for more information on Music Contracts, Recording Contracts and Music Business Contracts.