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Old 25th January 2019
  #16
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Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
One more question related to the business side of things - what advice would you give someone who is wondering whether or not a record label could be of use to them? Other than "get a lawyer" of course, which should be a given... - what questions do you think an artist should ask a potential suitor should they be in a position where they are being approached?
Number one, I would say learn about the legal side of the music business yourself, buy a book and do the homework. I bought All You Need to Know About The Music Business by Donald Passman. Read everything you can, ask people you trust, research research research. Especially given that the rules of the music business change yearly :/
I'm not going to name names, but I was courted by a label for 6 months and if I hadn't known my bread from my butter, I would've been ruined by now.
in general, look for these terms:

Perpetuity = that means forever. Forever is bad.
Non-exclusive = that's what you want, you don't release your rights.
Rights transfer = you temporarily give a label your rights for a finite amount of time and after that they revert back to you.
Sunset Clause = after a contract ends, you calculate a half life for album sales that your label will still receive, which is fair. The amount of time should be defined though, there's no set time, I personally wouldn't go over 3-4 years, but it can go up to 10, which is a scam if you ask me.

Lastly, if you really really really SUPER need to go on a label, make sure that you walk in with the upper hand and know your audience, know what you want to sign away and make sure that you keep track of your finances, absolutely nothing will be free, so if you're looking to get into music to get away from lame stuff like taxes, expenses and returns, you're outta luck
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