MusicDish e-Journal - March 21, 2018
MusicDish Advertising Network
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

How To Escape From A Music Business Mess
The importance of including an "Escape Clause" in every music business contract that you intend to sign that lasts for a period of time
By Professor Pooch
(more articles from this author)
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

Could you picture, as a creative person or entity such as an Artist, Band or Songwriter, being signed with a person or company who can't advance your career? Maybe, they're even one of those people who signs everyone they can who they think can succeed - and then sit back and do nothing -waiting for you to do it all on your own. But you can bet they'll be there when the money starts to come in.

The fact is, you will find that in most Contracts, it usually states what one side of the table must do - but not the other side! A good example is a Recording Contract, where, if you read between the lines, it never promises they will ever release the Music you've recorded - but you can bet it says what You must do!

Another example may be an Artist Management Contract where it will state what an Artist must do for their Manager and their career, but not what a Manager must do for their Artist - or it's very vague. It may say something like "the Manager will use reasonable effort…" And who is to decide what "reasonable" means?

These are just a few examples of quite a few Music Industry Contracts that vary in length for different amounts of time, whether it may be a Management Agreement for 5 years, a Recording Contract for a bunch of albums or "periods", or a Songwriter's Agreement, where the Publisher may own a song for life, or quite a few other types of contracts with varying lengths. There are even contracts that have no definite ending explicitly stated - and you're stuck for an insane length of time in a horrible situation - maybe even for life!

The point is, if there are "performance clauses" in your contract, where you have to perform tasks and duties that live up to their expectations, why can't you add performance clauses where they also have to live up to at least reasonable expectations.

To the point: You must have an escape plan - a way to escape from a bad situation - before it gets any worse!

That is, you should have what is usually known as an "Escape Clause" [sometimes known as a "Release Clause" or "Reversion Clause" - depending on the type contract]. And you should have one in any and every contract you're intending to sign that lasts for a period of time, so that in case the person or company you've signed with can't or doesn't do their job, you can legally break the contract - and escape!

In effect, an escape clause is a "performance clause" that insures that the person offering the contract performs their job - and performs it well.

A well, written escape clause contains these three elements:

1. A specific, reachable goal or goals that you wish to reach, and,
2. A specific time in which to reach that goal, or,
3. You can be released early from your contract if the goal isn't met in that specified time period - and all your rights revert back to you.

Here's a simply worded example of an escape clause:

"Manager promises that, if within 18 months of the signing date of the Agreement, Artist has not received a recording contract from a Record Company, then Artist may ask to be released from the contract".

Therefore, if it's a five year contract, for example, you have a chance to get out of it much earlier if the Manager doesn't do their job.

But, wait a minute! There's a major problem with that so-called "escape clause" I just gave you! As I stated, it must be specific! The way it's written above, your Manager's mom could start a record company (which is very easy to do), and you won't get to sign with that Indie or Major Label you always dreamed about! What it should say is (for example): "… a nationally recognized and internationally distributed Recording Company, such as…" - and list the Major or Indie Labels you'll accept.

Let's look at a Songwriting Agreement. A must is the "reversion clause" which should at least state something like, "if your Song is not commercially recorded and released through a legitimate, nationally recognized and distributed Recording Company within a certain period of time, [usually one year to 18 months], ownership and all rights to the Song, Revert back to you - that is, they become yours again.

Or with a Record Company it should state something like, "If your recording is not released nationally and internationally through normally recognized retail channels in physical and digital formats, within one year, you can ask to be released from your Agreement - and they must allow you to leave.

By the way, you can also ask for continuing goals to be reached at different specific time periods. And you should always make sure that, if you sign more than one contract with the same person or company, that if one contract ends - they all end at the same time!

To sum it up: No matter how great the person or contract seems, safeguard it by having a Music Business Contract Specialist, such as myself or an Entertainment Attorney, insert a well written "Escape" or "Release" clause. In plain language - an escape clause can save your ass!

Home » Career Tips » How To Escape From A Music Business Mess
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top

MusicDish Advertising Network

Career Tips

» Briony Turner And Alec Boateng Promoted To Co-Heads Of A&R, Atlantic Records UK

» The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out

» Career Moves: Cinq Music, Songtrust, Def Jam, Warner Music, 117 Management & DPA

» The Production Music Association Now Accepting Entries For The 2017 Mark Awards

» Aloft Hotels And MTV Spotlight Top Asia Pacific Music Talent

Career Tips Directory

» [2018-03-09] Round Hill Music And Zync Sign Madge To Joint Venture; JV Publishing Venture To Support And Expand Zync's Successful Rights Representation Business

» [2018-03-03] PPL And PRS For Music Launch Licensing Joint Venture; Licensing Of Music Played In Public Now Administered By New Leicester-based Joint Venture, PPL PRS Ltd

» [2018-02-27] Music Festivals And Conferences Pledge To Tackle Gender Inequality; Keychange Initiative Encourages Gender Balance In Music By End Of 2022

» [2018-02-21] Briony Turner And Alec Boateng Promoted To Co-Heads Of A&R, Atlantic Records UK; Turner And Boateng Will Oversee The Atlantic A&R Team, Joint Projects, As Well As Maintaining Their Own Artist Rosters

» [2018-02-21] ICE And Facebook Reach Multi-Territory Music Licensing Agreement; New Deal Will See Songwriters And Composers Remunerated

» [2018-02-20] B-Reel Named Top 10 Most Innovative Company In Music By Fast Company; Global Creative Agency Receives Honor For Its Award-Winning Gorillaz Campaign

» [2018-02-18] YG PLUS And Gracenote To Bring K-POP To Fans Around The World; Gracenote And YG PLUS To Make All K-POP Music More Searchable And Discoverable On Global And Regional Streaming Music Platforms And Services

» [2018-02-17] VNUE Inc. To Acquire Music Rights Startup Soundstr; VNUE Acquisition Aims To Ensure A Fairer Royalty System

» [2018-02-17] Is Podcasting The New Radio?; 25% Of Surveyed Americans Say They've Listened To A Podcast In The Past Month, Up From Less Than 10% In 2008

» [2018-02-01] Insomniac Announces Inaugural Electric Daisy Carnival China Set To Debut In Shanghai; China Marks EDC's Second Location On The Asian Continent

» [2018-02-01] Viberate & Imogen Heap Strive To Give Equal Opportunity To Every Artist; Heap's Main Role In Viberate's Advisory Team Will Be To Help Further Guide Us Toward A Second To None Service For The Live Music Segment

» [2018-01-22] Italian Independent Music Collective Fil1993 Group Signs With MusicDish*China; MusicDish*China Will Be Developing Their Online Presence And Social Media In China As Well As Releasing Their Catalogue To Chinese Streaming Music Services
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Recording Artist Tiffani LeBlanc Reigns As The #PartyPrincess With New Track "Let's Party"

Hybrid Studios Hosts Annual NAMM Afterparty

High Definition Music Card - The New Way To Experience Music!

DEATH BY MISADVENTURE, New True Mystery Podcast Launches 31st January 2018

Music And Kids Joins Forces With Carnie Wilson, With Plans To Provide One-on-One After-School Music Education To Thousands Of Middle And High School Students

Don Dawil's Valentine's Day Debut Latin Single "Necesito Verte"

Taking Applications - The 23rd Annual USA Songwriting Competition

Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2018 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships