Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business (Music Law) (Paperback)
by Richard Stim (Author)
The No. 1 bestselling business book for bands!
If you belong to a band and love the art of your job, but sing the blues when it comes to the business, you need Music Law. Composed by musician and lawyer Richard Stim, the book explains how to:
- find the right manager
- buy, insure and maintain equipment
- get gigs and get paid
- tour on a budget
- use samples
- do covers legally
- protect your copyright
- trademark your band’s name
- choose a recording studio
- sell your music
- manage your website
- understand record contracts
- deal with taxes
- and much more
Music Law provides all the legal information and practical advice musicians need. The 5th editionÂ – completely updated to provide the latest in the lawÂ – covers music downloads and other trends affecting the digital-music scene. It also provides up-to-date legal forms on CD-ROM.
Some musicians recoil at the thought that their band is a business. They believe that their music is their art, and don’t want to sully it with commerce. That’s all well and good-but wouldn’t you give up your day job if you had the chance? Music Law can help you see your band as a business and turn it into a successful one. Musician and attorney Richard Stim has filled this useful book with helpful advice on solving disputes between band members, dealing with lawyers, managers, and record companies, and even the increasingly important matter of sample clearance. The advice is extremely thorough; for example, the chapter on band names includes information on researching your band’s name to ensure it isn’t already in use, what happens if two bands have the same name, and even how to register your band’s name and logo. Because he advises getting all agreements in writing, Stim has provided dozens of sample agreement forms, both as blank hard copies in the book and as templates on the enclosed disk. Throughout the book, Stim provides important legal advice, all translated from stilted legalese into simple English. Both big and little names get into these difficulties sometimes; the book is peppered with cautionary tales of real musicians and their legal squabbles. Music Law can help you avoid such pitfalls and get your band’s business running smoothly-so you might be able to quit that day job, after all.Â -C.B. Delaney
From Independent Publisher
Lots of musicians hit the big time, enjoy a brief stint in the limelight, and much later are seen in a state not far from that in which they began their odyssey, which is to say fairly down and fairly out. It’s the old myth: creative people can’t be/don’t have time to be/shouldn’t have to be bothered with the drudgery of business. What happened when no one was looking, was that throughout the 20th Century, life for artists and entertainers became ever-increasingly complex. Types and amounts of taxes multiplied. The paradigm of big bucks from performances and little bucks, if any, from royalties and licensing was turned upside down and inside out. Publishing and derivative options increased. More than ever, musicians have to pay attention to the business side of the music and the intellectual property side of the business. Someone has finally written a book that really helps the music makers in their struggles with earning a living and retaining some of what they earn. Richard Stim starts with the basics: use an attorney on major deals; develop written agreements; treat your band (and by extension, your solo career) as a business. He moves on to partnership agreements (most bands are partnerships); taxes; attorney relations; performance agreements; and the entire panoply of copyright, recording and publishing issues. Well organized, practically designed, and clearly written, the book has one tiny fault. It should have been called Every Band’s Business Bible. It’s that good, and that necessary.
About the Author
Mr. Stim specializes in small business, copyright, patents, and trademark issues at Nolo. He practices law in San Francisco and has represented photographers, software developers, crafts people, publishers, musicians, and toy designers. He is the author of many books, including Whoops I’m in Business, Music Law, and Profit from Your Idea. In his free time he watches too many movies, produces audiobooks, and performs and records with two bands, MX-80 and angel corpus christi.