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Copyright, Trademarks, & Publishing
Directory of sites containing information specifically dealing with music law, including publishers, copyright, trademark and entertainment law services.

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Hiring a Music Attorney: Some Insider Tips
If you are seeking a career in the music business, there will most likely come a time when consulting with an attorney will be helpful. As an attorney myself for over twenty years, I have observed over the years many attorneys working with their clients, and I have seen many attorney-client relationships work and not work. I want to discuss here, completely candidly, what I believe what you should know about hiring an attorney and working successfully with that attorney. Article by Bart Day.

Music Law and Copyright Law...

AMS: Sample Contracts
A small selection of useful, "ready made" contracts from Artist Management Services. Includes a Band Member Agreement, Song Publishing Contract, Sponsorship, Sound Services Contract and more. Updated 04/11/2005.

American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. An association of over 200,000 composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers, ASCAP's function is to protect the rights of its members by licensing and paying royalties for the public performances of their copyrighted works. Updated 04/11/2005.

Band Partnership Agreement (Example & Template)
Here you'll find a link to a template for a Band Partnership Agreement that will help you craft your own Agreement. Added 05/26/2011.

Broadcast Music Incorporated, a music performing rights organization that represents songwriters (even when they happen also to be performers), as well as film, television, musical theatre and classical music composers and, of course, music publishers. BMI collects money from the businesses that use music in the course of their day and then pays out that money as royalties to the composers and publishers of the songs and compositions they play. Updated 01/30/2003.

Broadsky: New York's Lowest Priced Law Firm
Having never used their services, we can't necessarily vouch for these guys. However, the price is right, and if you're in need of legal services, here's someone worth researching. To quote the web site, "No suits & ties. Real low fees. Great legal rep. A different kind of music law firm. We know that young musicians and new businesspeople can't afford to blow their limited funds on a lawyer. Not when there are videos to shoot, equipment to buy, merch to produce, and parties to throw. That's why our fees are about 70 to 80% lower than the average at only $79 per hour. With us you get the same experience and better service without any pretense." Updated 5/4/2011.

California Lawyers For The Arts
Founded in 1974, CLA provides lawyer referrals, dispute resolution services, and a resource library to artists of all disciplines and arts organizations. Their lawyer referral service can provide you with a brief half-hour consultation for $35 (for non-members) in numerous areas of law, including copyright, contract drafting, incorporation, mediation and arbitration. CLA also holds a number of workshops focusing on the music business available throughout southern California. If you need an entertainment lawyer, and quick, CLA is a good place to start. Updated 5/4/2011.

Fox Tax Service
Here's a tax preparation service devoted to artists and musicians. So when that time of year comes around and you need help figuring out your taxes, determining what to deduct, how to file, whether you files as a "business" or anything else, check in with Fox for assistance. They can provide anything from simple advice to doing the entire preparation and tax filing for you. Added 07/21/2005.

The Future of Music Coalition
This fascinating web site features numerous articles and commentaries on the state of the music industry, technology and the evolving debate over intellectual property rights. One of the stated goals of the Coalition is to educate musicians about critical issues shaping the industry. You'll find a large selection of articles, a library of important books, research areas, newsletters, and ideas for how you can participate in the debate. Sign up for the newsletter to remain updated on what’s happening on the legal side of the entertainment world. Updated 10/14/2010.

The Harry Fox Agency, Inc.
Want to use a copyright protected song but you're confused about who to contact and how to go about it? The HFA licenses the largest percentage of music in the United States for CDs, digital services and music downloads. Once you register, The HFA's easy to use licensing system takes you step by step through the process of licensing songs for use in recording, performance, film, or digital downloads and tells you exactly what you need to do and what it will cost you. Updated 10/14/2010.

Heraty Hall: Attorney's at Law
Heraty Hall is a law firm that specializes in serving the needs of artists and professionals in the entertainment industry. Clients include musicians, record labels, artist management companies, writers, composers, licensing companies, a PR firm, and more. They draft and negotiate contracts, form LLCs, consult on business issues, advise clients of their legal rights, and help companies organize and define themselves. They pride themselves on" providing quality low-cost legal representation to those who would otherwise not have access to it." Added 01/29/2004.

Johnson & Moo, Attorneys at Law
To quote the web site: "Our primary practice areas are music law, entertainment law, and... we aim to use our extensive experience and creativity to help serve our clients better. We value our clients... and strive to make each of our clients feel as if he or she is our only client. Entertainment contracts can be complex and intimidating and therefore it's important to have an attorney on your side who is thoroughly familiar with them. Kamal Moo, partner at Johnson & Moo, has spent several years in the music industry as an artist manager and is now drawing on his practical experience to help provide his entertainment law clients with the best guidance possible." On the site you'll find links to information on copyright registration, management contracts, music licensing, production agreements and publishing and recording contracts. Added 5/4/2011.  

Law Articles for Recording Artists and Songwriters
Here are a few articles from Ivan Hoffman, Attorney At Law, on issues that effect the recording artist and songwriter. Articles include
The Six Potential Traps In A Recording Contract, Recording Contract Royalties, Owned and Controlled Licenses, Contract Exit Strategies and others. Added 06/20/2002. 

Licensing Your Music Overseas
If you are an artist or indie label, one way to significantly expand your universe is to license your master recordings to record companies outside the United States. Article by Bart Day. Added 01/29/2004

Mclane & Wong - Entertainment Law
Mclane & Won is a full service global entertainment law firm specializing in music law, the music business and the music industry. At their web site you'll find a wonderful selection of articles on some of the legal topics that concern musicians most: royalties, agents, distribution, endorsements, film/tv licensing, group partnerships, publishing, and so much more. Their client list is quite impressive, and their consultation rates very reasonable too. Great content.  Added 03/17/2004.

MPA's Directory of Music Publishers
Looking for a publisher's contact information? The Music Publishers' Association's directory contains contact information for publishers, both domestic and foreign, and copyright administrating offices. A very complete listing and an an excellent resource. Added 11/26/2002.

Need assistance getting permission to use that cover song on your CD? Want to license music for your film or video? The Parker Music Groups, AKA MusicClearance.com is in the business of locating publishers and copyright owners for the purpose of negotiating song licensing rights and fees for their clients. Check out their credits for a very impressive list of clients. Updated 04/11/2005

This site, an extension of the Law Office of J. Scott Rudsenske, offers an assortment of pre-made music business contracts for the artist, record label, manager, producer and publisher. Contracts are available in packages, or individually. Once you select, and pay for the contract (most range from $20-$40), you may immediately download it. Updated 10/14/2010.  

Music Law: Free Legal Advice
Here you'll find answers on nearly every aspect of music law - including copyrighting your music, royalties, protecting your band name, music publishers, recording contracts and agreements, getting perimission to use a song, and many other topics. Very useful. Added 06/03/2003. 

Here's another resource for those of you searching for templates for music contracts and legal forms for the music business. Purchase complete contract packages, or purchase each form individually. Band/Artist contract pages includes and Artist Management Contract, Band Performance Contract, General Partnership Agreement, Recording Artist Contracts, Tour Sponsorship Agreement and many others. All forms are provided in HTML and Word formats. Added 10/03/2002.

Music Publishers' Association
This web site is an excellent resource on all things copyright/publishing related, but is particularly useful if you are seeking the publisher or copyright owner of a particular song. Their Copyright Search Center provides a step-by-step guide to finding the copyright holder or publisher for a piece of music. MPA also provides generic forms you can use to request permission to make use of songs in your projects. Reviewed 09/26/2002

Musicians Intellectual Law and Resources Links
A very complete directory containing not only links, but general information on the basics of copyright and music law. You'll find notes on trademarks, mechanical royalties, an analysis of recording contract clauses and more. Also, written in plain English, so little guesswork involved. A great place to find basic music law information quickly. Updated 04/04/2003.

Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution (U.S.)
Thinking of setting up your own Podcast? It would be wise to know your legal boundaries. This guide covers copyright issues, special rules, using your own content, incorporation of others' audio recordings, interviews, licenses you'll need and more. Updated 10/14/2010.  

Public Domain Music
Need to find out if a song you want to perform or record is in the public domain? Then check out this public domain information project. You'll find numerous articles on public domain works and copyright information as well as public domain song lists, research resources, tips, and a well documented FAQ. Updated 10/14/2010.

Recording Industry Association of America
The RIAA is a trade group that represents most of the corporate music industry. Its member companies comprise about 90% of all sound recordings manufactured and sold in the U.S.. While some artists view the RIAA as the "enemy," representing big money and big business, the company does in fact provide a wealth of information on what’s happening in the industry. The RIAA site is regularly updated with information on new technologies, copyright law, freedom of speech, licensing, royalties, market data and more. Hanging out at the RIAA site you definitely get a different perspective - the business perspective - and that’s a perspective you ought to know. Updated 10/14/2010.

Releasing Your Own Record: A Legal Checklist
For artists who are releasing their own record for the first time, without the involvement or assistance of a label, the process can be a little intimidating. It can be easy to miss some key legal details in the process. Here, therefore, is a very basic checklist of issues to be considered when releasing a record. Updated 10/14/2010.

Russell Law: Legal Services for Creative People
Elizabeth T. Russell is the author of Art Law Conversations: A Surprisingly Readable Guide for Visual Artists. Art Law Conversations achieved finalist status in ForeWord Magazine's 2005 Book of the Year awards, earned a rating of "Essential" from CHOICE Magazine and was named to CHOICE's 2006 Outstanding Academic Titles. Elizabeth is also the Art Law columnist for Art Calendar, a national business magazine for visual artists. As a writer she particularly enjoys taking complicated issues and explaining them in understandable terms for nonlawyers. Practice areas include Copyright and Trademark, Contracts, Arts and entertainment, Internet law, Nonprofit law and general business. Added 12/12/2007.

Schroder Fidlow, PLC
Schroder Fidlow, PLC is a unique law firm that provides full-service legal advice and counsel to clients in the entertainment industry and in the performance and visual arts based in the United States and around the world. Located in Virgina, Schroder Fidlow’s mission is to provide effective legal representation and guidance to our clients in a cost-efficient manner. They pride themselves providing New York/Los Angeles quality entertainment & arts law services WITHOUT the New York/Los Angeles high billing rates and fees. Added 06/06/2007.

Tips For Selecting an Entertainment Attorney
Sooner or later you will need legal counsel as a musician, songwriter, label owner or industry careerist and it's important to know how to select the best counsel for your needs. Here are a few tips to help you with the screening process. Updated 10/14/2010..

U.S. Copyright Office Homepage
The U.S. Copyright Office's web site is surprisingly user friendly. You'll find all the forms you need, plus all the information you could want on basic copyright law. Updated 10/14/2010.

What to Do When Someone Steals Your Song...
One of the big concerns musicians often express is the fear that someone will hear their song, record their own version, and then take it to the bank. Is this really a reasonable fear? And what should you do if you hear a song on the radio, Internet or tv that sounds just like your song? That's one of the many questions answered in this excellent interview with copyright attorney Robert Clarida.  Added 02/02/2011.

Suggest A Site For This Directory
Would you like to recommend a web site for the MusicBizAcademy.com directory?
Click here to tell us about it. We welcome any quality musicians resource, as well as music promotion tools, 'how to' articles, and pretty much anything music business related. We're NOT interested in band pages. Please be aware that due to the number of suggestions we receive, our current placement time is about 12 weeks. We will contact you if your site is selected. Thank you.


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