Entertainment and Media Law is a legal field comprised of several basic areas including: copyright law, contract law, corporate law and employment law. Negotiating your way through this maze requires knowledgeable help.
Recording contracts come in many shapes and sizes. There are long complicated deals with major record companies and shorter deals with independent labels and everything else in between. Getting proper legal advice is essential in any deal where you are obligated to provide your services as an artist.
music publishing contracts
Whether the music publishing arrangement you are considering is a full publishing deal, a co-publishing deal or an administration deal, there are many twists and turns you’ll have to steer through. I can help you get through all of them. If you are a songwriter looking for a music publisher, I can help there too.
software development and technology related contracts
Are you retaining the services of a programmer to deliver you code? Or have you been provided with a contract for services to deliver code? In either case I can help you arrive at an agreement that will keep the elements of your project moving forward. Do you require an End User License Agreement for your project or Terms of Service for your site? I can provide the guidance required here also.
sound recording distribution agreements
Do you have your own product ready to be taken to retail outlets and or digital music retail sites? Then you need a distributor or aggregator who can get your product to the widest possible consumer base. Finding the right distribution/aggregation partner is crucial to making the money you’ll need to be able to get on to your next record.
digital download websites
If you run a website providing legal downloads of audio recordings you require numerous licenses in order to be able to operate internationally. I can assist you to acquire the required licenses worldwide.
Engaging a personal manager or an artist-client is a little like getting married. You had better be very sure you see eye to eye with your future manager or with your future artist-client before signing on the dotted line. The consequences of a professional relationship gone sour can be devastating. The contract that regulates your relationship needs to be done properly. I can help you negotiate a deal that will provide the bedrock for your dealings together.
synchronization and master use contracts
When placing a song into a film, television production or video game, you require at least two licenses, one that covers the song itself (called the synchronization license) and one that covers the recording of that song (called the master use license). Whether you own the song or the recording or if you are the production company seeking the use that song or recording having clear and cogent legal advice is central to negotiating a fast and satisfactory license.
A license is written permission for someone else to use your music or your computer code. You may be an independent label producing tracks, an artist who has been asked for permission to use one of your tracks in a mobile application or an entity that controls the rights to a proprietary computer code. The royalty rates, term lengths, advances and other deal points vary around the world. I can help you negotiate these terms so that you can see your intellectual property enter a wider forum.
You may be a producer who has been asked to remix a track or you may be a label seeking to engage, or even find the right remixer to deliver a record with a very specific sound. Either way, if remixing is on your mind, contact me.
If you are going to incorporate someone else’s musical composition and/or sound recording in your track you must get written permission from the proper authorizing agents. Sometimes the owner of the original material has a policy against granting sample clearances. Whether it’s a matter of tracking down the proper agents or presenting your request in the best possible way, sample clearances require experienced assistance.
employment contracts and wrongful dismissal
If you are an entertainment executive who has been presented with an employment contract, or if you have been wrongfully dismissed from your position, I can assist in arriving at the best possible arrangement.
registration of copyrights
I can assist with registration of your copyrights in both Canada and The United States.
business corporations matters
I can assist with the registration of sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations with the regulatory authorities in Canada.
When all other efforts at dispute resolution fail you may have to resort to the courts. Litigation is a complex, time consuming and expensive affair. While I do not provide litigation services I can help you find litigation counsel who understand the entertainment business.
Mediation is the process where parties in dispute choose a mediator, an impartial person, who helps them reach their mutually acceptable settlement. Mediation can be attempted either before litigation commences, if the parties are willing, or as part of an effort to settle a matter where a lawsuit has been commenced but the parties are trying to avoid the expense of a trial. Judges and lawyers suggest mediation as an alternative to litigation. In many cases, through mediation, the parties reach agreement, thus saving themselves emotional and financial costs. If a settlement cannot be achieved, the parties still can take other action such as arbitration or other legal proceedings. I am available to serve as an impartial mediator and as I know the workings of the music industry, I can do so without having to take a lot of time to understand the background of any dispute.
estate planning related to copyrights and other intellectual property
Are you seeking to ensure that royalties from your copyrights flow to the correct parties after you have shuffled off this mortal coil? Are you looking to make sure your trademarks or your image are properly managed to leave a legacy for your heirs? I can assist in making certain that your intellectual property is administered correctly either by working with your executor or handling it directly.