Last week, we took a general, perhaps oversimplified, look at recording contracts as they relate to today’s bluegrass artists.
This week, I thought I’d take a look at two hypothetical contracts, one drawn up exactly how some record labels would like the contracts to be read, and then like a typical record artist would like them to be.
The ideal contract of the label:
Hog’s Breath Records, hereinafter referred to as the “Company”, hereinafter referred to as the “Artist” hereinafter for the exclusive services of Tortured River, in connection with the production and delivery of audio and video recordings under the terms and conditions contained herein, and the The artist accepts this commitment and contract.
For a period of not less than 855 months, the Artist will provide the Company with no less than one master recording every two months, with the recording budget, pieces and producer agreed by the Company. The Company reserves the right to reject any material that it deems offensive, has no commercial potential or is simply stupid.
All recording will take place in the Company’s studio, hereafter referred to as the “Label President’s Basement”, with a recording budget of no more than $ 750, including all mixing, mastering and album art. Any costs incurred above the budget will be paid by the artists in cash.
The company will pay royalties on the sales of master recordings at the rate of 0.0095%, after the company has recovered all registration and production costs, plus all promotional costs, not to exceed $ 750,000. The company will pay digital and streaming royalties at the rate of 7% once the artist amount exceeds the $ 65,000 threshold.
Copyrights will be payable in the form of a company certificate, redeemable for company merchandise, including T-shirts, CDs from other artists, or to be applied to future registration fees.
All songs recorded by the artist during the period will remain the exclusive property of the Company and cannot be re-recorded for any other company for a period of 90 years.
The company will make the CDs available to the artist for sale at a discounted price of $ 14.99 per unit.
The company may terminate this agreement on a whim. The artist can never terminate this agreement, or the artist will be hunted and beaten senselessly.
The ideal contract of the artist:
Hog’s Breath Records, hereinafter referred to as the “Company”, with this agreement for the exclusive (but flexible) services of Tortured River, hereinafter referred to as the “Artist” in connection with the production and delivery of audio and video recordings under the terms and conditions contained herein, and the Artist accepts this commitment and contract.
For a period of between one day and approximately one year, the Artist undertakes to provide the Company with a maximum of one master recording, provided that the artist feels sufficiently inspired to do so.
The company will provide a budget of no less than $ 350,000 for master enrollment. The Company may apply any unspent amount in study costs for the promotion of publications or simply for gifts for the Artist. None of these costs will ever be borne by the Artist.
During the registration process, the Company will provide the Artist with meals and snacks, satisfying the dietary whims and quirks of the Artist and band members.
The artist retains 100% creative control of the entire recording process and can feel free to evaluate any promotional decision, from album cover, video locations, to the company’s office decor.
The company will pay royalties to the artist on all gross sales and digital downloads at the rate of 90% starting with the first sale and continuing forever. 100% of the streaming revenue will be paid to the artist.
The artist can register with any other company at any time if it seems like a better deal, however, the company requires the artist not to re-register songs already released by the company for a period of at least seven days.
The company will provide the artist with 1,000 promotional copies of the CD to distribute to the media, or simply to give to friends or sell for some extra cash.
The company will make the CDs available to the artist for sale at a discounted price of $ 1.00 per unit, with free shipping.
After a written request, the Artist can withdraw from this contract at any time, but who would like it?