As a musician, the thrill of creating good music and performing in front of an energetic crowd is often the best part of the job. There are very few musicians who don’t enjoy the act of performing however, once you step off the stage and the show ends there are important business matters to contend with. Creative professions are still jobs and like all jobs, there are technicalities and paperwork to attend to. As you go further in your career and your music becomes a finically rewarding endeavor you should hire an experienced music industry attorney. Having an attorney is a very important part of being a musician as they handle several legal concerns you’ll encounter working in the industry.
Four Areas a Music Industry Attorney Assist With
- Licensing and Broadcasting Your Work: your work can be used in a variety of ways not just for performing or sale licensing can get complex and includes performance rights, the ability to use a song a movie, or commercial, and how your work is broadcast in general. Fair use (using music or creative material without a license) for example, is a notably complex aspect of broadcasting rights and how it is defined is an ongoing issue between performers and various platforms, it is certainly a matter you’ll want to trust with a legal professional.
- Contracts: as a musician, you’ll encounter an assortment of contracts for both your music and for working with third-party companies such as social media experts and marketers. Your attorney will review each contract to make sure they are fair, legal, and contain terms you are comfortable with. This is especially important for hiring producers and signing with record labels as these terms have a sizable impact on your career and potential earnings.
- Visas: becoming famous can make you popular not just in America but also worldwide. There are several stories of bands becoming popular in foreign countries and traveling abroad to perform for their fans. When traveling and working abroad you need to have the proper forms and visas in place to make sure everything is legally accounted for and these issues can get complex. Your attorney can certainly assist in these matters.
- Taxes: as a musician, your taxes can get complex with performances in multiple states and even different countries. In addition, there are several write-offs and credits you may be able to claim on your return. A music attorney can help make sure your compliant and in some cases advise on an account skilled to work on your specific tax needs.
Working in the arts and making music is a rich and rewarding career choice. However, as a musician, you are a small business owner in many ways. While other small business owners may create more physical goods, what you create is still a valuable commodity that requires hard work and time. This is why having an attorney is so important. There are several highly specialized laws that involve your musical work, and you need someone trained in the law and the unique issues the music industry has. A music attorney helps protect you and your career.