Friday, August 7, 2015

15. Lawcast: Band Agreements

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Expected Audience: Musicians in a band or novice attorneys working with bands

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Once we finally get past the announcements and coffee talk, Thomas has four major points for musicians to make sure they get in their band agreement. We go into detail on those points. We also go over some additional minor points.

We recorded this episode back in July, but just now getting it out. We are set to record our August show on Saturday, so time to get this out!

We start off making an announcement about the new Music Manumit Extra, and talking very briefly about Doug's move to Cincinnati.

We then spend a fair amount of time talking about cold brew coffee. Coffee roasters, get at us with sponsorship! Jump to the 11-minute mark in the edited audio if you want to skip the announcements and coffee talk. That said, if you like coffee, and you've never given cold brew coffee a shot, you should definitely listen to that bit.

Thomas talks about his guitar addiction as well, so guitar makers, get at us with sponsorship too! His new guitar has an automatic tuner on it. He gives it a B+

First thing we cover: do you need a band agreement? Maybe not! Maybe you just need a song split agreement. If you're recording music with another human, you probably need some sort of agreement!

The major points for band agreements:
1. Who owns the band name? For more on that See Brian Clark's article.
2. Who owns the songs (both written and recorded)?
3. Who owns the equipment (amps, etc.)?

4. Who owns the merchandise (CDs, vinyl, t-shirts, etc.)?
5. What happens at termination? How do you kick someone out/hire?

For more detail, listen to the show!

We mentioned in the show that our August recording would be on Collectives and Cooperatives. However, we decided to go ahead and talk about Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) in August. We may do Collectives and Cooperatives in September or we may pick another topic. Listen to the PRO-talk to find out what's in store!

unedited video (which may end up going away, so grab it if you want it -- we had a bit of a technical glitch, but if you want to see Thomas' new guitar, here's the video)

If you are still looking for more information, back in 2013, Doug wrote a 10-point guide on negotiating a license. While negotiating a license is a different process with different negotiators than a band agreement, many of the points are still useful (some of which were brought up in the show, but worth reiterating).

As always, the Music Manumit Lawcast is not legal advice. If you need an attorney, please find one licensed in your jurisdiction. If you are in Maryland, you can get a free consultation by following instructions at

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