Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New York

artist management contract clauses

I am an unsigned Artist. My website is A management company has delivered to me a contract. Are the clauses below standard clauses in management contracts offered to an Artist? And if not, how can they be re-written to benefit my career?

1.Should an Artist empower management with power to sign recording, publishing and merchandising contracts ? Isnít this the same as giving Artistís publishing rights to them? ďArtist hereby authorizes and empowers Company to do for you in your behalf and at Companyís discretion to do the following: approve and permit any and all publicity and advertising; approve and permit the use of my name, photograph, likeness, voice, sound effects, caricatures, literary artistic and musical materials for purposes of advertising and publicity and in the promotion and advertising of any and all products and services; execute for me in my name and/or in my behalf any and all agreements, documents and contracts, including recording, publishing, and merchandising contracts, for my services,

Asked on 8/02/02, 10:38 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Bradley Rosen Bradley C. Rosen, Esq

Re: artist management contract clauses

I join in the answers given to you by Adam and Ken, and add just one more thought: If you are unsigned, what do you need a manager for? What is it exactly that the manager has promissed to do for you? Are all of the promises in the contract? Is the manager one who has a proven track record? Does he have the type of contacts that can get you to a record contract? If you do not get a contract within a certain period of time, can you get out of the agreement? Etc.

You really do need to have someone representing you before signing any kind of contract. If not, you could end up[ as one of those hard luck stories on VH1 Behind the Music.

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Answered on 8/03/02, 7:05 pm

Adam Hirshfield Adam E. Hirshfield, Esq., PLLC

Re: artist management contract clauses

1. Whether it's standard in an offer or not, you don't want to give your manager the right to execute all agreements on your behalf. This is something I would NEVER allow my clients to have in their management agreements. You need to negotiate what powers the manager will have.

2. This is not the same as giving the manager your publishing.

3. You really need to get an attorney to represent you on this. If you don't have one and would like to contact me, feel free.

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Answered on 8/02/02, 11:22 pm
Ken Feldman Feldman Law Group

Re: artist management contract clauses

This is a common "power of attorney" clause that management companies almost universally try to get artists to sign.

They'll say they need it to have credibility in negotiating your contracts. That is simply not true. You can and should review the terms of any contracts (and get legal advice) and sign each one yourself. That can take 30 minutes if necessary -what's the problem? This clause is routinely removed by the artist's attorney-along with many other such clauses.

This clause does not transfer your publishing rights, but it is giving the manager the power to do so.

How to rewrite this? Well, it depends on too many factors to list. For instance, what does the rest of the contract say and what is the manager offering to do for you? What guarantees is he making in writing? Also, how well do you know and trust the manager? How successful/connected/experienced is the manager? How commercial is the artist?

In general, there is an artist's version of the management agreement, and the management version, and you negotiate. But it depends on many factors.If you knew and had a longstanding relationship with a manager, you might give him the power of attorney. Might. If he guarantees money or distribution, you might give on other issues.I think at least part of the clause could be reasonable (approval of advertising), but it depends on the whole picture. It can't be answered in the abstract.

Some practical Points.If the manager offers alot, you may sign something imperfect. If they are not, then why bother tying yourself into such a deal.

Most management contract clauses end up irrelevent because the collaboration doesn't work or last, so you can't go crazy over it, but putting some thought and legal consultation into it is reasonable.

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Answered on 8/03/02, 1:55 am

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