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#1
Well guys, my band's finally assembling. I've had this project for about 2-3 years but I'm finally gathering members to start gigging. However, I want to prevent or at least make it easier to deal with a lot of issues that bands face such as writing credit, who owns the band, who gets to kick members out and recruit em etc. So I read up and found out about the Band Partnership Agreements. I downloaded a template for one as well. I am just wondering, will this template be counted as legitimate should any band members decide to take their issue to the police or court and should I make the BPA right now or wait until the band has played a couple of shows?
Quote by Chaz-6(sic)6
Hmm...May 27th to May 20th? Either you meant 30th or you're some kind of time traveler.

Choose your steel. Be the hero or die the fool.
Just face me on this burning bridge and show me
which side you choose.


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#3
well if you wanna be like Gene Simmons and do it for the money then I say you should do that, I think it would be counted as a legitimate legal document if you have other band member's signatures in it.

But if you wanna do music because you love & live it, then i'd say that only weakens the band chemistry
#4
well it depends is this your band, like you're a solo artist and you write all the songs, they are just the backing band type of thing?

if this is the case then you are telling them what to play and you would have the creative control of the band, then yes you should it's essentially a contract and I don't see how this wouldn't hold up in court or whatever.

however if this is meant to be a band that all the members have equal say and whatever, then no.

NOTE: I do not agree with the fact the you would be 'gene simmons' or that you don't love music. you could easily just be a solo artist in need of a backing band, which really isn't that odd.
Quote by Dirk Gently
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#5
Haha no its not rock but I think almost any band goes through similar issues xD

And I do fear that doing this would weaken the band's chemistry but I do want the entire band to have a say in the songwriting and decision making process. I just want to have some rules laid down for how the band should operate. Plus I am the founder of the band so it'd be nice to have some guarantee that I won't be kicked out of the band for whatever reason. Hahaha.
Quote by Chaz-6(sic)6
Hmm...May 27th to May 20th? Either you meant 30th or you're some kind of time traveler.

Choose your steel. Be the hero or die the fool.
Just face me on this burning bridge and show me
which side you choose.


>>Listen to my metulz!<<
#6
Quote by xlRainlx
Plus I am the founder of the band so it'd be nice to have some guarantee that I won't be kicked out of the band for whatever reason. Hahaha.


They could leave the band and start a new one without you, you know that don't you?
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#7
I think it's a terrible idea.
"For we are nothing without brotherhood and brotherhood is nothing without our brothers" -We Came As Romans
#8
If you want to protect your music, record some demos and copyright it. I don't see the point of a band partnership form unless you're paying them for their time.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
Dude, just...like...fuck off. That's a stupid way to go about things.
My name is Danny. Call me that.
#10
Quote by xlRainlx
. Plus I am the founder of the band so it'd be nice to have some guarantee that I won't be kicked out of the band for whatever reason. Hahaha.

It doesn't really matter who started the band... ever.
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#11
Care less about the contracts, more about the music. Once you've got that sorted, legal issues will arise.
Close one eye, step to the side

Call me Chris, I'm not gunna make a new profile after having this one 9 years.
#12
Quote by von gelb
They could leave the band and start a new one without you, you know that don't you?

Well the thing is that most of the music right now is mine. So if they left and started a new one, I could just recruit more off of craigslist. Which is exactly what I did to get members into the band hahaha.
Look guys, I just wanna know if you guys think I should right now or later. If you guys really think that it will get the band off to a shitty start though, then I'll hold the BPA till later. This is not the first band I've been in but it is the first band I have started so I just wanna make sure it goes as smooth as possible.
Quote by Chaz-6(sic)6
Hmm...May 27th to May 20th? Either you meant 30th or you're some kind of time traveler.

Choose your steel. Be the hero or die the fool.
Just face me on this burning bridge and show me
which side you choose.


>>Listen to my metulz!<<
#13
Quote by xlRainlx
Look guys, I just wanna know if you guys think I should right now or later. If you guys really think that it will get the band off to a shitty start though, then I'll hold the BPA till later.


If you copyright your music, even if you leave and they use your songs, you will still receive royalties from any sales made.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14
Talk about it with the band. Come to some sort of sense of how they feel best proceeding. If they want stuff in writing, then go for it. If they don't, then a discussion should at least be had where people have a sense of "what if..."

The thing is, most of the things you probably want to discuss are already pre-determined by basic business and copyright laws. With no agreement in place, basic business and copyright laws will just kick in and sort it all out for you. Things like what happens when a member leaves, ownership of the name, etc. are already solved for you in advance.

Unless... you want to reach an agreement that is different from that. If you want something more open and permissive than standard law, it would be easy to sell your band members on that. For instance, regardless of who writes the song, you might want to reach an agreement that all band members own all material equally. Be careful what you wish for. That could bite you in the ass later.

If you want agreements that are more restrictive than standard business and copyright laws already cover, then you *really* need to have that discussion with the band and get it in writing. For instance, if you want any band member who leaves to automatically forfeit any claim to any asset in the band to you. I highly discourage this on many levels.

What you *really* need to discuss is what everyone's expectations are and what people want to get out of it. Will the band be a partnership where you all share equally in assets - and liabilities - gained and incurred by the band? Or will the band be a sole-proprietorship where, basically, you are the band, and the other people are just employees? This suggests that they are hired, and therefore entitled to an agreed-upon wage. In exchange for a guaranteed wage, and accepting the role of "employee", they have no stake in the assets and liabilities of the band - for better or for worse.

You don't want to have one person thinking that, say, "I hired you.... I can fire you" and the other person thinking "screw that, I represent 20% of the band and am entitled to my share." The problem doesn't lie in the legality of prior contracts; the problem lies in a misunderstanding of roles.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#15
Quote by axemanchris
Talk about it with the band. Come to some sort of sense of how they feel best proceeding. If they want stuff in writing, then go for it. If they don't, then a discussion should at least be had where people have a sense of "what if..."

The thing is, most of the things you probably want to discuss are already pre-determined by basic business and copyright laws. With no agreement in place, basic business and copyright laws will just kick in and sort it all out for you. Things like what happens when a member leaves, ownership of the name, etc. are already solved for you in advance.

Unless... you want to reach an agreement that is different from that. If you want something more open and permissive than standard law, it would be easy to sell your band members on that. For instance, regardless of who writes the song, you might want to reach an agreement that all band members own all material equally. Be careful what you wish for. That could bite you in the ass later.

If you want agreements that are more restrictive than standard business and copyright laws already cover, then you *really* need to have that discussion with the band and get it in writing. For instance, if you want any band member who leaves to automatically forfeit any claim to any asset in the band to you. I highly discourage this on many levels.

What you *really* need to discuss is what everyone's expectations are and what people want to get out of it. Will the band be a partnership where you all share equally in assets - and liabilities - gained and incurred by the band? Or will the band be a sole-proprietorship where, basically, you are the band, and the other people are just employees? This suggests that they are hired, and therefore entitled to an agreed-upon wage. In exchange for a guaranteed wage, and accepting the role of "employee", they have no stake in the assets and liabilities of the band - for better or for worse.

You don't want to have one person thinking that, say, "I hired you.... I can fire you" and the other person thinking "screw that, I represent 20% of the band and am entitled to my share." The problem doesn't lie in the legality of prior contracts; the problem lies in a misunderstanding of roles.

CT

Quite a read but nonetheless helpful. Thanks for the advice! I guess I will just have to discuss it with them and see what they think.
Quote by Chaz-6(sic)6
Hmm...May 27th to May 20th? Either you meant 30th or you're some kind of time traveler.

Choose your steel. Be the hero or die the fool.
Just face me on this burning bridge and show me
which side you choose.


>>Listen to my metulz!<<
#16
At this point, what are your concerns? Forewarned is fore-armed, as they say.

What things do you think you might need to resolve in advance? Perhaps they can be answered here, based on standard business and copyright laws. (I'm not a lawyer, btw, but consider myself reasonably knowledgeable about these things.... for definitive answers, it is always best to seek actual legal counsel through an entertainment lawyer specifically.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
if someone in my band came to me with a Band Partnership Agreement I would punch them in the face and leave the band so fast it's ridiculous
Quote by asator
YOU'RE A CUNT AND STUFF LESPAUL1216.


It's okay because whatever, forever
#18
^ Maybe not a band partnership agreement on paper, but what if somebody came to you with a proposition that said:

"Do you want to be an equal partner in the band, or do you want a guaranteed income of $XXX each time we play a gig?" It's not a disrespectful proposition, and you'd be a jerk for thinking it was. It's simply a matter of determining what each member wants to get out of the project.

If you chose to be a hired gun, then it is in everyone's best interest to have a written agreement. This protects YOU as the hired gun from having to say, "yeah, but you promised me $200/show" and the rest of the band saying, "screw off... we said we'd give you $100 and only if the show made at least $400 on the night, and we didn't."

A lot of bands go out on tour with exactly that sort of agreement. The Smashing Pumpkins "hired" a guy named Kenny Arnoff (who had toured and recorded with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Vince Gill, Elton John, John Mellencamp, Alanis Morisette, Ricky Martin, Avril Lavigne, etc) to go on tour with them. He had no stake in the band - he was just a hired guy. Looking at his resume, that hardly makes him less of a musician.

As a musician, the advantage of such an agreement is that you make money, no matter what happens on the tour. The disadvantage is that you have no claim against any of the band's assets, and typically no say in how the band operates - no matter how successful they are.

As a band, the advantage is that you get tell somebody what to do and when to do it, and have someone that you know you can count on. You can breathe easy knowing that this person has no mechanism to screw you over for any of your potential net worth as a member of the band.

The disadvantage, as a band, is that you are limited to who you can afford, and you HAVE to pay them, no matter how little money you make. I know of one singer who hired a band to do a tour. The tour went reasonably well, but not as well as was hoped. By the time the band was paid for each of the gigs, the singer came home at the end of the tour with nothing but a small debt. So, in effect, the owner of the business made no money, once the employees were paid.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#19
Quote by xlRainlx
...should any band members decide to take their issue to the police...



#20
Quote by xlRainlx
Well guys, my band's finally assembling.


Your use of language here is interesting. "My band" suggests that you want a sole proprietorship where you own the band and the other members are hired guns. "Our band" would suggest that the band belongs to all of you, which is a partnership agreement.

Would the other members say "our band", "my band" or "Rain's band"?

Quote by xlRainlx

such as writing credit,


Unless you want to determine who owns songs before they are written, then you have to do this on a song-by-song basis. Song ownership (writing credit) is something that is negotiable. Sometimes people hire people to write for them, and part of that agreement is that you, as the person hiring the writer, own whatever work is produced under that agreement. They call this "work for hire." To use a simple analogy, if you make burgers for McDonald's, you don't own those burgers, despite the fact that you are the creator. They hired you to make the burgers, and therefore they own the burgers, and by extension, have the right to sell them, give them away, etc.

Writing credit is sometimes assigned for political reasons. Even though "Lennon and McCartney" wrote the songs, in the interest of "playing nice in the sandbox", the band will come to an agreement that any song created will be labelled as "all songs written by The Firestorms" or whatever. Most of the time, though, it will be one or two people who write the songs, and if it is written by two or more people, they will either agree to divide the credit equally, or will have to negotiate a proportion. This is a decision that must be made, because when you register the song with your local Performing Rights Association, or a Reproduction Rights association, you will need to declare that proportion.

Quote by xlRainlx

who owns the band,


Well, whose band is it? You do need to agree on this. Are you all in this together, sharing equally in the assets gained and liabilities incurred as a business, or do you own the business and have hired on the people in the band? See above... and above.

Quote by xlRainlx

who gets to kick members out and recruit em etc.


The owner/s of the business, or a person who has been given authority by the owner/s (ie a manager) make/s the decisions as to who to hire/fire, or who to make a partner and under what conditions.

Now, if you are worried about being kicked out of your own band, here are some considerations.

You could consider a sole proprietorship. You own it singularly. You cannot be fired. You can call any and all shots completely at your will. This structure will be appealing for some musicians, but will be a deterrent for many.

Also consider that employees of businesses quit all the time. They have little, if any personal investment, and will often jump ship when a better job comes along. Partners in a business have a personal investment and might even have a financial investment. This solidifies their commitment to the business.

Also consider that employees of a business are not expected to contribute to the operating costs of the business. If you are flipping burgers at McDonald's, they won't ask you to purchase buns, or burger flippers, or any portion of the lease. As a sole proprietor of a band, you can't ask your hired guns to pay for rehearsal space or contribute to the CD recording fund or whatever.

If your band is a partnership, all it takes is for a majority vote of the other owners, and you can be set free. You would, though, be entitled to (say if it is a five piece band) 20% of all assets of the band, and would also be held accountable for 20% of all liabilities incurred by your business. Basically, the other owners would buy out your portion of the business.

Now, your business exists to sell a product. You say that you are the main creator, but you want the other band members to contribute. Well, if your band is a sole proprietorship, what incentive do they have to contribute? (those that like to "just let me show up and play and pay me at the end" generally don't want to contribute) And if they do contribute, what do you propose for them as a compensation for basically helping to create the product that your business relies upon in order to exist in the first place?

If you are the main writer in all of the songs (say, 50% to you, and 12.5% for each other member in a 5-piece band), then you have a controlling interest in the copyright. Your band members could all quit, or they could buy out your stake in the business and continue to use the songs live at no cost and requiring no permission from you, but would require your permission to re-record them or to make further duplicates of the songs. You could do anything you wanted with the songs at any time, so long as if you are re-recording or duplicating the songs that the other members get their 12.5% of the royalty rates.

If you divide the writing credit equally, then you would need no permission to play the songs live, but even you might require the permission of (saying a five-piece band) of at least two of the other band members (Your 20% would require the permission of enough members to equal 50% or better) if you wanted to re-record or re-duplicate the songs. You might not require permission, depending on how the songs are registered.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Quote by axemanchris
^ Maybe not a band partnership agreement on paper, but what if somebody came to you with a proposition that said:

"Do you want to be an equal partner in the band, or do you want a guaranteed income of $XXX each time we play a gig?" It's not a disrespectful proposition, and you'd be a jerk for thinking it was. It's simply a matter of determining what each member wants to get out of the project.

CT


actually, i would be rather insulted and possibly a bit confused as to why my 4-piece band doesn't all have an equal 25% of "ownership" of the band.

If I was a "hired gun", in my opinion, I don't really have to be there. The guy hiring me clearly needs me more than I need him (not to sound like a little sh*t, but that's my opinion). So if he's gonna be a tool and make us sign a contract I'm out of there. If I'm being hired by someone to just be in the background I'm pretty much already assuming I have little to no say over the creative direction of the band, and that I'll be given a small share of the profit. I don't need a legal contract to tell me that. If we're mature adults, I think we can handle disagreements without a legal team.
Quote by asator
YOU'RE A CUNT AND STUFF LESPAUL1216.


It's okay because whatever, forever
#22
Quote by lespaul1216
actually, i would be rather insulted and possibly a bit confused as to why my 4-piece band doesn't all have an equal 25% of "ownership" of the band.

If I was a "hired gun", in my opinion, I don't really have to be there. The guy hiring me clearly needs me more than I need him (not to sound like a little sh*t, but that's my opinion). So if he's gonna be a tool and make us sign a contract I'm out of there. If I'm being hired by someone to just be in the background I'm pretty much already assuming I have little to no say over the creative direction of the band, and that I'll be given a small share of the profit. I don't need a legal contract to tell me that. If we're mature adults, I think we can handle disagreements without a legal team.

You're misunderstanding my intentions here bro.
I am not trying to make them sign a contract and agree that they will just be standing in the background. I am just trying to set some rules to protect myself, protect them, and guarantee that everyone in the band gets treated fairly. You have to remember that even grown adults can act like total immature dicks to each other sometimes too. There is no age limit for douche baggery.

And now CT.
On the issue of who owns the band.... currently, I own it. I founded it 2 years ago as a solo musician and I have been writing and releasing demos under the name of the band since then. However, I want to establish that if these members ARE serious about it and really want to to put their part in making it a successful working band, then I would gladly allow them to own a percentage of the band.

As for song credit, I just want it set on paper so that everyone in the band understands how the credit for the song will be split should they collaborate with another member of the band to write. Also, should they leave the band and the band has already released the song in an album by that time, then I want them to understand that the band should still be allowed to perform that song since we have already released it under our name. That way they can't say, "It's MY song and you guys have no right to use it"

Now about who gets to kick members out and recruit them. I want the members to all take part in this process. I also just want them to understand the rules for this. I don't want to go and recruit some dude that the other members can't stand and force them to play with him and work with him. I also want each member to understand that if they start drinking or getting high before shows and it starts to affect our performances negatively, that they are liable to get kicked out if their behavior continues. I don't care what they do to their bodies as long as it's on their own time, not on the band's time.
Quote by Chaz-6(sic)6
Hmm...May 27th to May 20th? Either you meant 30th or you're some kind of time traveler.

Choose your steel. Be the hero or die the fool.
Just face me on this burning bridge and show me
which side you choose.


>>Listen to my metulz!<<
#23
Quote by lespaul1216
actually, i would be rather insulted and possibly a bit confused as to why my 4-piece band doesn't all have an equal 25% of "ownership" of the band.


That's you, and that represents your goals and your priorities.

Some people, and the guy I referenced above, Kenny Aronoff is a great example, are perfectly happy to be working musicians with a guaranteed income. They don't *want* to be part of the headaches that go along with running a business. They don't want to have to care about writing the next album. They don't want to have to care about how the tour is selling. They just want to show up, play, get their money and go home at the end with enough money to feed their family.

Many bands go out on tour and come back with next to nothing.... or worse... come back with debt. Sure, it might be fun and all for you to go on tour with a band, and as 25% owner, you would come back with 25% of the debt incurred by the band while on tour. But for some people, it's much more fun coming back as the hired guy with a guarantee of $2500/show x 20 shows over 3 months.

It comes down to goals and priorities and what works for you.

Quote by lespaul1216

If I was a "hired gun", in my opinion, I don't really have to be there. The guy hiring me clearly needs me more than I need him (not to sound like a little sh*t, but that's my opinion).


Whoa... wait a sec. Does that suggest, then, that when YOU go to YOUR JOB NOW, that you don't really have to be there? That your boss clearly needs you more than you need him/her?

If you were working at my burger joint and had that attitude, you'd find yourself without a job pretty damned quick, thinking you don't have to be there. I'd show you in a hurry just how replaceable you are.

A band is no different. My band has a show that I've hired you to play and you're not showing up? Your ass would be fired so fast it'd make your head spin. Would YOU tolerate that from someone YOU hired? Hell no. And you could bet that that attitude would get you tagged as "the guy who doesn't show up for gigs", so bye-bye reputation.

Quote by lespaul1216

So if he's gonna be a tool and make us sign a contract I'm out of there.


You think a guy like Kenny Aronoff would be fine without an agreement? Look at all the threads on here that come up where someone is moaning and complaining about band members being immature jackasses. You would want a contract to protect YOU. If the band makes no money, you don't want that to be your problem.

Quote by lespaul1216

If I'm being hired by someone to just be in the background I'm pretty much already assuming I have little to no say over the creative direction of the band, and that I'll be given a small share of the profit. I don't need a legal contract to tell me that. If we're mature adults, I think we can handle disagreements without a legal team.


"Okay guys! Great gig! Woo-hoo! Where's my money?"

"Oh, the promoter hasn't paid us yet."

"Okay... when is he going to pay us?"

"Dunno, man.... it's not looking good. It looks like we just got stiffed on this gig, to be honest. We were supposed to get $600 for this show, but it's looking like we're not getting anything."

"Oh.... uh..... you said you'd pay me $150."

"Close. We said we'd give you 25%, which would equal $150. Based but we didn't get paid, so you don't get paid. 25% of nothing is nothing."

"But I have rent to pay. I turned down another gig to do this one. I could have made $200."

"Sorry, man.... "


So, you can kinda see their point. If they didn't get paid, then it is difficult for them to pay you. Who is right here? What was the agreement? Are they blowing smoke about the 25%, just trying to get out of paying you, or did you genuinely misunderstand what they said?

If you had a written agreement, you could go back to them with it. Sure, they still didn't get paid, but they have to honour an agreement. They'd have to dig into the band account, or everyone dig into their pockets and give you $50 that they'd have to recoup themselves on the next show or something. But they would have to pay you.

Now, it's fine to sit there and say, "yeah, well... I wouldn't be a prick about it and demand my money." But if gigging is what you do to pay your rent and feed your family, your "nice guy-ness" will put less food on your table than the local food bank.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#24
Quote by lespaul1216
actually, i would be rather insulted and possibly a bit confused as to why my 4-piece band doesn't all have an equal 25% of "ownership" of the band..


You are making it personal when this situation may be very different than your own. Sometimes band members don't do equal work. Our band has a written agreement and it boils down to you make (in percentage) your wage based on how much you work in the band. So say I write all the vocal lyrics and melodies but no instrumental parts, I would be earning my share of 25 percent of the work. However, if then I promote us 2-3 nights a week at various venues and colleges then I am going beyond this and as such I would have a higher stake in the band. The contract details this and we all sat down and wrote it and read it together.

This system encourages all members to work at the band beyond just playing the songs well. In the end it doesn't matter how well put together your music is if it never gets out to the ears of the public.

Other tasks our members do are, search for other quality acts to swap gigs with, manage contacts, go out to shows to promote/support other bands we play with and design shirts/logos. There is more but you get the idea. In most bands this just doesn't happen and the end result is you never even have a chance.
Last edited by merriman44 at May 22, 2011,
#25
Quote by xlRainlx

And now CT.
On the issue of who owns the band.... currently, I own it. I founded it 2 years ago as a solo musician and I have been writing and releasing demos under the name of the band since then. However, I want to establish that if these members ARE serious about it and really want to to put their part in making it a successful working band, then I would gladly allow them to own a percentage of the band.


So, I wouldn't be over-simplifying to say that you own the band now, but would ideally like to expand to a partnership?

Quote by xlRainlx

As for song credit, I just want it set on paper so that everyone in the band understands how the credit for the song will be split should they collaborate with another member of the band to write.


That's fine, and it needs to be discussed. But it needs to be discussed on a per-song basis, unless you want an agreement that all songs written with the band are written AS the band equally.

Quote by xlRainlx

Also, should they leave the band and the band has already released the song in an album by that time, then I want them to understand that the band should still be allowed to perform that song since we have already released it under our name. That way they can't say, "It's MY song and you guys have no right to use it"


You don't need to discuss this. It is already pre-determined.

Just like Robert Plant can't tell you not to play Misty Mountain Hop, you can't tell the band member who leaves to not play your song live.

To use the song in another recording, this too is already pre-determined.

If they want to use the song and re-record it on THEIR new album, then there are a couple of possibilities:
a) You've registered the song with a Mechanical Licencing agency and allowed them blanket permission to grant permission and collect royalties on your behalf. If that is the case, then the former band member would simply fill out the paperwork and pay his fees and be allowed to do so. You wouldn't even know he was doing this until you got a cheque in the mail from the Mechanical Licensing agency.
b) You've NOT registered the song as above. The only way *anyone* can obtain permission is to contact the publisher of the song (unless you're with a label, that is usually the artist him/herself) and negotiate that. The publisher could refuse permission altogether, or would negotiate a rate other than the standard rate.

If they want to use the *exact same recording* of the song from the album and simply reproduce it on their album, they would have to proceed as above, but also get a duplication license for the song to use the master recording. This is a separate agreement and a separate royalty.

Quote by xlRainlx
Now about who gets to kick members out and recruit them. I want the members to all take part in this process. I also just want them to understand the rules for this. I don't want to go and recruit some dude that the other members can't stand and force them to play with him and work with him.


This is all standard for any business partnership. Generally, the partners get together and agree on a candidate or agree to fire someone or whatever, or if they can't agree, then need to agree on a compromise.

The exception is that if the business has appointed someone and has granted them the authority to do this on the owner's behalf. When you go get hired at McDonald's, your hiring doesn't get approved by their board of directors, or at a shareholders' meeting. Managers at each site are given the authority to make these kids of decisions. Sometimes band managers are similarly given this authority, but I'd be reluctant to go there.

Quote by xlRainlx

I also want each member to understand that if they start drinking or getting high before shows and it starts to affect our performances negatively, that they are liable to get kicked out if their behavior continues. I don't care what they do to their bodies as long as it's on their own time, not on the band's time.


This should be discussed before you make anyone a partner then. If you take on partners who do not share this ideal, you will be consistently out-voted when the partners get together to discuss such things.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#26
Quote by lespaul1216
...

If I was a "hired gun", in my opinion, I don't really have to be there. The guy hiring me clearly needs me more than I need him (not to sound like a little sh*t, but that's my opinion). ...

The guy hiring you needs to fill a position, he doesn't need "you" in particular. Everyone is easily replaceable. This is a common mistake made by people/employees.
#27
Quote by axemanchris
So, I wouldn't be over-simplifying to say that you own the band now, but would ideally like to expand to a partnership?


That's fine, and it needs to be discussed. But it needs to be discussed on a per-song basis, unless you want an agreement that all songs written with the band are written AS the band equally.


You don't need to discuss this. It is already pre-determined.

Just like Robert Plant can't tell you not to play Misty Mountain Hop, you can't tell the band member who leaves to not play your song live.

To use the song in another recording, this too is already pre-determined.

If they want to use the song and re-record it on THEIR new album, then there are a couple of possibilities:
a) You've registered the song with a Mechanical Licencing agency and allowed them blanket permission to grant permission and collect royalties on your behalf. If that is the case, then the former band member would simply fill out the paperwork and pay his fees and be allowed to do so. You wouldn't even know he was doing this until you got a cheque in the mail from the Mechanical Licensing agency.
b) You've NOT registered the song as above. The only way *anyone* can obtain permission is to contact the publisher of the song (unless you're with a label, that is usually the artist him/herself) and negotiate that. The publisher could refuse permission altogether, or would negotiate a rate other than the standard rate.

If they want to use the *exact same recording* of the song from the album and simply reproduce it on their album, they would have to proceed as above, but also get a duplication license for the song to use the master recording. This is a separate agreement and a separate royalty.


This is all standard for any business partnership. Generally, the partners get together and agree on a candidate or agree to fire someone or whatever, or if they can't agree, then need to agree on a compromise.

The exception is that if the business has appointed someone and has granted them the authority to do this on the owner's behalf. When you go get hired at McDonald's, your hiring doesn't get approved by their board of directors, or at a shareholders' meeting. Managers at each site are given the authority to make these kids of decisions. Sometimes band managers are similarly given this authority, but I'd be reluctant to go there.


This should be discussed before you make anyone a partner then. If you take on partners who do not share this ideal, you will be consistently out-voted when the partners get together to discuss such things.

CT

Yes well I own it right now. However, I met up with the dudes today and we decided just starting a whole new project together would probably be in everyone's best interests. So I suppose we're all equal owners now haha. Go figure.

I will definitely bring it up the next time we meet though. It seems that the bass guitar player is actually very knowledgeable about the music business. This can either be really good or really bad depending on if he wants to screw the rest of the band over XD Which is a good thing you gave me this advice. Hopefully we can all come to a good agreement on this.

Whoaaaa I didn't know that. So no matter what, we can play the song live even if the other guy owns the rights to it?

Although I think these guys I'm with are actually pretty trustworthy when it comes to this stuff, I'll still bring up the topic of a BPA in our next practice. This actually might be going somewhere. These guys seem serious about it so we might end up needing a BPA to determine our wages, etc. All your advice has been very helpful and enlightening. Mind if I add you dude? Just in case I ever need any more help with these sorta things.
Quote by Chaz-6(sic)6
Hmm...May 27th to May 20th? Either you meant 30th or you're some kind of time traveler.

Choose your steel. Be the hero or die the fool.
Just face me on this burning bridge and show me
which side you choose.


>>Listen to my metulz!<<
#28
Quote by xlRainlx
Whoaaaa I didn't know that. So no matter what, we can play the song live even if the other guy owns the rights to it?


Yep, it's called "playing a cover".

It's interesting how these issues can differ between bands.

For example I'm in band x, where we've recorded an EP. Two members own the copyrights to the lyrics on the EP, whilst the music copyright is split equally between the band. However everybody contributed equally to the recording/production of the EP, so it's been agreed that profits from sales will be contributed towards a band fund, and in the case of a break-up, split evenly between the band. Gig pay is split equally.

Then we have band y, which had an EP recorded with the previous bandmembers, only one of which is still in the band. It's been agreed that that bandmember take all the proceeds from sales, as she contributed financially to the recording of that EP. Gig pay is split equally. As a result she's also bared all the costs for our latest demo.

Then we have band z, a cover band. One of the members owns a very large PA which we use for every gig. The PA acts as a member of the band in terms of gig pay, so instead of everybody getting 1/5 of the gig pay, the members get 1/6 pay, with the PA owner being paid twice - once for his PA, the other for his performance.

For this reason it's always best to at least talk things out, so you're not upset/surprised when one member walks away with more cash than you from the same gig.

As for the "I'm a hired gun so I don't have to be here" attitude, I think it's been criticised enough already, but I'm going to stress that reputation is everything in the music industry, and if you act like a pretentious dude, people are going to stop playing with you.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#29
Quote by xlRainlx

I will definitely bring it up the next time we meet though. It seems that the bass guitar player is actually very knowledgeable about the music business. This can either be really good or really bad depending on if he wants to screw the rest of the band over XD


There are two thoughts on that here.

1. For the most part, people will only screw you over if you let them. Most of the time, it involves someone talking out of their hat to another person who doesn't know any better and ends up believing him.

2. The person with the most money usually wins in a "screwing over" issue. Consider: You write a song and it gets stolen by Green Day. You claim copyright infringement and chase after them for what money and credit should rightfully be yours. Well..... Warner records steps up to the plate with their team of entertainment lawyers and gets behind their artist to defend them. (and by extension, themselves...) How much time - and by extension how much money - do you have to engage in this battle? You'd have to find a lawyer willing to get involved in a guarantee that you win or do not pay, and that lawyer would have to know that his competition in this case is both experienced, knowledgeable, and well-financed. They will play the system and drag it out for a good long time, making it cost a lot of money and time. And, if it costs you.... idunno.... $100 000 to defend your claim, they'll make sure that (because some of this money will ultimately have to go to someone else now, instead of to them) that they don't spend much time and money actually promoting the song. So, you'll spend $100K in legal fees, the song will get buried as a deep album cut, and you'll get the $25 000 that you're rightly entitled to. Sound good?

Now it's not all doom and gloom. In a case like that, the more bullet-proof your case is, the more likely it is that you will win quickly, but the sentiment stands - that the person with more money can afford to drag things out longer than the person with less money.

Your best bet is to become as knowledgeable as you can, because the more knowledgeable you are, the more people will know to go find an easier target to screw over.

Quote by xlRainlx

Whoaaaa I didn't know that. So no matter what, we can play the song live even if the other guy owns the rights to it?


Right. James Hetfield can't tell you not to play Enter Sandman. You can't tell anyone else not to play your song. Performances of music (and in legal terms, a performance can include the playing of a recording) are allowed as long as the venue pays their annual licencing to use copyrighted music to their performing rights association.

Imagine how difficult it would be to manage a musical environment where, say, someone like James Hetfield said that "this station and this station and this station will not be allowed to play any Metallica songs with the letter 'e' anywhere in the title" and "cover bands in Kentucky, Oregon, and Saskatchewan will not be allowed to play any Metallica song in a venue smaller than 250 people" etc. If you were allowed to say who could and who could not play recordings of your material or covers of your material, it would be a logistical nightmare and almost entirely unenforceable.

Quote by xlRainlx

Although I think these guys I'm with are actually pretty trustworthy when it comes to this stuff, I'll still bring up the topic of a BPA in our next practice. This actually might be going somewhere. These guys seem serious about it so we might end up needing a BPA to determine our wages, etc.


I'm still not sure you need such a thing. As far as wages go, you don't really need a written agreement for that. You just need consensus - especially given that you are all owners. Wages should be something that is flexible. You don't want to go drawing up a new written agreement every time you want to tweak how you handle the money. As owners, you just need to agree to the effect of, "okay, instead of dividing up the money six ways with each of us getting 1/6 and the additional 1/6 going to a band fund, let's just put 80% of the gig money into the band fund and pay ourselves gas money. This will help us save faster for the recording of our album." And then you'll talk about it and maybe settle on 75% or 90% or whatever.... but you'll come to an agreement and vote on it (probably informally) and move on. No fuss, no muss, no paperwork.

Quote by xlRainlx

All your advice has been very helpful and enlightening. Mind if I add you dude? Just in case I ever need any more help with these sorta things.


By all means.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#30
Sure a lot of advice here about how you don't need legally binding agreements and such, but the constant and ongoing lawsuits amongst successful bands say otherwise.

Planning for the possibility of discontent or disagreement is not equal to an expectation of same.

I wouldn't work with anyone who was afraid of signing a binding agreement.

I'd hazard a guess that at least as many bands fail because of business concerns as musical ability.
#31
I agree with that. It's just that many things people think they need to commit to an agreement to don't really require a written agreement. They're already covered by basic legal practices of running a business and copyright laws.

You need an agreement for some things, and having it written down and signed is important if you want to ensure enforceability, but those tend to be things like monetary amounts (Joe shall be paid $200/gig, or ever member must contribute $40/mo to a band fund), percentages (the new PA we bought is owned 60% by Tom, 20% by Dan and 20% by Dale), working conditions (no band member will play for free; we will not play outside in temperatures less than 15 degrees celsius; transportation and accommodation to gigs and practices is the responsibility of the player, not the band; etc.), etc. Even a lot of those things are already pre-determined (ex. what happens when Dale leaves and he owns 20% of the PA?) , and you would only need an agreement if you wanted to deviate from standard practice (ex. when a member does not quit, but is fired, he relinquishes his claim to all assets in the band).

Arby - what sorts of things would you want, personally, in a written, binding agreement?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#32
Quote by axemanchris

Arby - what sorts of things would you want, personally, in a written, binding agreement?

CT


For me the primary purpose, in addition to spelling out any promises, guarantees, agreements or specifics that any party to the agreement may feel the need to delineate, is to provide a process for conflict resolution that is agreed on prior to the need for same. (majority vote, shareholder vote, binding arbitration, sledgehammers in 6' of water, whatever...)

I'll not argue that many of the things discussed are already taken care as a matter of black-letter law, but surely no harm is done in providing peace of mind to all parties involved by addressing it in a written agreement? Further, what percentage of up and coming musicians have even the foggiest clue about what is, and isn't, covered under the law? (At least until they get screwed a few times...)
#33
Quote by Arby911
For me the primary purpose, in addition to spelling out any promises, guarantees, agreements or specifics that any party to the agreement may feel the need to delineate, is to provide a process for conflict resolution that is agreed on prior to the need for same. (majority vote, shareholder vote, binding arbitration, sledgehammers in 6' of water, whatever...)


What sort of conflicts are you talking about?

Quote by Arby911
I'll not argue that many of the things discussed are already taken care as a matter of black-letter law


Lol. IP Law has been called a lot of things, but "black letter" is definitely not one of them.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#34
Quote by AlanHB
What sort of conflicts are you talking about?.


Pretty much anything that can arise. It's not different than any other partnership/proprietorship, there needs to be an agreed upon method for resolving dispute.


Quote by AlanHB
Lol. IP Law has been called a lot of things, but "black letter" is definitely not one of them.


Yes, but we're not just discussing IP, we're also discussing tangible property etc.

I've not seen you as a pedant, hope it's not a trend...;-)
#35
Quote by Arby911
Pretty much anything that can arise. It's not different than any other partnership/proprietorship, there needs to be an agreed upon method for resolving dispute.


Well what if a member needs to leave practice early? What if you don't like the sound of one members part? What if a member leaves of their own account? What if one rejoins? What if a member gets fired? What if a member sleeps with your girlfriend?

I may be getting over the top here, but for such an agreement to be in place, I think it's better to know what's important to you, and protect those things, whilst other situations can "slide". Right now you want to protect your music. Fair enough. Register it with the copyright agency. Done. What else do you want covered? You can't address every situation that comes up, it would be a long and drawn out written contract, and I highly doubt it would be legally enforceable anyway.

These things are better done with a conversation. Say to them "these are my songs, I care about them alot, you're free to add your parts and such, but I'm not crediting you with songwriting credits in any case". They can take it or leave it. Other obligations are usually addressed at the start also. Recently I replaced a guitarist in a band who was always late, drunk and didn't learn songs. Guess what my talk was about? "Don't be late (without reason), drunk (at all) and learn your songs". This is not written down, it's an understanding. It's also understood that I recieve 1/6 of the fee (minus petrol and accomodation costs if they apply). Again this is not in writing.

So which situations are so important to you that they must be in writing, rather than being figured out with a serious conversation?



I've not seen you as a pedant, hope it's not a trend...;-)


Meh take it or leave it I just have a feeling that you're going to scare people off without reason.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#36
Quote by AlanHB
I just have a feeling that you're going to scare people off without reason.


Agreed that as a general rule the situations you mention can be taken care of with a reasonable conversation. That's the first resort, and the prudent path.

Contracts/arbitration etc. are for when they can't.

I don't think we're as far apart on this as it might seem on casual inspection.
#37
If people put as much time and effort into their music as they do about worrying over things that havent happened yet, then Im sure the band is going to be a great success!

Perhaps keep the agreement paperwork as simple as possible. Your bandmates will baulk at a large document. A lawyer friend of mine once said, for example, that the best wills are written on half a sheet of paper....
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#38
Quote by 91RG350
Perhaps keep the agreement paperwork as simple as possible. Your bandmates will baulk at a large document. A lawyer friend of mine once said, for example, that the best wills are written on half a sheet of paper....


Geez I hope he's either a student or not working in probate. If a will was only half a page you'd only have enough space to identify yourself and divide your assets. It wouldn't address certain wishes such as who the children are to live with, why certain people are cut out of the will, whether you wish for your house (or guitars) not to be sold until a certain date, who is to act as executor if it's renounced, and a whole heap of other things which are part of the standard will.

The approved form for the will maker and witnesses to sign itself takes up half a page....

But that's wills, and not some piece of paper designed to regulate the social functioning of a group. I think that whilst some business aspects of the band should be discussed up front to avoid confusion over money and entitlements, but in terms of the creative things, it'll either work with the people involved or it won't. That's just part of being in a band or any group of people working together.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#39
Quote by Arby911
Further, what percentage of up and coming musicians have even the foggiest clue about what is, and isn't, covered under the law? (At least until they get screwed a few times...)


And while we're at it, what percentage of *experienced* musicians have even the foggiest clue?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#40
Quote by 91RG350
A lawyer friend of mine once said, for example, that the best wills are written on half a sheet of paper....


Our will was drawn up by a proper lawyer (not one of those "will kits" or anything), and represents a very straight-forward will. It was basically a stock will with the blanks filled in with a few details (not literally, of course... but to illustrate a point), and it is about 10 pages.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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