ATTENTION ALL BANDS!
Arguably the most important contract a successful band will ever sign is the one between its own members. Surprising, then, that organising one is so often overlooked, even by lawyers busying themselves negotiating lucrative recording, publishing and other deals for groups.
But consider: what do you do when your lead singer announces on the eve of your first major tour that he's quitting the band?
How do you react when two or three band members suddenly declare that they're leaving to set up a new group; oh, and by the way, they're taking the name of your existing group with them...?
Or one of the band members suddenly decides that he or she ought to have a bigger share of the group's earnings, and is going to be awkward unless and until you agree?
And what do you do with a band member who's no longer pulling his or her weight in the band? Can you sack them? What claims might they have against the band if you do?
And what if you are the expelled member? Do you have any rights?
These (and others like them) are very familiar scenarios to music industry lawyers, some of whom do very nicely out of the disputes and court cases that sometimes result from them.
Once members of a band go into battle with each other, it is generally "game over". Even successful bands often find themselves unable to withstand the financial and emotional pressures of internecine warfare. And you'd be amazed how quick record companies can be to distance themselves from a band at the first sign of trouble.
Whilst nothing in this life is foolproof, an agreement entered into by band members with each other is often a successful preventative measure against subsequent fall-out.
Obviously, differences (musical or otherwise) can and do arise, and as in any personal relationship nerves can fray and rifts can appear, but help is at hand.
An inter-band agreement generally does three things:
it promotes respect between band members, who come to realise (if they didn't already) that they are in a legal relationship with each other, meaning they have rights and obligations affecting each other;
it often has a deterrent effect against a band member thinking of rocking the boat; and
if the worst happens and there is a serious split, it provides pointers as to what happens next and what everyone's rights and obligations are in those particular circumstances.
We can draw up a relatively inexpensive contract specifically for your band which deals with these and similar issues, and which may help you avoid career-threatening problems like these in the future.
Please contact us for more information and a price quotation without obligation.
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