Music Lawyer: Understanding The Job Of A Music Lawyer
Discover new music
The music industry has many aspects. As a musician, you get involved into many situations with many people. There’s the creative and artistic side of music. But, there’s also the legal aspect of the music industry. You, as an artist, as a hard working creator, have all the rights to protect yourself and your work as your career moves forward. There are people out there whose job is to help you in this legal aspect of the industry, and that’s the music lawyers. So, in this article we are going to talk about what does a music lawyer do, and when is it that you should consider hiring one.
What does a music lawyer do?
So, music lawyers belong in the group of entertainment lawyers. They represent clients involved in the music industry. Starting from the actual artists, they can also work with people who are involved in production, publishing, distribution, and pretty much everything else that has to do with it.
You can divide the music lawyers into two categories: courtroom lawyers (also called litigators), and non courtroom lawyers (also known as transactional lawyers).
A litigator is a lawyer that you need if your situation gets to a point where you have to resolve the issue in court. This can occur both ways: when you get sued, or when it is you being sued by someone.
This is a music lawyer that is here to prevent the situation from going to court. They will help you in negotiating and reaching an agreement with the other side, such that you will avoid the whole courtroom thing.
When do I need to hire a music lawyer?
So, you should hire a music lawyer in situations where you are about to sign some sort of agreement contract with someone. These things can get tricky, especially if you are not too familiar with them. A music lawyer will help you understand this process, and make sure you are protected. So, whether you are signing an agreement with a record label, manager, a sponsor, a publisher, if you are not able to fully understand the process, it is a good idea to consider hiring a music lawyer to help you out. This can actually save you from some extra trouble.
Another situation where you need a music lawyer is if you get into a conflict situation with someone in the industry. This can happen for many reasons, but in most cases conflicts occur due to copyright and licence. If you can’t properly represent yourself in these situations, you should consider hiring a music lawyer. Many times conflicts like this can not only cost you a lot of money, but also your career and reputation.
How to hire a music lawyer?
Hiring a music lawyer is definitely not something that people want to spend their money on. Especially because as indie musicians, many times we have a very limited budget. However, sometimes the situation requires a step like this.
To hire a music lawyer, first you need to think about why exactly do you need one. Is it general advising? Is it about a contract, or is it about something more serious? This way you’ll find it easier to reach out to a music lawyer that can help you in your particular situation.
You can consult with other people in the industry that have dealt with a situation similar to yours, or you can go online to search for an attorney that fits you yourself. Once you’ve found the music lawyer that you want to hire, introduce the attorney to the situation. Make sure to explain everything that they need to know and present every paperwork that you have. You should be open, honest and professional about everything.
Your music lawyer is now a part of the team that is backing you up in your career. Just like your manager, your record label or your producer is. Make sure to establish a good professional relationship with them.
What are the costs when hiring a music lawyer?
How much is hiring a music attorney going to cost you depends on many factors. The reason why you are hiring one, how much experience does the lawyer have in what he does, and so on and so on. It can cost 250$ up to 1000$ for you to take an hour of an attorney’s time. The problem that you need help with plays a big role in the budget. There are different contracts for different situations, and even then, the lawyer will still need to put in the time and the effort to do all the work for your situation specifically.
If you want to hire a music lawyer in your agreement process, this can cost between 800 and 2000 dollars.
In the end, it all really depends on the situation. The time invested in it and the legal fees. It is not a very cheap investment, but if you take your time to do your research, you might find something that’s suitable for your situation.
As I mentioned, this aspect of the industry isn’t always very pleasant to deal with. However, many times it is simply something that needs to be done. After all, entertainment lawyers, well, most of them at least, are here to help us protect what we do. They are here to help us build our way up legally and safely.