The Internet has created exciting new opportunities for artists to distribute their music to the world, but cyberspace is not without its share of hucksters ready to trick artists into signing away all ownership rights to their music for a song.
A musician recently came to me to review a recording contract that had been offered to him from an independent record company. Although the artist had already recorded the CD of his original compositions, he wanted a record label to distribute his CD.
He thought he was signing a distribution deal. But buried in the back of the contract was a clause requiring the artist to assign all of his publishing copyrights in the music to the record label. Although the contract was labeled as a “Exclusive Recording Agreement”, it was in fact, also a Publishing Agreement, and this distinction is worth everything to an artist.