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The Music Attorney

I'm sure you've heard this before, but a music attorney is a crucial member of any artist's team. First and foremost, if you are going to sign a contract of any kind, you should have an attorney who understands the music business represent you and protect your interests. Don't underestimate the gravity of this last sentence. We'll elaborate further below, but first and foremost, you need to be aware that the language of law (and especially entertainment law) is intricate and you should never try to interpret it yourself. As a general rule of thumb:
DO NOT SIGN YOUR NAME TO ANYTHING (except autographs) UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD YOUR OWN LAWYER REVIEW IT.
Often bands that are just getting started use friends or relatives who are lawyers to review music-related offers for them. While this is understandable, it is important that the person who represents you understand the basic concepts and precedents that have been set forth in the music industry. If you gave a really good offer for a major label record deal to an attorney who did not know anything about the music industry, they would likely tell you not to sign it. Common sense might tell someone that it was not a good deal for the artist. However, the reality of record deals is that they live within certain parameters established forth by precedents set over many decades. For better or worse, this is how deals are structured, and if the person who is representing you doesn't understand any of that, they are not going to be able to provide realistic or appropriate counsel. But an entertainment lawyer can be much more than just a legal counsel. Any good entertainment lawyer is part of a larger entertainment industry web and therefore will have contacts that reach beyond the legal world and into record labels, booking agencies, management firms and publishing companies, to name but a few. As your legal representative, they can help introduce you and your music to others within the entertainment community. And even if the lawyer you choose does not possess all of these contacts, they can still provide you with an immense amount of guidance and advice.
How To Find A Music Attorney
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