New Recording Artist Checklist: What Every Artist Should Think About

Dallas-based music lawyer Tamera Bennett co-presented with music attorney Joe Stallone at the Dallas edition of Grammy GPS on the topic "Legal Considerations for Every Aspiring Artist." 

Assembling Your Team 

When do you need a manager, an entertainment attorney, a financial manager, publicist?

Get it in writing -- Now

Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets: Trademark, Copyright, Right of Publicity

Trademark

Copyright

  • US Copyright Office
    • There is a copyright in a musical composition; and
    • A copyright in the sound recording of a musical composition.
    • Copyright arises the moment an original works is fixed into a tangible medium of expression.
    • Who will own the songs?  All the members of the band?  Just the members that wrote the songs?
    • Who will own the sound recordings?  The band?  The business entity formed by the band?
    • Will you form a music publishing company?
    • What performance rights organization will the songwriter's join ( BMI, ASCAP or SESAC ) for collection of public performance royalties of the songs?
    • Has the artist, band, producer, label joined Sound Exchange for collection of digital performance royalties?

Right of Publicity

Separate and apart from the band name and the songs/hits of the band, the band members each have an individual "right of publicity" in their persona.  Who controls that right? The band? The manager?  This is a state law right.  In Texas the right arises under common law, but is descendable by statute.

Paying For Stardom - Financing Your Career

Texas Music Office

  • The link to the Texas Music Office will provide you a wealth of guidance on getting started in the music business.  The information is not Texas-specific.

Suggested Books to Read

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