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BUSINESS OF MUSIC: Music Attorneys - by Charles Katz
©2001, Charles Katz. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.
in the Wind" was a popular song of the '70s by Kerry Livgren
and performed by KANSAS. The
opening lyrics are: "I close my eyes, only for a moment and the
moment's gone/All my dreams pass before my eyes, A curiosity/Dust
in the Wind" As
a performing songwriter, that's what you will be, DUST IN THE WIND,
unless you have an excellent music attorney.
President of Windrift Music I communicate with hundreds of artists.
Most of my time is involved with negotiating contracts. You must have
the support of a music attorney and I advise my clients do not sign
anything until reviewed by an attorney. The
functions of a music attorney are structuring, negotiating, documenting,
and reviewing deals to benefit their clients.
are several sources to find a music attorney. The main ones are:
Music Attorney, Legal & Business Affairs Registry
7510 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1041, Los Angeles, CA 90046-3418
Sessions & Tour Guide Canada
5355 Vail Court, Miss, Ont. L5M 6G9
American Bar Assn
750 North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
918 16th St. NW, #400, Washington , DC 20006
Conferences always have lawyers attending and this a good opportunity
to meet and interview them. Well known practitioners are John Branch
(Michael Jackson), Don Passman (Janet Jackson), Lee Phillips (Barbra
Streisand), and Alan Grubman (Madonna)
is also a place to commence a search for your music attorney. Do a
search on Music Attorneys and find local representation. I did exactly
that and obtained a worthwhile list. I then presented them with my
list of boiler plate agreements required, and requested quotations.
I settled with an excellent one from Los Angeles who represented Guns
see an attorney anytime you have a contract to review or negotiate.
Fees range from $100-$200 per hour. It is sometimes better to get
a set fee rather than pay an hourly rate. Most lawyers will want a
retainer of $500.
extremely important to be organized when meeting with your attorney.
1. Keep accurate records in writing.
2. Be honest
3. Pay him on time
4. Preparation. Bring all necessary documents
5. Keep him well informed of your activities.
6. Don't sign until your lawyer has reviewed it.
performing songwriter it is important to develop an effective lawyer-client
Katz owns a high-tech company, Printerm, established for 20 years,
and manages a Record Label, Windrift Music Inc. He currently has a
CD "Night Driving Music" installed at Internet sites in
the US, UK, and Asia collecting royalties. Charles is presently working
on his second CD with a female recording artist and has established
a virtual band, Spencer K for that project. As a business leader,
musician, publisher, and promoter, he is now providing his expertise
for fellow artists. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org