Monday, November 24, 2014

Music Business/Law Tips - "Logo Is An Artist"

In the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) realm – where DJs prevail - several unlikely stars have arisen in non-traditional ways. A recent example of this is the producer “Zhu” (Steven Zhu). Although Zhu is a DJ performer who can also sing and dance, he has chosen to market himself as an anonymous graphic/cartoon logo – you never see the person. His true indemnity is mysterious (sort of like “Deadmau5” with the mask also in the same musical genre). Zhu’s brand and music has spread like wildfire via dance music blogs and YouTube videos. His image is even starting to show up as graffiti in Europe. Apparently according to management, since Zhu happens to be of Chinese descent, to get around any potential prejudice it was thought it may be best to market him in this fashion. It has worked - as Zhu signed a major label deal with Columbia Records and is on the charts and playing all the big Festivals. Zhu has proven that these days one can break the mold of how to make it in the music business, and is an encouraging example to other artists that may not fit into a cookie cutter image. Of course, the music always has to be commercial. Ben McLane Esq

Friday, November 14, 2014

Music Business/Law Tips - "A Piece Of A Legend"

An interesting new business model has cropped up whereby a famous band will offer investors a chance to invest in the band and own a piece of that band's future earnings. This mostly applies to veteran acts that are not currently on the charts as a way for them to supplement their income in leaner financial times. An example of this is the band Queensryche who recently made a private offering to interested investors who for a minimum investment of $50,000 will receive a percentage of the band's future entertainment income (i.e., merchandise, CDs, etc.). Be on the look-out for more classic acts to offer this option, which is cool for music fanatics with some spending cash who want to really be close to their idols and possibly make a few dollars at the same time. Ben McLane Esq

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Music Business/Law Tips - Band Agreement

Once a band is formed the members are in business with each other. If the band gets successful or breaks up there will be issues about money and rights that can be quite nasty if the rules have not been agreed to in advance. An internal band agreement is the recommended method to handle it. A band agreement will address issues such as: (1) who owns the name, (2) profit splits, (3) voting on band decisions, (4) songwriting, and (5) leaving members. If there is no agreement, the law presumes a general partnership between the members where all assets (including the name/logo), profits and losses are equally shared. It is recommended to work this out early in the band’s career because it may be harder to come to an agreement once there is a dispute. Ben McLane Esq