Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business

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Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business

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Overview

The No. 1 bestselling business book for bands!

If you belong to a band and love the art of your job, but sing the blues when it comes to the business, you need Music Law. Composed by musician and lawyer Richard Stim, the book explains how to:

  • find the right manager
  • buy, insure and maintain equipment
  • get gigs and get paid
  • tour on a budget
  • use samples
  • do covers legally
  • protect your copyright
  • trademark your band’s name
  • choose a recording studio
  • sell your music
  • manage your website understand record contracts
  • deal with taxes
  • and much more

Music Law provides all the legal information and practical advice musicians need. The 5th edition -- completely updated to provide the latest in the law -- covers music downloads and other trends affecting the digital-music scene. It also provides up-to-date legal forms on CD-ROM.

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Editorial Reviews

Independent Publisher
Well organized, practically designed and clearly written, the book has one tiny fault. It should have been called 'Every Band's Business Bible'. It's that good. And that necessary.
Keyboard
If you're serious about a career as a performing musician, you'd have to be a damn fool not to rush out and buy a copy of this book.
— Jim Aikin
Midwest Book Review
Here under one cover is everything you need to do it right, from sample contracts and explanations of legal issues to handling taxes and choosing a recording studio.
Mish-Mash Music Reviews
Brings together all the confusing elements of running a band and puts them into a simple handbook... giving you step-by-step ways of navigating through all the legal tangles you're sure to encounter.
The Bomp Bookshelf
I have read most of the books which attempt to explain music business law and practice to musicians, and this one is by far the most practical and the most useful.
The Indie Band Survival Guide
We once again suggest reading Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business...
VIBE
It's the scuba gear every musician needs to swim with the sharks.
Moses Avalon
I usually hate books written by attorneys. This one is an exception.
California Lawyers for the Arts
This book is a must for anyone that is in a band -- from the novice in a garage band to the professional.
— Todd M. Gascon, Esq.
The Bomp Bookshelf
I have read most of the books which attempt to explain music business law and practice to musicians, and this one is by far the most practical and the most useful.
Jim Aikin
If you're serious about a career as a performing musician, you'd have to be a damn fool not to rush out and buy a copy of this book.
Keyboard
Independent Publisher
Well organized, practically designed and clearly written, the book has one tiny fault. It should have been called 'Every Band's Business Bible'. It's that good. And that necessary.
Independent Publisher
Well organized, practically designed and clearly written, the book has one tiny fault. It should have been called 'Every Band's Business Bible'. It's that good. And that necessary.
Todd M. Gascon
One of the best books I’ve seen that addresses all of the issues that face a band today, in addition to those of the individual musician. Unlike most lawyers, Richard’s writing is clear and concise and he provides the reader with a wealth of information and all of the necessary contracts that will effectively protect today’s up and coming bands. This book is a must for anyone that is in a band—from the novice in a garage band to the professional.
Booknews
Stim, a lawyer, musician, and adjunct professor, distils his experience and knowledge into a readable account of the dirtier side of rock-and-roll. He explains the ins and outs of the band partnership agreement, management, attorneys, band equipment, touring, copyright and song ownership, band names, album artwork, recording, duplicating and publishing songs, selling CDs and tapes, independent record agreements, and taxes. The accompanying disk includes electronic versions of the book's sample forms. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Reference & Research Book News
Explains the business side of running a band from a legal perspective.... Covers downloads and other Internet issues.
From the Publisher
"Explains the business side of running a band from a legal perspective.... Covers downloads and other Internet issues."  Reference & Research Book News 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413305173
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 10/25/2006
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Stim specializes in small business, copyright, patents, and trademark issues at Nolo. He practices law in San Francisco and has represented photographers, software developers, crafts people, publishers, musicians, and toy designers. He is the author of many books, including Music Law, and Profit From Your Idea. Stim also produces audiobooks, and performs and records with two bands.

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Table of Contents

1. Yes, Your Band Is a Business!
2. The Band Partnership Agreement
3. Management
4. Attorneys.
5. Band Equipment
6. Performance and Touring
7. Copyright and Song Ownership
8. Publishing Your Band's Music
9. Band Names
10. Album Artwork
11. Recording
12. Duplication: Manufacturing Your Recordings
13. Selling Your CDs, Records and Tapes
14. Independent Record Agreements
15. Taking Your Band Online
16. Taxes
17. Help Beyond the Book
Appendix A.
Appendix B.
Index
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Every Musician's Best Business Resource

    Let's face it... most musicians get into the music business because they love music, not so much because they love business. It's precisely this very human tendency that gets so many musicians into terribly unfair situations later on, where they discover they have been used, cheated, stolen from, or otherwise taken advantage of in some way. Much of the problem is that musicians often don't know where to start, or what to do next on the road to fame and fortune... nor where to find a trusted mentor to lead the way.

    Nolo's "Music Law" is written with an innate understanding of a musician's needs in mind, so that every single thing a new band might be thinking of, including: partnership agreements, registering the band's name, getting gigs, touring on a budget, choosing a recording studio, managing the band website, selling songs, and finding the right manager. I was very pleasantly surprised to see such depth and breadth of topics included, as I had only been expecting a book packed with legal forms and templates... as this is a book by Nolo Press, after all.

    Want to know "How to avoid getting screwed"? This down-to-Earth book actually includes such advice as a heading in a variety of legal situations. I love the way author Rich Stim writes in a language non-lawyers can understand, bringing rational clarity to even the most stressful potential situations, such how to recognize when you might need to fire your attorney, and what to best do in order to proceed.

    The beauty of "Music Law" is that it's excellent organization allows musicians to focus on precisely the area where they need help at any given moment. There is even a CD included with the book containing forms that can be customized on either a Windows or Mac computer, although a warning states that only the Windows users have access to full computer support from Nolo.

    Author Rich Stim has done an exemplary job of wearing both his musician hat and his intellectual property attorney hat in writing this book... and best of all, he has done an exceptional job of wearing his author hat. This be-all, end-all reference book is comprehensive, well-organized, inspirational, educational, informative, and the perfect guide for any musician seriously moving forward with a musical career.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2005

    Best book of this genre I've seen

    This hands down beats any sort of 'how to run a band' guidebooks I've ever thumbed though. Basically, it covers the legal aspects of a band partnership agreement (like, have you legally made yourself a band that is dealt with as a formal entity?), managers, touring, copyright and ownership, publication, artwork, recording, sales, and taxes. On top of that, it's got lots of simple contracts (both on cdrom, that you can print, and printed in book, that you can photocopy) that you can just take and just fill in the blanks, while breaking down what each part of the contract means for you. This includes arrangements to be paid for a show, recording contracts, manager contracts, etc. It also covers stuff like indemnity, so like if someone does the quintessential rock star move of trashing the hotel room (or anywhere or anything else), the person responsible is stuck with the bill rather than everyone who is in the band, regardless of their involvement. It's been a while since I've read it, but it's got so much detailed advice on all the different ways people can rip you off without sounding like their ripping you off until you look at the bottom line (like taking a cut of net vs. profit grosses, as just one example, or how you often have to pay your manager for 18 months after you fire him/her for screwing things up). It's in very plain english, and if you read through it you'll be about as savvy as anyone out there. So, that's my plug.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2005

    priceless

    taxes, contracts, booking, management etc....you gotta get this, it's not really an option if you're not paying someone 15% to do it for you. Even then, you'll be better off knowing how things are supposed to be done. Great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    A Must Read

    A fantastic full contact guide to properly and efficiently running your band.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    So you want to be a rock n' roll star...

    Get yourself an electric guitar, tight pants, and this book. First get this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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