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Posted December 18, 2009
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.
Posted June 16, 2005
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 NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2005
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 NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2003
Posted March 6, 2000