Before Starting a business, one should always comply and focus on the legal requirements. If we talk about the Music law for emerging a business in Music Production, Music law refers to various legal aspects of the music and entertainment industry. The music industry can include record labels, music producers, music publishers, artists, and live events.
This can include aspects of creative artistic law like intellectual property law covering copyright law, trademark law, image publicity rights, and design rights.
Starting a new business of Music Production
Starting an independent music production company requires technical skill, business acumen, industry contacts, knowledge of the music business, marketing, and trends, and an “ear” for musical detail and talent. Most music production companies are independent, as very few are owned or operated by record labels or parent companies.
The primary function of a production company is to locate artists and facilitate the recording, manufacturing, and distribution of musical products.
Steps to start a business of Music Production:
- Professional Training: Obtain training and experience by taking classes in music production and related business classes at a music college or specialty school.
- Knowledge of the Music Industry: Educate yourself on every aspect of the music business, management, legal and production duties to hone your skills and increase your knowledge-base.
- Paperwork: File additional paperwork with your secretary of state if you choose to operate your business as a corporation or limited liability company. Many small music production companies operate as sole-proprietorships until business growth warrants the extra expense, taxation and paperwork required.
- Marketing Material: Buy marketing materials from a local printer to use in the marketing of your music production company. Endeavor to buy locally to support local businesses.
- Legal help in contract formation: Obtain music business contracts from an entertainment attorney or purchase them from a music business supplier. Contracts are used in the everyday operation of your business, so you must have them on hand, and know how to legally modify and use them.
- Search for local artists to record and produce, or record your own music at one of your partner studios.
- Contact local recording studios, engineers and manufacturers to alert them of your music production services.
Legal Compliance in setting up a new business
- Contracts: The contract is one of the essential elements. These contracts are in the written form. A contract strengthens the bond between the owner of the record label and the artist. A contract must contain the percentage of profit sharing, royalties, ownership rights and also promotional guarantees. Both the parties clearly agree to the service provided.
- Music license: The record label has to obtain music license to safeguard its music album from duplicating by the competitors. Only after obtaining the music license, the record label company can sell music in the market and protect it from copyright infringement.
- Distributing license: The main purpose of starting a record label is to distribute the music album. For this, the particular record label has to secure a distribution license for selling the records in outlets. For this distribution, the brand has to seek both physical and digital distribution.
- Sample clearance certificate: As an owner of a record label, he/she has to provide sample music. For that, he has to obtain a sample clearance certificate from the publisher of the composer to record the samples. It is necessary to sign an agreement with the music publisher or the composer if you are set to use those samples in the mainstream medium other than the purpose mentioned in the agreement.
- Producers agreement: If the label is produced by the outsider, then the agreement should be signed between the record label owner and the producer stating the cost of the recording session, the advances made and also about the royalties. Along with that, the agreement must mention that the credits will be given to the producer either in the beginning or at the end of the album.
- Permission forms: The record label owner has to get a liability release form or permission letter from the concerned person. If an image of any individual outside the group is portrayed or the work you use is already owned by someone or the logos or slogans used by you already exist. In these scenarios, the owner has to get authorization from the concerned person.
- Copyright and trademark certificates: Before the record label starts to distribute the music, it has to file for the copyrights of the songs. Both for the original and cover score, the information about the usage of the song along with the copyright notices should be obtained. If the credits are not given properly for each song, it will lead to copyright infringement. The owner should file form SR for copyrighting a master song, Form PA for an original song on the record and Form VA for artwork. The name, logo and slogan of the record label should be filed for a trademark for getting a separate identity and to enjoy the legal rights.
- Insurance: Usually the owner has to be insured for various purposes as he tends to face many unforeseen situations. He has to ensure that the record label covers General insurance of the company, health Insurance of the employee, Liability Insurance to protect them from the creditors. If there are any overhead expenses, the insurance bears those expenses and business owner’s policy group insurance.