PDA

View Full Version : Legalities of Sending a Demo to an International Record Label



BlackSwan
10-20-2009, 11:29 AM
I know this is another thread that makes it look like the starter has not done any research, but that is not the case. I have googled, but came up empty and there must be someone who posts here who know about this.

The short story is that I make music, but never send it out or show it to anyone so I have no idea with this demo business is all about. Recently a record label based in Scotland heard one of my songs since I posted it on the internet. They contacted me expressing interest in releasing an EP on their label, but would like to hear a full demo first. Is there anything I need to worry about from a legal perspective in terms of sending a demo to a record label that isn't based in the U.S.? I am definitely not going to send them high quality versions of the songs, but I have spent a lot of time working on this project and I don't want to get screwed somehow. Thx.

higgybaby23
10-20-2009, 11:31 AM
There are lawyers who specialize in this sort of thing. That's where I would start.

Just don't sign or agree to anything until a lawyer checks out the contract.

I would be hesitant to even send a demo without protecting it legally first. Ideas are easily stolen.

kitt kat
10-20-2009, 11:33 AM
Make sure this label is "legit." What else have they released? Can you trust them from a business standpoint in terms of your career?

Also, anything like this, when they're asking YOU for material they should come at you with a simple "release" contract that simply states you created this and you are authorizing said company to possess (not use) it---at least I know this goes on in the writing world; I have a contract from NBC like this, if you want to see it.

I could also ask my bosses as I assume we do this when we reach out to bands...They're both at CMJ so it would be in a few days.

But yeah...I think you REALLY need a release form.

Still-ill
10-20-2009, 11:37 AM
BlackSwan, are you on ASCAP?

tessalasset
10-20-2009, 11:40 AM
does joe escalante still have his show on indie?

RotationSlimWang
10-20-2009, 11:42 AM
Kat, why in the world would you have any kind of contract with NBC?

BlackSwan
10-20-2009, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the helpful reponses.



But yeah...I think you REALLY need a release form.

This is a good idea. I'll see what they say when I ask for one.


BlackSwan, are you on ASCAP?

I've heard of it, but never really had a reason to join it. I assume you would recommend doing so?

Still-ill
10-20-2009, 11:55 AM
If you're worried about legal woes involving your songs, then yes look into it.
ASCAP (http://www.ascap.com/about/howjoin.asp)
BMI also (http://www.bmi.com/)

sonofhal
10-20-2009, 12:24 PM
I don't think, as a rule, that record labels go around randomly stealing peoples demos to pass off as someone elses work. Things haven't changed that much from the days of just sending a cassette and a bio in a padded envelope. I think you are posssibly a tad paranoid.

Also, sending them a low quality file (if you actually are interested in getting stuff released) is probably not the most sensible course of action.

sonofhal
10-20-2009, 12:25 PM
Also, I still have a record label. Send me your demo so I can rip it off. Cheers!

wmgaretjax
10-20-2009, 12:31 PM
license it as creative commons. under this license no one can distribute your music for commercial ends:
http://creativecommons.org/choose/music

this is a distribute, non commercial, non derivative license:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

if you are cool with it, you can use the license that allows derivative works instead...

you can even use one specifically made for scotland:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/scotland/

for the last couple there is a link at the bottom for the whole legal code.

BlackSwan
10-20-2009, 01:21 PM
Whoa, that was really helpful. Thanks.

Still-ill
10-20-2009, 01:29 PM
Wow free licensing... what's the catch?

rage patton
10-20-2009, 06:16 PM
My band is recording an EP right now and it should be finished, hopefully, in the next couple weeks. I was planning on uploading it to some places on the internet, as well as here, so people can download it for free. I never thought of the whole legal aspect of it... Jared, would you suggest signing up for that free licensing thing before I do so?

BlackSwan
10-20-2009, 06:57 PM
Holy shit... there were a lot of typos in my first post.

Wheres the beef?
10-20-2009, 07:07 PM
I know this is another thread that makes it look like the starter has not done any research, but that is not the case. I have googled, but came up empty and there must be someone who posts here who know about this.

The short story is that I make music, but never send it out or show it to anyone so I have no idea with this demo business is all about. Recently a record label based in Scotland heard one of my songs since I posted it on the internet. They contacted me expressing interest in releasing an EP on their label, but would like to hear a full demo first. Is there anything I need to worry about from a legal perspective in terms of sending a demo to a record label that isn't based in the U.S.? I am definitely not going to send them high quality versions of the songs, but I have spent a lot of time working on this project and I don't want to get screwed somehow. Thx.

So let me get this straight. You uploaded a song you created to the internet. A place where anyone can take your music and do with what they please. And you are worried about the record label stealing it??? I would be more worried about some random person downloading it then passing it off as their own. If the song is already on the internet, why would you even be concerned about the record label?

(unless of course you uploaded it in some form that made it undownloadable.)

You should just send them your song and see if something comes out of this. They are already giving you the time of day and you shouldn't create unnecessary hurdles to get your foot in the door. They have bigger and better lawyers than you and if you come off acting like a prick this awesome window of opportunity just might pass you by.