Legal contracts


Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2001
Hey guys
I'm after a bit of legal type advice... here's the deal....
We've got our small project studio up and running, and in conjunction with a local Arts Council, we are planning on recording and releasing a CD of local artists performing original material. As a studio, the only thing we will get out of the project is PR, and maybe a hard drive for the computer. Any profits that are made are going to the Arts Council who use their money to help local artists and bring quality entertainers to the area.
What we need is a contract for the recording artists to sign basically waiving their rights to any royalties for this particular recording. We are not asking them to hand over the rights to their songs, just to understand that they won't be making any money out of it. They're getting free studio time after all :)
Anyway, although we don't expect to make much money, the possibility is there and we want to cover ourselves.
So if anyone has any advice, or even a ready-made document that would suit, I'd be greatful to hear about it.


Hi Mark

Get a good music industry lawyer. It may cost you a bit... but bad contracts, unprofessionally done are not worth the paper they are printed on.

There are all sorts of pitfalls...i.e you may have problems with the royalty collection societies with what you want to do.

It could be argued that the studio time is now not free if the writers have to waver their royalties and pay them to you. It might be better to have a music production contract where you get points per copy sold rather than taking writers royalties which tends to be frowned upon.

So check with a lawyer.

Good luck



Feb 15, 2001
I agree with the check with a lawyer advise, with the proviso that you check out the lawyer first. I got an "entertainment lawyer out of the yellow pages to do a contract for me. I had explained it was a small project and I didn't want the contract itself to cost so much it aet up my profit. The lawyer said this was not going to be a problem. He asked me all the right questions including things I might not have thought of.
Then there was a few followup phone calls in which he shot the bull about this and that, though he called ostensibly to fill in a blank about the contract.
I was in shock when I got the bill! He charged me $140. an hr. will he told me about his fishing trip over the phone. What a scam. I protested and he told me I had the option of taking it up with the law society. I found out after they refused my claim that it was a society of lawyers who judge the behavior of other lawyers. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house.
I have made this contract pay for itself over and over by recopying it with details altered for various situations. I've even distributed it to friend in need of one and let them re write where appropriate. This may not be perfect legaleeze after it's been altered, but it looks official and should suffice in most instances.
Knock in wood I've never needed to test it in court.