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Author Topic: Semi-OT Record business question?  (Read 1028 times)

Thomas Lester

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Semi-OT Record business question?
« on: June 07, 2009, 05:55:03 pm »

Hi all -

I have a very small indy record company.  We did a record with a band a few years ago that have no disbanded (prematurely).  I have a second album worth of material that the fans are requesting that we release.  I am going to release those songs.  No issues there.

Here's the question.  Before we signed them, we did some writing demos to decide if they were worth the effort or not.  I recorded and mixed these demos myself and then shortly after signed the contract with them.  There are a handful of songs that we recorded in these sessions that are good, but unreleased.

The contract states that if all members disband, the name and rights to the name transfers to my company.  However, these sessions occurred before the contract, and I paid for the time and I engineered.

Does any one more legally savvy than me know if I can legally do that or not?  Obviously I would have to pay publishing to the individual writers.  I'll run it in front of our attorney before I do anything with the tracks, but before I pay $300/hour for him to decide, I thought I'd ask here.  That way if someone says, "no way... I got sued doing the same thing", I can save $300/hour.   Wink

Thanks,
Thomas

compasspnt

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Re: Semi-OT Record business question?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 07:01:19 pm »

I suspect that the intent of the agreement would allow you to do this, but min is NOT an official legal opinion. Of course in hindsight, the agreement should have originally stated that the terms were retroactive to include any previously recorded material.

You could try to get a simple paragraph initialed by each artist stating this fact (OK to release demos as per agreement terms), if possible.

Of course, you would have to pay the artists mechanical royalties for any sales as per contract, as well as publishing to the writer(s).
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