BBB advises artists, musicians and songwriters to use caution when entering into any agreements in the music industry. Ideally, a licensed attorney with knowledge of and experience in the field of entertainment law should review any contracts and advise you about the terms of the agreement before you sign any documents. At a minimum, carefully read all documents for specific details of services to be performed by both you and the contracting business (or individual). Be especially cautious of agreements that require you to pay a fee to the contracting business for services that will not necessarily result in a tangible return. Be aware that many contracts will bind you for several years, making it virtually impossible to get out of the deal in order to pursue a better opportunity. Althoughmany businesses may fulfill the terms of the contract, their efforts on behalf of the artist, musician or songwriter to produce a commercially profitable product may not necessarily be successful. NO COMPANY CAN GUARANTEE YOUR SUCCESS. You should recognize that your talents, no matter how outstanding, may have little or no commercial potential and you should expect nothing more than self-satisfaction from the experience.
BBB encourages consumers to seek additional advice by contacting the music industry trade associations listed below:
* The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) at 800-952-7227 or www.ascap.com
* Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) at 615-401-2000 or www.bmi.com
* SESAC at 615-320-0055 or www.sesac.com
* Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) at 800-321-6008 or www.nashvillesongwriters.com
BBB offers the following brief description of a music publisher:
A music publisher scouts and signs songwriters to exclusive contracts, provides the songwriter with financial support (advances cash against future royalty earnings), provides professional guidance, networks the songwriter with other songwriters, produces demonstration recordings of their songs, promotes the songs to the artist through various industry gate keepers (record labels, managers, and the artists themselves), secures the copyright, registers and licenses the songs, collects income derived from the songs, redistributes royalties to the songwriter, and attends the #1 parties.