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Standard Contract? Help!

I've been in conversation with a record label about obtaining permission to arrange one of their songs with intent to publish, sell, and distribute. They just asked me if I have a standard contract to send them. Should I already have one these? I have no idea what this would entail. Any help or advice would be very much appreciated!
on January 9, 2015 8:31am
Hello Micah,
As a composer, I have only occasionally been in a similar situation, so can offer advice based on limited experience. Virtually other experiences have involved publishers, agents or choirs who themselves already had a ‘standard’ contract that they sent me as a point of departure, and which I then modified and returned, generally a few times. My knee-jerk reaction to your question is that you to ask them if they have a ‘standard’ contract, and if so would they send it to you as a point of departure. If they do not, my suggestion is that you to draw up a contract in which you specify what you would like to see in the agreement.
 
The main thrust of the contract would deal with royalties. Do you have some idea as to what percentage of royalties you would give the artist/company? You would have to do some financial calculations before arriving at a firm figure/percentage. There are, of course, a number of other aspects to be considered, such as exclusivity, length of contract period etc. This is not really the place to present sample let alone ‘standard’ contracts. I would be pleased to send you a couple of contracts that I have used, with publisher names and other telltale information not shown, but first please request a ‘standard’ contract from the record label. I do not have a lot of time at this moment to get further involved, though I would be pleased to look over any proposed contract. It would not be a bad idea to have a lawyer – hopefully with experience related to what you are trying to do – look over your final contract. The process and the ensuing contract can be quite complex, so prepare yourself for this! 
 
An article ‘A Cappella 101’ might be informative in this situation. The author appears to know a lot more then I about the subject, particularly as it applies to American (as opposed to Canadian) copyright law, and he appears to have a lot of up-to-date questions and answers on his blog/website.
 
 
Good luck!
Regards,
Donald
 
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