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#210763 - 07/22/05 04:37 AM Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
derekBigWithSeed Offline
Casual Observer
derekBigWithSeed  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Unit...
Hey all - my name is Derek Scalzott from Pittsburgh-based blues/rock jam band, Big With Seed. I'm hoping someone might have some insight or guidance to my queries.

A publisher named Tony Marinacci (formerly of L.A. and now of the Pittsburgh area) has shown quite an interest in us over the past couple of months. Tony claims to be an "internationally ranked" sound engineer who has worked with bands like Bon Jovi, U2, Paula Abdul, and Chick Corea as well as a vast array of regional acts. He has in fact proven his legitimacy in this field, at least, to me and the band with work we have seen done and listened to first hand. We have nothing to lose at this point and plan on taking a shot with Tony as producer of our debut album (due out by winter). We are confident with this decision. To come on board, he's offering a Producer/Artist Development Agreement minus a few clauses that deal with the Artist Development part. The company he is president of, Total Music and Entertainment (TME) is based in New York City with Jerome Weinstein (VP) heading the legal/contract department. I've heard that it is ideal to get a lawyer out of NYC to look at music contracts because they have more experience with particular laws and special clauses that apply to the industry that I might not be able to learn about from a lawyer here in Pittsburgh.

I was hoping someone could offer some guidance towards finding an appropriate entertainment lawyer as this is our first time through the process. Though we are confident working with Tony, we are still weary and too fresh to the legal scene. Finding a lawyer will also come in handy later when we are looking to sign a publishing deal, possibly with Tony and TME.

Also, does anyone have any experience or know anything about Tony Marinacci of TME? Any info would be much appreciated.

Thanks for any feedback!!!

Best regards,

Derek Scalzott
http://www.bigwithseed.com

------------------
www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."


http://www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."
#210764 - 07/22/05 12:33 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,412
Ray E. Strode Offline
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Offline
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,412
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Hi All,
If you feel the need to find a lawyer to represent you, you can contact a local lawyer and if he can't do what you need he can refer you to one who can.

Since Tony came to you I would seperate any Publishing Deals from the Producer part. I think it would be a WORK FOR HIRE but others may be able to explain it better.

As a Work for Hire, Tony does the producing, you pay him and that's the end of it. If there is a written agreement, you will want to make sure you understand it fully.

If Tony is doing the producing, free gratitus for the publishing I may pass on that or have a reversion clause in any publishing contracts of 1 to 3 years. It is a judgment call and it may be what you are confortable with. Do have any Publishing contracts read by a lawyer. There is no such thing as a standard publishing contract so know what is in it before you sign. Keep everything simple. If it get's too complicated check it carefully. Others may have more to add. Good luck.


Ray E. Strode
#210765 - 07/22/05 02:44 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
derekBigWithSeed Offline
Casual Observer
derekBigWithSeed  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Unit...
Thanks Ray! Sounds good - we're definitely not even talking about the publishing stage yet, but he has mentioned that he might be interested down the road.

Thank you for your input and food for thought! The more info the better. He has stated that a reversion clause will be in place, and that if there are any parts in the contract we would like to change, we can write a counter-agreement and submit it back to him. After review by TME, and if they like it, that would then be the final contract. Thus, we're going to need a lawyer we can really sit down and talk to for a few minutes rather than just saying, "ok here you go - looks good." But good idea on getting a referral from a local lawyer if he can't do it.

Thanks again!

~Derek


http://www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."
#210766 - 07/25/05 04:21 AM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
derekBigWithSeed Offline
Casual Observer
derekBigWithSeed  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Unit...
Anyone else out there ever work with Tony or know anyone who has? Anyone else as kind as Ray, your feedback would be appreciated too! Thanks so much!

------------------
www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."


http://www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."
#210767 - 07/25/05 02:18 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 18
nicholas_alan Offline
Casual Observer
nicholas_alan  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 18
Atlanta, GA, USA
I've never worked with Tony, but I did have a similar situation here in Atlanta, GA. With my situation the producer asked for publishing right up front, and it was going to be a producing/artist management kind of thing. I got out of it and I'm glad I did. I really couldn't give any advise though until I know what's in it for Tony if its not a work for hire.

------------------
A convertible ride. A big blanket on the sand and a warm sun. www.nicholasalan.com


A convertible ride. A big blanket on the sand and a warm sun. http://www.nicholasalan.com
#210768 - 07/25/05 08:15 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Derek,

Ray's right. Seperate the publishing if possible. Get a reversion clause if not.

Your idea about a New York lawyer is good. Even more important, get someone who knows the music biz.

I don't know Tony, but I'm sure a few searches with his name and some of the stars mentioned should help.

When checking people out, don't be dazzled by pictures of the stars. In one day at fan fair, here in Nashville, I could get my picture taken with several major label artists hugging me like an old friend. Make sure you hear samples of what they've produced. I'd even try to get contact numbers and email addresses of some of their past clients.

This guy sounds good, though. Still, do your homework, get a good lawyer, hang on to that publishing, don't be dazzled by the glamour of the "biz" and you should be alright.

All the Best,
Mike

------------------
You have to practice improvisation. -Art Tatum

Mike Dunbar Music


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#210769 - 07/25/05 08:32 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
derekBigWithSeed Offline
Casual Observer
derekBigWithSeed  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Unit...
Thanks so much guys. Great advice!

I really appreciate it. Talk to you soon!

------------------
www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."


http://www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."
#210770 - 07/27/05 01:07 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 486
Stu Offline
Stu  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 486
Buffalo, New York USA
Derek-
Permit me to chime in here, as I am an Attorney who practices in the area of Intellectual Property (copyright and trademark) and Entertainment Law. However, I make it a habit of not using JPF as a source for clients since I don't think that would be an ethical use of the Boards or that it fits in with the purpose of the organization to be cherry picking potential clients from the website. Nevertheless, the following may assist you:
1.) Not many attorneys outside of the major market (NY, LA, Nashville) areas actually practice Entertainment Law. There are only 3 where I practice, In Buffalo, New York, because, as you can imagine, in smaller market cities there isn't enough of this kind of business to warrant devoting the time necessary to learn all of the ins and outs of this specialized area. In addition, musicians are notorious for being "Zen" businessmen, who don't know how to account on their taxes for business advice, and who are reticent to pay their legal fees (don't be surprised if the attorney asks you for a reatiner fee up front).I got into Entertainment Law because I'm also a musician and a performer and I have friends who started recording studios and record companies.
TO FIND AN ATTORNEY I would suggest that you call the local Bar Association and ask for a referral. Most Bar Associations have committees that are devoted to specialized areas of law (For example, I serve on the Intellectual Property Committe of the Erie County Bar Association) and they will know who practices in the area. Some Bar Associations also have a free referral service to hook you up with the right Attorney in the practice area. Just calling any attorney to get involved may not be a good idea.
2.) What to look for - you should feel free to ask the Attorney about their background, (e.g. how many deals have they handled, why types, are they familiar with the particular issues involved in your deal) and you can also ask them about their representative clients. Some law firms list their representative clients right on their websites.
The attorney has an ethical obligation to tell you if they have never done this particular type of work before, and they may also tell you if they have done similar work or if they have a background that would lead to appropriate knowledge. Some attorneys will also agree to charge you a lower hourly rate to start if they need to take some time to get up to speed on your issues (you should not have to pay for the Attorney's education).
3.) I see that you may already be getting some inadequate advise. Do not automatically rule out percentages on publishing, or agreements in which publishing rights are shared for a period of time and then revert to you. There are certain standards in the industry that you need to be aware of, and what is at issue is really a matter of smart negotiation. As a first time artist, without a track record, you need to know what the options are, and you need someone to evaluate whether what is being offered is for real to begin with. If it is, you need to know whether it is a good deal (and if not, what can be done to make it a good deal for you under all of the circumstances). I have seen too many artists screw deals up front because of bad management or bad advice. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that in any business/music dealings you show the people you are dealing with that you have professional intentions. This means not automatically taking a position on publishing, gross percentages, or any aspect of the deal until you have taken the time to scrutinize the interplay of each aspect that is presented. It also means showing them that you are being professionally handled.
It would take me hours to go over what is at stake with publishing rights, development deals, etc., which is exactly what I would suggest you sit down and do with your Attorney once you find one.
Hope this helps
Stu

#210771 - 07/27/05 01:40 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
derekBigWithSeed Offline
Casual Observer
derekBigWithSeed  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 13
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Unit...
WOW!

Thank you so much, Stu. I didn't expect to hear back from an attorney for gosh sakes! I really appreciate your time. I would have never known to call the Bar Association - that is a great idea. I really appreciate the time you spent reading my post and posting yours. I love Just Plain Folks because of the willingness to help. I swear when I know more about the biz a few years from now, I'll be returning your favor to someone new who doesn't know what to do.

Thank you so much - I'm going to re-read your post a few times and make sure I got it all soaked in. Great advice!

~Derek

------------------
www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."


http://www.bigwithseed.com
"I don't know, don't really care,
Let there be songs to fill the air..."
#210772 - 07/27/05 09:03 PM Re: Need Advice - Producer/Artist Development Agreement  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
That's very good of you Stu, thanks

All the Best,
Mike

------------------
You have to practice improvisation. -Art Tatum

Mike Dunbar Music

[This message has been edited by Mike Dunbar (edited 07-27-2005).]


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music


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