What is a Music Lawyer?
Updated: Aug 9
One of the key pop culture industries Froese Law serves is the music industry. Salman Rana, who juggles his music law practice with a professorship in music law, explains his role as a music lawyer. Music lawyers play a central and multifaceted role in the creative industries. They provide essential support and advice and ensure a fair playing field that ultimately helps enable and protect the creativity and passion of artists as they aim to achieve their goals and reach new audiences.
Here’s a short and non-exhaustive list of some of the most interesting aspects of being a music lawyer:
Expertise: Music lawyers, commonly referred to as entertainment lawyers, specialize in all things law and music. They assist clients with legal issues related to copyrights, trademarks, contracts and other business matters. Their unique specialization puts them in a unique position to protect the interests of various stakeholders they may be representing such as artists, composers, performers, music publishers and record labels.
Contracts: Music lawyers often negotiate and draft contracts for the various kinds of deals that their musical clients may be engaging in. Their expertise ensures that their clients know what they’re signing and what their rights and obligations are.
Facilitating Relationships: Music lawyers are usually music fans themselves. Being immersed in music sometimes gives them the opportunity to spot talent and facilitate relationships. Whether it’s introducing an emerging artist to a trustworthy artist manager, or helping to set up a writing workshop with a music publisher to incubate new talent
Intellectual Property Protection: Music lawyers should be experts in intellectual property law. Especially the field of intellectual property dealing with copyright law. They help musicians protect their IP assets, exploit opportunities to monetize the assets and respond to potential cases of infringement.
Negotiating Royalties: When negotiating contractual terms, music lawyers also help negotiate royalties for artists. They ensure artists get their fair share of the various streams of royalty revenue and protect them from exploitative contracts
Digital Music Platforms: Music lawyers understand the complicated workings of streaming platforms and how royalties for digital streaming are calculated. They also know what to do when works are uploaded without authorization, how to secure streaming rights and the pros and cons of various digital distribution channels.
Dispute Resolution: Music lawyers can help resolve disputes. Whether over contractual terms, royalty payments or potential infringements, they can work both inside and outside of the courts to resolve disputes.
Career Guidance: Music lawyers play an important role in providing sound and impartial advice to help guide their clients’ careers. The world of music is complex and unruly at times. Music lawyers can assist clients in building their personal brands, advise on when best to release music and the benefits and risks associated with potential deals.
Legislative Advocacy: Music lawyers can engage in legislative advocacy to advocate for law reform and regulations geared towards better protecting musicians’ rights. They work at both national and international levels, advocating for a more fair and equitable music industry.
Multidisciplinary Approaches: Music lawyers are multidisciplinary lawyers. They need to understand contract law, intellectual property law, digital rights and international law. They also need to stay on top of technological developments and the changing landscape of the music industry to better serve their clients.
If you are looking for a music lawyer, Froese Law is happy to assist you!