Independent Label Recording Agreement

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This Independent Label Recording Agreement is between a music artist and an independent record label who will promote and record artist's compositions. This form sets out the specifics of the arrangement including the payment of royalties or advances and how recordings will be produced.

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This Independent Label Recording Agreement is between a musical artist and an independent record label for the recording and promotion of the artist's compositions. This agreement spells out the specific terms of the arrangement including the agreement term, how master recordings will be produced and the payment of advances and royalties. It is imperative that this business agreement be clearly set out in writing. A written Independent Label Recording Agreement will be valuable in the event of disagreements or litigation between the parties.

This Independent Label Recording Agreement contains the following provisions:
  • Parties: Names of both the independent record label and the artist;
  • Recording Services: Sets out that artist will render recording services exclusively to the independent label during the term of this agreement;
  • Master Recordings: Artist will deliver a master recording to the company and record label will release it in commercial form;
  • Term: Specific time period of the agreement and any option periods (if applicable);
  • Name and Likeness: Artist grants record company the right to use his or her name, likeness and voice for advertising and promotional purposes;
  • Advances/Royalties/Singles: Sets out the formula for payment of advances, royalties or for release of a single;
  • Videos: Independent label and artist will mutually agree upon the budget and production costs of any video in which the label will retain worldwide rights and copyrights;
  • Artist Warranties: Artist warrants that he or she is the owner of all copyrights to the recordings and that they do not infringe upon the intellectual property of others;
  • Signatures: A representative of the independent label and artist and/or a representative of artist must sign this license agreement.

Protect your rights and your property by purchasing this attorney-prepared form.

This attorney-prepared package includes:
  1. General Information
  2. Instructions and Checklist
  3. Independent Label Recording Agreement
State Law Compliance: This form complies with the laws of all states
Number of Pages12
DimensionsDesigned for Letter Size (8.5" x 11")
EditableYes (.doc, .wpd and .rtf)
UsageUnlimited number of prints
Product number#43505
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.
 
 
Independent Label Recording Agreement

 

 
This Agreement (the "Agreement") is entered into between: ______________ ("Company") and ________________, known collectively as ______________, and performing under the name _____________ (referred to as "Artist."). All references to "Artist" include all members of the group collectively and individually unless otherwise specified. The parties agree as follows:
 
1.   Exclusive Recording Services. During the Term (as described below), Artist shall only render recording services for the Company and shall not, unless otherwise permitted under this Agreement, render recording services for any other party.
 
2.   Master Recordings. Artist will deliver to Company technically satisfactory recordings containing not less than forty (40) minutes of playing time (the "Master Recording"). Company shall release a commercial product embodying the material contained on the Master Recordings (the "Records").
 
3.   Term. The Artist' obligation to perform exclusive recording services shall begin upon the latest signature date of this Agreement (the "Effective Date") and shall continue for _______ months after delivery of the first Master Recording (the "Term"). If Artist grants one or more options to Company as part of this Agreement, anytime prior to the end of the Term, the Company may extend the Term by exercising its option. In the event that an option is exercised, the term shall continue for _____ months after the delivery of the previous Master Recording ("Option Term"). If Company ever chooses not to exercise an option, the agreement will terminate regardless of how many options remain.
Artist grants to Company (check if applicable):
[  ] one option
[  ] two options
[  ] three options
[  ] four options
[  ] ___ options.
 
4.   Grant of Rights. (Select one and fill in appropriate blanks.)
[  ] Beginning on the date when a Master Recording is delivered to Company, Company shall be the exclusive owner of rights to all Master Recordings for the period of time of _________________________ (the "Ownership Period").
[  ]    Artist assigns to Company all rights to the Master Recording in perpetuity.
After the Ownership Period, all rights in the Master Recordings shall revert to Artist. During Ownership Period, Artist grants to Company all right, title and interest in the sound recording copyright (as provided under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 and international copyright treaties) to the Master Recordings including:
*   the exclusive right to manufacture copies of all or any portion of the Master Recordings;
*   the exclusive right to import, export, sell, transfer, release, license, publicly perform, rent, and otherwise exploit or dispose of the Master Recordings; and
*   the exclusive right to edit, adapt or conform the Master Recordings to technological or commercial requirements in various formats now known or later developed.
 
5.   Territory. The rights granted to Company are limited to _________________ (the "Territory").
 
6.   Right to Use Artist' Name and Likeness. Company shall have the right to reproduce or distribute in any medium, Artist's names, portraits, pictures and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion or trade in connection with Artist or the exploitation of the Master Recordings.  Artist shall be available from time to time to appear for photography, video performance, or the like, under the reasonable direction of Company. Artist shall not be entitled to any compensation for such services except for reimbursement of travel expenses.
 
7.   Side-Artist Recording. (Select one.)
[  ] During the Term, Artist may perform as part of another artist' recording project (a "side-artist" performance) provided that: (a) the side-artist recording does not interfere with obligations under this Agreement; (b) only one member of Artist performs on the side-artist project; and (c) the following credit is included on the side-artist recording: "[Name of Artist] appears courtesy of [Company Name]."
[  ] Artist may perform as part of another artist' recording project (a "sideartist" performance) provided that Company has furnished written consent for such performance. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. In the event of such performance, the following credit shall be included on the sideartist recording: "[Name of Artist] appears courtesy of [Company Name]."
 
8.   Professional Name.  With the exception of the Leaving Member sections of this Agreement, Artist will perform and record under the professional name __________________. Artist will not use a different name in connection with the Master Recordings unless Artist and Company mutually agree in writing.
 
9.   Trademark Search. (Check if applicable.)
[  ] Company, in its discretion, may institute a search to determine whether there are any third party uses for such name. If the search indicates that the name cannot be used, Company and Artist shall mutually agree upon a substitute name. Any amounts up to but not exceeding six hundred dollars (US $600.00) may be expended for the purposes of the trademark search and will be considered as a recoupable advance.
 
10.   Production of Master Recordings. Artist shall be responsible for payment of all expenses incurred in the production of the Master Recordings and shall obtain the appropriate permission, clearance or release from any person or union who renders services in the production of the Master Recordings.
 
11.   Subsequent Recording of Compositions. Artist represents and warrants that Artist shall not record any composition contained on a Master Recording for a period of ___ years from the date of first release of a Company recording containing such composition.
 
12.   Advances and Recoupable Costs. All monies paid by Company to Artist other than royalties paid pursuant to this Agreement, shall be considered an advance against royalties ("Advances"). All Advances shall be set off against future royalties. In connection with the initial Master Recording delivered, Company will pay Artist an Advance of __________ on the date of ____________.
 
13.   Advance for Option Term. (Check and fill in blank if applicable.)
[  ] In connection with the Master Recording delivered under the Option Terms, Company will pay Artist an Advance of ______.
 
14.   Royalties. Company shall pay Artist a percentage (the "Royalty") of the Company' sales for all Records sold, less the following costs:
actual container costs not to exceed ______ % of SRLP, and excise, sales and similar taxes.
Company shall pay Artist ______ % of (select one):
[  ] suggested retail list price (SRLP) or
[  ] wholesale price.
 
15.   Singles. In the event that Company releases singles, Company shall pay Artist ______ % of (select one):
[  ] suggested retail list price (SRLP) or
[  ] wholesale price.
 
16.   Foreign Licenses. Company shall pay Artist ______ % of the net receipts paid to Company under any foreign license.
 
17.   Reserves. (Check and fill in blanks if applicable.)
[  ] In computing the Records sold, only Records for which Company has been paid or credited shall be considered sold. Company shall have the right to deduct returns and credits and to make reasonable reserves, not to exceed ______ % of sales in any one accounting period provided that such reserves shall be liquidated within______ accounting period(s).
 
18.   Compilations. If a composition from the Master Recording is used on a compilation or recording in which other artists are included, the Artist' royalty shall be prorated. For example, if a composition from the Master Recording is included on a compilation containing nine selections from other artists, Artist shall be entitled to one-tenth (1/10th) of the royalty rate.
 
19.   Flat Fee. Company shall pay Artist _____% of the net receipts paid to Company under any flat fee license of the Master Recordings or any portion of the Master Recordings.
 
20.   Promotional Recordings and Cutouts. No royalties will be due on Records furnished on a promotional basis. Nor shall any royalty be due for Records sold by Company as cutouts or for scrap or otherwise upon deletion from Company's catalogue.
 
21.   Statements; Audit. Company shall pay Artist the Artist' Royalties within _____ days after the end of each quarter. Company shall also furnish an accurate statement of sales of Records during that month. If late in any payment, Company shall pay interest from the due date until paid. The acceptance by Artist of any statement or payment does not prevent Artist later questioning its accuracy. Company shall keep accurate books of account covering all transactions relating to this Agreement. Artist or its representatives shall have the right upon reasonable written notice to audit Company's books relating to the Records. If the audit indicates an underpayment greater than $500 for any six month period, Company shall pay for the audit.
 
22.   Video. (Check and fill in blanks if applicable.)
[  ] If Company determines during the term of this Agreement to produce a recording combining the audio performance of Artist with a visual image (the "Video"), Company and Artist shall mutually agree upon the budget and production costs (the "Production Budget") for such Video or Videos. All sums paid by Company as part of the Production Budget shall be considered as an Advance against royalties. Company shall be the sole owner of all worldwide rights to each Video, including the worldwide copyrights. Company shall have the right to use and allow others to use each Video for advertising and promotional purposes with no payment to Artist. "Advertising and promotional purposes" mean all uses for which Company receives no money in excess of incidental fees such as tape stock and duplication and shipping. Artist shall be entitled to a royalty as established in the Royalty Section for all revenue derived from commercial exploitation of the Videos. Artist shall issue a worldwide synchronization license for any Controlled Compositions embodied on a Video. For a period of ______ years from the date of release of any video, Company shall have the right to allow others to use the Videos for commercial purposes. If Company licenses or commercially exploits the Videos, Company shall pay, after deducting all costs advanced for production, a Royalty of: ____ % of the net revenues from any license or sale of such Video. Artist grants to Company the right to synchronize the Master Recordings with visual images to create Videos.
 
23.   Commercial Release of Records. (Select one and fill in blanks.)
[  ] Company shall release the Records within ______ months of delivery of the Master Recordings (the "Guaranteed Release Date"). Artist shall provide written notice if Company fails to release the recording by the Guaranteed Release Date, and if, after 30 days from notification, the Company has not released the recording, Artist may terminate this agreement and all rights in the Master Recordings shall revert to Artist and Company shall have no further rights to the recording.
[  ] Company shall release the Records within______ months of delivery of the Master Recordings (the "Guaranteed Release Date"). Artist shall provide written notice if Company fails to release the recording by the Guaranteed Release Date, and if, after 30 days from notification, the Company has not released the recording, Artist may terminate this agreement.  In the event of such termination Artist may acquire the unreleased Master Recording and all related rights by paying to company the sum of any advance for such Master Recording.
 
24.   Artist Promotional Records. Company shall furnish to Artist a total of______ promotional Records at no charge. Artist may obtain further Records from Company at Company's then wholesale cost.
 
25.   Album Artwork. (Check if applicable.)
[  ] Artist, at its own expense, may furnish camera-ready artwork for the Records. Such artwork shall be delivered in computer format at the time of delivery of the Master Recording. Company shall have the right to modify or conform the artwork to meet Company specifications and standards. However, Company shall consult with Artist before making any such modification. In the event that Artist elects not to furnish artwork, Company shall prepare the artwork and shall consult with Artist regarding the design. Company shall advance the sum of $ ______ for artwork preparation and such payment shall be considered an advance against future royalties.
 
26.   Artist Warranties. Artist warrants to Company that Artist has the power and authority to enter into this Agreement, is the Artist and copyright holder of the Master Recordings, or has or will obtain all necessary and appropriate rights and licenses to grant the license in this Agreement with respect to the Master Recordings. Artist represents and warrants that the Master Recordings are original to Artist except for material in the public domain and such excerpts from other works as may be included with the written permission of the copyright owners and that proper clearances or permission have been obtained from the artists of any copyrighted material, including but not limited to any digitally reprocessed samples of material incorporated in the Master Recordings. Artist warrants that Artist's use of any name or moniker will not infringe on the rights of others and that Artist's use of any musical composition or arrangement will not infringe on the rights of others.
Artist further warrants that the Master Recordings do not:
*   contain any libelous material
*   infringe any trade name, trademark, trade secret or copyright
*   invade or violate any right of privacy, personal or proprietary right, or other common law or statutory right.
 
[  ] Artist hereby indemnifies Company and undertakes to defend Company against and hold Company harmless (including without limitation attorney fees and costs) from any claims and damage arising out of a breach of Artist's Warranties as provided above. Artist agrees to reimburse Company for any payment made by Company with respect to this Section, provided that the claim has been settled or has resulted in a final judgment against Company or its licensees. Artist shall notify Company in writing of any infringements or imitations by others of the Master Recording which may come to Artist's attention.
 
27.   Controlled Compositions License. Artist grants to Company an irrevocable worldwide license to reproduce all compositions wholly or partly written, owned or controlled by Artist (the "Controlled Compositions"). Artist grants to Company a first mechanical license in respect to all Controlled Compositions.
 
28.   Mechanical Royalties. (Check one and fill in appropriate blanks.)
[  ] Artist acknowledges and agrees that Company will pay a royalty for the mechanical license on all Records manufactured for sale or commercial distribution at ______% of the minimum compulsory license rate (the "Company Mechanical Rate") applicable in the country of manufacture. The applicable minimum statutory rate shall be determined as of the date of the commencement of the recording of the applicable Master Recording. Mechanical Royalties shall not be payable with respect to musical compositions of one minute or less in duration.
[  ] Artist acknowledges and agrees that Company will pay a royalty for the mechanical license  on all Records manufactured for sale or commercial distribution at ______%  of the minimum compulsory license rate (the "Company Mechanical Rate") applicable in the country of manufacture. The applicable minimum statutory rate shall be determined as of the date of the commencement of the recording of the applicable Master Recording. Mechanical Royalties shall not be payable with respect to musical compositions of one minute or less in duration. For each Master Recording, Company shall only pay a sum equivalent to the Company Mechanical Royalty Rate multiplied by ______.
 
29.   Leaving Members. (Check if applicable.)
[  ] If any member of Artist ceases to perform as a member of the group ("Leaving Member"), Artist shall promptly give Company written notice. If the group disbands, each member of the group shall be considered to be a Leaving Member. Artist grants to Company an irrevocable option to engage the exclusive services of any Leaving Member as a recording artist. In the event of Company' exercise of this option, the Leaving Member shall be considered to have entered into an agreement with Company upon all the terms and conditions of this Agreement, including the initial term, the first option term, payments, royalties and all other applicable terms. The Leaving Member shall not, however, be responsible for any outstanding Artist debts including unrecouped advances.
 
30.   Termination. Company may terminate this Agreement within thirty (30) days of the expiration of the Term or any Option Period. Artist can terminate this Agreement if Company fails to pay Artist' Royalties when due or to accurately report Net Sales and the failure is not corrected within thirty days after notice from Artist. If this Agreement is breached because of a failure to pay or accurately report royalties all rights granted under this agreement shall revert to Artist and Company shall have no further rights regarding Artist or the Master Recordings.
If this Agreement is terminated for a reason other than Company' failure to pay or accurately report Artist' Royalties, the termination shall not terminate the underlying license and copyrights granted to Company by Artist or Company' obligations to pay Royalties under this Agreement.
 
31.   Termination in the Event of Leaving Member. Within ninety (90) days of receipt of notice of any Leaving Member, as defined in the Leaving Member Section, Company shall have the right to terminate the Agreement with respect to the remaining members of Artist. In the event of such termination, all members of Artist shall be deemed to be Leaving Members.
 
32.   Mediation; Arbitration. If a dispute arises under this Agreement, the parties agree to first try to resolve the dispute with the help of a mutually agreed upon mediator in _____________________________. Any costs and fees other than attorney fees shall be shared equally by the parties. If it proves impossible to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution, the parties agree to submit the dispute to binding arbitration in the same city or region, conducted on a confidential basis pursuant to:
[  ] the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association, or
[  ] the rules of ______________________________.
Any decision or award as a result of any such arbitration proceeding shall include the assessment of costs, expenses and reasonable attorney's fees and shall include a written determination of the arbitrators. Absent an agreement to the contrary, any such arbitration shall be conducted by an arbitrator experienced in music industry law. An award of arbitration shall be final and binding on the Artists and may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction. The prevailing party shall have the right to collect from the other party its reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred in enforcing this agreement.
 
33.   General. Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be meant to establish either Company or Artist a partner, joint venture or employee of the other party for any purpose. This Agreement may not be amended except in a writing signed by both parties. No waiver by either party of any right shall be construed as a waiver of any other right. If a court finds any provision of this Agreement invalid or unenforceable as applied to any circumstance, the remainder of this Agreement shall be interpreted so as best to effect the intent of the parties. This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of ____________. This Agreement expresses the complete understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter and supersedes all prior proposals, agreements, representations and understandings. Notices required under this agreement can be sent to the parties at the addresses provided below. In the event of any dispute arising from or related to this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to attorney's fees.
 
 
___________________________________________Artist Business Name
___________________________________________Artist Representative Name & Title
___________________________________________Artist Representative Signature
______________________________________________________________________________________Artist Address
__________________________Date
 
 
___________________________________________Company Business Name
___________________________________________Company Representative Name & Title
___________________________________________Company Representative Signature
______________________________________________________________________________________Company Address
__________________________Date
 

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