MUSICIANS INSTITUTE Program Releases 5 Vol. Series on Music Business Contracts


After nearly four years and more than three thousand hours of research, analysis and compilation, Music Law Press ( has published the first volume of Robert Nathan’s and Burgundy Morgan’s comprehensive guide to music industry legal issues entitled, “…but where do I sign? Volume One: The Essentials” Both Robert Nathan and Burgundy Morgan teach Music Contracts courses at Musicians Institute’s Music Business Program in Hollywood (

This new, definitive series not only provides information and guidance for singers, songwriters, musicians and others in the music industry, but is equally directed toward attorneys and other professionals who do not regularly practice within the unorthodox world of the music business.

Volume One – The Essentials covers contract fundamentals, intellectual property law, copyrights, trademarks, copyright registration procedures, personality and publicity rights (“name and likeness”), contract negotiation and drafting techniques, and dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration, and litigation). There is also a chapter which provides sample contract clauses and provisions, with detailed discussions of their intended purpose and legal effect, as well as “Artist-friendly” and “Company-friendly” alternative versions.

The remaining four volumes of the series will follow at approximately six-to nine-month intervals:

Volume Two – Band Agreements & Recording Contracts contains detailed discussions of performer-related legal issues, with side-by-side contract analyses of alternative versions of inter-band partnership agreements, personal management contracts, booking agreements (single engagements, tours, pay-to-play, etc.), recording studio agreements, demo deals, record contracts, distribution agreements, master use licensing, merchandising and endorsement deals, and other contracts relating to artists and musical recordings. (Anticipated publication date: February 2009)

Volume Three – Songwriter Agreements, Publishing Contracts & Licenses encompasses publishing-related issues, with side-by-side contract analyses of alternative versions of songwriting agreements, collaboration contracts, publishing and co-publishing agreements, administration deals, shopping agreements, single-song agreements, mechanical licenses, sync licenses, ringtone, Karaoke, small-right and grand-right licenses, and numerous other contracts and licenses related to songwriters and music publishing. (Anticipated publication date: December 2009)

Volume Four – Miscellaneous Music Industry Agreements, Releases, & Licenses covers all of the various contracts and licenses which don’t fall neatly within the categories of artist-, recording-, songwriter-, or publisher-related issues (E.g., legal services agreements, business management contracts, general releases, etc.) As with prior volumes in the series, each contract will include detailed, side-by-side analyses and alternative versions for comparison. (Anticipated publication date: June 2010)

Volume Five – Sample Forms of Music Industry Agreements, Releases, & Licenses will include full versions of all of the various forms of agreement, licenses and releases which are analyzed throughout the first four volumes of the series, as well as other useful forms. (Anticipated publication date: December 2010)

Finally, as a companion to the series, Music Law Press will offer a separate CD containing all of the various contracts, agreements, licenses, assignments, releases and other documents discussed in the various volumes, provided in editable (Word, Word Perfect), and Adobe (PDF) formats. (Anticipated publication date: August 2010)

The books can be purchased online by going to (