The last few weeks have been turbulent on the professional front. More than usual at least. [Which explains the lack of updates on the blog : my apologies!]
If anything, these rather heavy events have made my role as an entertainment lawyer more clearer than ever: to guide and support my clients, keeping a cool head.
The arts and culture industry being what is – driven by imbalance and effervescence – it is imperative to emphasize the importance of having legal backing.
Why a lawyer ?
The career of an artist involves multiple legal and administrative tasks: managing rights, collecting royalties, negotiating (and understanding) an extensive amount of contracts (recording, licencing, management, publishing, performing, touring, graphic design, illustration, distribution, etc.), handling risks and crises – often because there was no contract to begin with, and so on and so forth.
To leave these duties up to chance is to become dependent of them. It is to let them guide your career rather than hold the reins.
Obviously, legal knowledge should be standard, not a luxury: I always say that an informed artist is a better artist.
That said, it is important to recognize your limits, to understand the impact many of your decisions can have on a project or a career, and to seek assistance when needed.
Legal, business… and moral support
A lawyer will answer your “lawyer questions” and explain you your rights, but they can also advise you on how to best approach a negotiation with your manager/spouse and help you decide between two record labels whose operations, client-list and human resources they are familiar with.
Your lawyer is not only someone you should call to put out fires; they can guide you and advise you at all points of your career.
Many feel that they cannot afford a lawyer.
First, not all lawyer services are out of reach. Many offer special rates and first-time consultations for free, or at reduced rates. These can usually answer a considerable range of questions.
Certainly, it is an investment, but when comes the moment to sign an agreement that will bind you for many years, or dispossess you of your artistic heritage, it is money well spent!
:: If you have any questions, I will be waiting for you at the office so we can discuss it over a latte.