Recently I have found that many of my clients are coming to me with a new breed of contract offer usually received from outside the U.K.
Having analysed them I have decided to now refer to such deals as Spam contracts.
The reasons for this are as follows:
Firstly, they are usually titled Non-Exclusive Song Placement Agreements.
The main terms are often brief and place no or little obligations on the company to do anything with the music. This is not good and immediately implies that they are simply trying to boost their catalogues and roster of songs to attract investment for example.
Secondly such agreements are mainly offered via a band’s social network profiles.
A Band will more than likely receive an email stating that the company has listened to their music and really like what they heard. The email will usually be accompanied by a contract offer there and then.
Thirdly and most importantly the non-exclusive element can be used as a smokescreen to induce the band to sign without getting legal advice. Just because the heading states non-exclusive does NOT mean it is. For example, I have seen such deals that assign an exclusive publishing share if a song is placed!
So, what to do if you receive such a deal?
Well despite what I have said above do not ignore it! Check out the Company and find out what you can about them. Then reply to them asking for more info and a brief rundown of what they think they can do for you. Most importantly though. Don’t sign the agreement!
If you get a response that is positive, then it will be worth getting the agreement looked at by myself or someone equally as qualified.
You may find that despite the spam element there is worth in the offer but only after you have received proper advice.