Music Industry Insight: Publishing Deal and Law with Julia Frese, Zimmermann & Decker

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Contracts, paragraphs and clauses are normally not part of the most favourite topics for artists and managers. When an artist decides to contractually commit to a publisher for a certain period of time, questions about questions come to his mind. Both the artist and the artist manager should deal with a submitted contract in peace - after all, it is about the rights to the artist’s creative property.

Creative property is a composition (lyrics and melody of a song) that is protected by the copyright. If a TV station wants to use a song for a commercial, the artist’s publisher is asked in 100% of the cases to conclude a so-called synch deal between TV station and publisher. It doesn’t matter whether it is a cover or the original song - in both cases the intellectual property, i.e. the composition, is used. If the original recording is used, it additionally concerns the neighbouring rights which are administered by the label. But more about this in the second part of our mini contract series.

tamanguu talked to Julia Frese, a lawyer in the music law firm Zimmermann und Decker, and clarified the most important legal questions that an artist manager or an artist should ask himself with regard to a publishing deal.

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