We are in the DIY-era of music. It has never been more affordable and convenient to produce and record music from the comfort of your own home. Musicians often approach me asking whether or not they need to hire an attorney. As with most things in law, it really depends. It depends on where you are as a band. If you and your buddies are just noodling around in your garage every other weekend, then hiring an attorney does not even enter your thought process. But if your band has generated some buzz in the area, and you are looking to take that next major step, then it might be time to seriously consider adding an attorney to your team.
Before you sign any contracts or legal agreements, consult an attorney to discuss the terms of the documents. Music contracts are complex and tend to favor the side that furnishes the contract. Ask an attorney to explain the terms of the contract to you and whether the deal offered is acceptable for your group. Your attorney can also try to negotiate any objectionable terms in the contract for you, which is far easier than trying to re-negotiate unfavorable terms after you have committed yourself. However, remember that your bargaining power is slim in the beginning, and your attorney cannot change that. What he or she can do is help you express what you want from the deal and keep you informed throughout the negotiation process.
This article from Haulix was the inspiration for this post.