review: august reading: Halloran, Stim

Musician’s Business and Legal Guide
by Mark Halloran

Imagine taking a hike through a forest sans compass or trail map. One could be lost for days on end, wandering aimlessly, without any sense of direction. Unfortunately, for most musicians and aspiring industry professionals alike, that’s exactly the way their career is spent. Lost in the dense woodland of the forest, unable to see the trees for what they are. If knowledge is the key to success in any career than the Musician’s Guide provides the direction for understanding the complexities of the entertainment industry. Devoid of excessive legalese and business jargon, while delving deeply into the everyday issues musicians and music business-people face, Musician’s Guide is a savior for everyone on any level of entertainment industry. Presented by a panel of legal and business experts and the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Musician’s Guide effectively confronts a variety of legal and business issues in a clear and concise way while not skimming over any of the detail necessary to garner a strong grasp of the concepts. While not necessarily a replacement for a strong business manager or accomplished layer, it makes the time spent with both more effective and allows musicians at any level the comfort of knowing they are not being taken by the evil’s common in the industry. By the same token, for anyone aspiring for a business or legal career in the industry the Musician’s Guide provides a superb textbook explanation of the aspects of both, in an environment allowing for a strong understanding of the details, not just basic concepts commonly faced in the industry. On the cutting edge of current issues including sampling, new media and the Internet, copyright ownership and usage, international music issues as well as changes in the basic contractual structure and the more traditional concepts dealt with in many texts on entertainment business and law, the Musician’s Guide provides more than just the basic ideals, it rips at the meat of these with a saw tooth. The depth and breath of the explanation is easily the biggest benefit of owning the book. Musician’s Guide provides the opportunity for success on all levels with real world examples paired with examples of contracts and letters commonly used in the industry translated into plain and simple English without forgetting that wording is everything when working in a pure business or legal environment. Promoting the idea that understand the complexities of the music industry is important fin the success of everyone, the Musician’s Guide provides a step-by-step manual of sorts, fully caring out it’s own namesake in a stellar fashion.

Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business
by Richard Stim

Approaching the music industry unarmed is similar to throwing a lame duck into a pool of festering sharks. It has the potential to be complete bloodshed all around. Whether a band trying to take the step from a basement experiment to the real world or a student considering the realm of entertainment as a career or a seasoned vet looking for that down-to-Earth interpretation of legalese, Music Law… can explain it all. From the standpoint of an educational tool, Music Law… acts as a great springboard into the complexities of the entertainment industry from more than a just a pure business and legal perspective. It approaches a series of complex industry issues with an ease of explanation which details nearly every issue that one would face in maintaining a music career. The finest quality of the Music Law… is the simplicity of the writing. Each chapter is broken down by subheads and cuts right to the meat-and-potatoes of issues everyone in the industry from a band, to a manager, to a label and beyond, has to face. The language is clear and concise, avoiding the convoluted language and overall wordiness business writing and legalese, while still explaining in detail the concepts at hand. Each real world example includes a simple, plain-English version of a contract or agreement to work in conjunction with the topic at hand, which is then dissected even further to define the points contract covers. By no means, however, should the scaled down versions of contracts and agreements in Music Law… be looked at as any more than a basic learning tool. There truly is no substitute for obtaining proper legal and business council or at least gaining a firmer understand of the subtitles of business writing and legal jargon. No simple turn of phrase carries the same weight as a properly worded and arranged contract and therefor the ideas presented in Music Law… should be treated as a guide to furthering your basic understanding of such wording rather than a substitute of such. The depth of the subjects Music Law… attempts to define and the breath of concepts it covers is stunning. From forming a band as a business entity, to touring and riders, to songwriting credits and royalty collection, to ownership issues and copyright and beyond, Music Law… takes more than a glancing look at it all in simple terms. Whether you are new to the entertainment business or an old hat looking at more simplistic detail Music Law… has the potential to be an invaluable resource to obtain a basic understanding of the business and legal aspects of the industry.

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About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
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