Friday 28 July 2017

Imogen Heap backs agreement to protect new artists from unfair contracts

By Francesca Gosling

The new agreement aims to help provide early protection for both parties.

Singer Imogen Heap has praised a new agreement designed to protect up-and-coming artists from unfair contracts.

Musical bodies Musicians Union (MU), Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) came together to draw up the document offering guidance to newer artists and managers with little knowledge of how to ensure they are getting a fair deal.

Launched on Wednesday, it comes after organisation members uncovered a number of unchecked contracts stating unfair terms.

The Hide And Seek singer, who is part of the FAC, said: “How I wish I had something like this when I was starting out as an artist.

“A really useful piece of collective work that I’m certain every artist at the start of his or her career will find invaluable.”

The group said it understood there was “no such thing as a standard contract” in the music business, adding that this meant there was a need for early protection for both parties.

Horace Trubridge, of the MU, explained: “This example management agreement grew out of the MU’s Contract Advisory Service, to which MU members submit contracts for legal scrutiny.

“Our lawyers raised concerns about the poor contract agreements widely available online to performers, managers, recording companies and others.

“Once both parties have signed an agreement, it’s very hard to do anything about it.

“By using this example management agreement, all parties can be confident that they are using a document that is up to date and fair to all concerned.”

MMF’s Fiona McGugan added: “We hope that artists and managers will use this agreement to protect themselves in the early days but also to think entrepreneurially about their future partnerships as they become more attuned to the business they’re in.”

The contract is available to MMF, FAC and MU members via the organisations’ respective websites.

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