This document sets forth the terms of an agreement between a recording artist and a
record label where the record label agrees to sell and promote record(s) made by the
artist. This document contains standard language, such as the royalties the record
company agrees to pay to the artist, cost reimbursement, a copyright provision, and an
optional AFRA clause. This document also provides opportunities for customization in
order to fit the needs of the drafting parties.
ARTIST RECORDING CONTRACT
THIS ARTIST RECORDING CONTRACT (the "Agreement") executed and effective this
_______ day of ___________, 20___ (the “Effective Date”), by and between
___________________, (the "Artist") and _________________________, (the "Company").
The Company and Artist hereinafter sometimes collectively referred to as the “Parties.”
Company hereby engages and employs the Artist to provide exclusive services in connection
with the production of sound recordings, as described on Exhibit A (the “Recording”), and Artist
hereby accepts such engagement and agrees to perform such services to the best of his or her
This Agreement shall commence on the Effective Date and shall continue thereafter for a period
of _________ ( ) years. The Company shall have the option to extend this Agreement for a
period of ___________ ( ) years by giving notice in writing to Artist of its exercise of such
option and its election to continue. Such notice shall be given not less than thirty (30) days prior
to the expiration of this Agreement. Upon the giving of such notice this Agreement shall be
continued and extended for such further period upon the same terms and conditions as set forth
3. CONTRIBUTION BY ARTIST
Artist agrees in good faith to:
(a) fully cooperate with the Company in the production of the Recording;
(b) arrange, direct and perform the songs in such a manner as to facilitate the production of the
(c) perform at rehearsals and at recording sessions conducted by Company at such times and
places as Company reasonably directs;
(d) to record and re-record each selection until a commercially satisfactory master results, in
Company's sole opinion.
In full consideration of Artist’s performance of the terms, undertakings and provisions of this
Agreement, and for all rights granted by Artist to Company hereunder, Company agrees to pay
Royalties to the Artist. Royalties shall include any compensation received by Company, or
promised to Company, which directly or indirectly results from the use, exploitation or existence
of the Recording, or any reproduction thereof. Such Royalties shall be first applied to satisfy
costs incurred and paid by Company. The remainder of such Royalties, if any, shall be allocated
and distributed between Company and Artist, in the following proportion:
__________________________________ ( %) Percent to Company
__________________________________ ( %) Percent to Artist
Royalties due Artist hereunder shall be paid by Company to Artist within fifteen working days
from the Company's receipt thereof.
Company shall be responsible for advancing all costs incurred in the production of the
Recording, including travel, hotel and meal expenses incurred by Artist in attending the
recording sessions. Company may recover such expenses incurred pursuant to the production of
recordings or the advancement of the Artist's career. Company's production, promotion,
manufacturing and all other bona fide expenses relating to Artist are deemed recoupable from the
The recording sessions necessary to produce the Recording shall occur at studios and facilities
chosen by Company in _____________ (city) _________________ (State), commencing on
____________, 20___ and ending on ____________, 20___.
7. COMPLETION AND RELEASE
The Recording shall be completed and prepared for release and distribution on or before
___________, 20____. Company and Artist acknowledge that time is of the essence in the
completion of the Recording, and both Company and Artist agree to exercise all reasonable
efforts to achieve such completion.
Artist agrees that during the period of this Agreement Artist will record exclusively for
Company. Artist will not perform for himself or for any other person, firm or corporation other
than Company, in connection with or for the purpose of producing commercial sound recordings.
Artist agrees that Artist will not license or authorize any person, firm or corporation to use the
name, likeness or any other identification of Artist in connection with any sound recordings
made in violation hereof. In the event of a breach of this covenant, the Company shall be entitled
to an injunction to enforce same, in addition to any other remedies available to it.
9. GRANT OF RIGHTS
In consideration of this Agreement, Artist hereby grants to Company and its subsidiaries and
assigns the following:
(a) Sole, exclusive, and perpetual right, directly or through authorized parties to manufacture,
advertise, sell, lease, license or otherwise use or dispose of throughout the world or any part
thereof [if territory is restricted to USA and Canada, this has to be replaced], or to refrain
there from throughout the world or any part thereof, recordings, masters, tapes, etc., embodying
the performances of the Artist;
(b) Perpetual right to use, publish, and permit others to use and publish Artist's name, likeness,
and biographical material for advertising and trade publicity purposes in connection with the
Recordings made hereunder;
(c) Sole, exclusive, and perpetual right to perform the Recordings publicly, or to permit
performances thereof by means of radio broadcasting, or otherwise, and sole, exclusive, and
perpetual right to sell or authorize the sale of individual recordings or performances of Artist on
singles and in albums, which may contain recordings of performances of other artists.
10. NAME & LIKENESS
The Company shall have the right to use and allow others to use Artist’s name, facsimile
signature, and likeness and Artist's biographical material for advertising and promoting Artist's
All results and proceeds of Artist's services hereunder shall constitute a "work-made-for-hire" (as
such term is defined in the United States Copyright Act of 1976). Company shall own the master
and all the Recordings made hereunder, together with the performances embodied thereon and all
copyrights therein and thereto, and all the results and proceeds of Artist's services hereunder
throughout the universe in perpetuity, free of any and all claims by Artist or any person,
corporation or other entity deriving any rights from Artist.
Artist represents and warrants that there are no agreements which prevent Artist from fulfilling
all of the Artist's obligations hereunder, or which will impair the rights granted Company
hereunder. Artist agrees that during the term of this Agreement, Artist will not enter into any
contract or commitment in violation of or inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement or which
may prevent or impair Company's full enjoyment of its rights to Artist's services, or of the right
and privileges granted to Company by Artist hereunder.
Artist's performances hereunder, and the rights and privileges granted to Company by Artist
hereunder, are of a special, unique, unusual, extraordinary, and intellectual character, which
gives them a peculiar value, the loss of which cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated
for in damages in an action at law and any default or breach by Artist of any of the provisions of
this Agreement will cause Company irreparable injury and damage. Artist expressly agrees that
Company will be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief to prevent a breach of this
Agreement or any portion thereof by Artist. Such relief shall be in addition to any other rights for
damages or otherwise to prevent a breach of this Agreement or any portion thereof by Artist.
Artist shall not interfere with the efforts of Company to distribute the Recording through one or
more distribution companies or enter into any contract inconsistent with the rights of distribution
assigned to Company hereunder. Artist shall not contact any such potential distribution company
except through the offices of the Company.
In the event that either party believes that the other has materially breached any obligations
under this Agreement, such party shall so notify the breaching party in writing. The breaching
party shall have 30 days from the receipt of notice to cure the alleged breach and to notify the
non-breaching party in writing that cure has been effected. If the breach is not cured within 30
days the non-breaching party shall have the right to terminate the Agreement without further
16. FORCE MAJEURE
Neither party is liable for failure to perform the party's obligations if such failure is as a result of
acts of nature (including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane or other natural disaster), war,
invasion, act of foreign enemies, hostilities (regardless of whether war is declared), civil war,
rebellion, revolution, insurrection, military or usurped power or confiscation, terrorist activities,
nationalization, government sanction, blockage, embargo, labor dispute, strike, lockout or
interruption or failure of electricity or telephone service. Neither party is entitled to terminate
this Agreement in such circumstances.
All rights, titles, interest, of privileges to, or in connection with any of the results or proceeds of
Artist's services hereunder and any material supplied by Artist hereunder, shall outlive, continue
after, and are not affected by the expiration or termination of this Agreement.
All notices, statements and or requests that either party to this Agreement desire to give to the
other party hereto pursuant to the terms hereof, shall be mailed by certified or registered mail,
postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the address mentioned above or at such address as
each of the Parties may designate in writing to the other from time to time.
19. ASSIGNMENT BY COMPANY
Prior to completion of the Recording, the rights and obligations of the Company existing
hereunder are personal and unique, and shall not be assigned without the prior written consent of
Artist. Subsequent to the completion of the Recording, Company may assign its rights and
obligations existing hereunder without the consent of Artist.
20. ASSIGNMENT BY ARTIST
The rights and obligations of Artist existing hereunder are personal and unique, and shall not be
assigned without prior written consent of Company.
[The following applies only if Artist is a member of AFTRA on the day of execution of this
Notwithstanding any provision in this Agreement to the contrary, it is specifically
understood and agreed by the Parties hereto:
(a) They are bound by all the terms and provisions of the AFTRA Code of Fair Practice
for Phonograph Recordings.
(b) That should there be any inconsistency between this Agreement and the said Code of
Fair Practice, the said Code of Fair Practice shall prevail, but nothing in this provision
shall affect terms, compensation and conditions provided in this Agreement which are
more favorable to members of AFTRA then the terms, compensation and conditions
provided for in said Code of Fair Practice.
(c) If the term of this Agreement is of longer duration than the term of the said Code, then
from and after the expiration date of the Code:
(i) The provisions of this Agreement shall be deemed modified to conform to any
agreements or modifications negotiated or agreed to in a renewal or extension of the
(ii) While no code is in effect, the existence of this Agreement shall not prevent the
Artist, if then a member of AFTRA, from engaging in any strike or work stoppage
without penalty by way of damage or other wise to the Artist. In the event Artist
engages in such strike or stoppage, Company may suspend this Agreement for the
duration of the strike or time equal to the length of such strike or stoppage, which
option must be exercised by written notice given to the Artist within thirty (30) days
after the end of the strike or stoppage.
22. RIGHT OF INSPECTION
At any time during the term of this Agreement upon prior written notice to Company of at least
seven (7) days, Artist or his/her designated representative shall be permitted unrestricted access
to the books and records of Company which in any way pertain to Artist, for inspection and
photocopying by Artist or Artist's designated representative.
Such books and records shall include, but shall not be limited to, any documents or records
which evidence the receipt or disbursements of Royalties. Company shall maintain such books
and records at its principal office.
In this Agreement, whenever the context requires to confirm to the facts, the masculine gender
includes the feminine and/or neuter, and the singular number includes the plural.
24. ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the Parties hereto, and supersedes any prior
written or oral agreements between them concerning the subject matter contained herein. There
are no representations, agreements, arrangements, or understandings, oral or written, between
and amount the Parties hereto, relating to the subject matter contained in this Agreement which
are not fully expressed herein. It may not be changed orally but only by an instrument in writing
signed by both the Parties.
25. GOVERNING LAW & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
This Agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of
__________________. Any controversy or claim arising out of or in relation to this Agreement
or the validity, construction or performance of this Agreement, or the breach thereof, shall be
resolved by arbitration in accordance with the rules and procedures of the American Arbitration
Association (AAA), before a single arbitrator. The Parties agree hereto that they will abide by
and perform any award rendered in any arbitration conducted pursuant hereto, that any court
having jurisdiction thereof may issue a judgment based upon such award. The arbitration award
shall be final, binding and non-appealable.
26. SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS
Subject to the restrictions against assignment as herein contained, this Agreement shall be
binding upon and inure to the benefit of the Parties, their predecessors, assigns, successors in
interest, personal representatives, their past and present attorneys, principals, employees,
independent contractors, officers, directors, shareholders, parents, issue, subsidiaries, agents,
servants, estates, heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, trustees, legatees, and other
affiliated entities of each of the Parties hereto.
27. MODIFICATION, SEVERABILITY & WAIVER
This Agreement may not be altered, modified, or changed in any manner except by a writing
executed by the party against whom it is to be enforced. Waiver of the breach of any of the
provisions of this Agreement shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any other breach of the same
or any other provision of this Agreement. If any term, provision, covenant or condition of this
Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void or unenforceable, the
remainder of the provisions shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be affected,
impaired or invalidated.
This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be deemed
an original and all of which together shall be deemed to be one and the same instrument. All
counterparts so executed shall constitute one agreement binding upon all Parties, notwithstanding
that all Parties are signatory to the original or the same counterpart. The Parties may execute this
Agreement by way of fax and/or electronic means and such signatures shall be treated as original
signatures for all purposes.
Artist and Company each declares that EACH HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY BEFORE
SIGNING THIS CONTRACT TO READ THIS CONTRACT CAREFULLY AND TO
DISCUSS THE EXACT PROVISIONS OF THIS CONTRACT WITH ADVISORS WHO
UNDERSTAND THE RECORD INDUSTRY GENERALLY, AND THIS TYPE OF
RECORDING CONTRACT SPECIFICALLY.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have executed this Agreement the day and year as first
NAME OF AUTHORIZED PERSON
TITLE OF AUTHORIZED PERSON
NAME OF ARTIST
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
Or FEDERAL ID. NUMBER