Why do bad deals happen to good artists?

01-04-2014

Mark Fischer

Why do bad deals happen to good artists?

As Lennon and McCartney and Bruce Springsteen have found, those on the creative side of an artistic deal have a great deal to lose if a contract doesn’t look after their rights. Mark Fischer investigates the scene in today’s media landscape.

Reading about horrendous deals involving renowned artists in their early days, it is tempting to wonder whether those mistakes were just that. In other words, with the benefit of hindsight (or better management) the bad deals could have been avoided. Or perhaps, those ‘mistakes’, as awful as they look out of context, were almost necessary to get an entertainment career to the next level, because they might have led to propitious connections and great professional developments.

Hearing such tales, it is wise to focus on how such unfavourable contracts happen. Factors may include:

•  Artists have little or no leverage in the early stages of their careers. Such mistakes could be the price of success (a kind of rite of passage) or just unnecessary, even stupid, slip-ups.


copyright, artists, music, online copyright

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