Please note: the following checklist for music contracts shall not replace a proper legal consultation. Therefore, the individual music laws checkpoints are not reproduced here for concrete individual cases. No guarantee can be given for the completeness, correctness or actuality of this checklist as the legal framework (laws, jurisprudence, etc.) is constantly changing.

Rather, the following checklist serves as basic orientation:

Is the type of contract suitable for your purposes?

(Artist´s exclusive contract / takeover agreement, etc.:  the contract content is not the same as the contract term.)

Define the object of the contract correctly and as exactly as possible

(The subject matter of the contract is legally the “core” of the contract,  and there should be no ambiguities in the case of individual terms, which may be defined by a separate clause, which is often filled by further detailed rules for the granting of rights, exclusivity, advertising)

Are the contracting parties correctly and precisely defined?

(Both contracting parties must be identified exactly and correctly. In the case of companies, the right suffix, such as AG, GmbH, GmbH & Co. KG, Ltd., etc., should be used, and for the sake of clarification the register number should be declared)

Begin of the contract/ entire duration of the contract/termination options?

(Contract period is mostly signing, the term of contract is often agreed in music contracts, typically 1-3 years with extension option. The term of the contract can also be agreed upon indefinitely with notice possibility etc.)

Is the contractual territory correct?

(Germany, German-speaking territories in the form of Germany / Austria / Switzerland, European Union or world-wide is often agreed as a contractual area)

Have the license- fees been fully agreed?

(The HAP is often used as basis, and in other contracts, sales license fees, unit license fees or lump-sum license fees are also to be taken into consideration)

Have complete details of the subject matter been provided?

Have the exclusive rights and the rights of withdrawal been completely agreed? (Within the object of the contract, the granting of rights and their exact statement represent the most important position. The absence of a right may lead to a later compulsory acquisition of rights)  Exclusivity of granting rights? (There are different/full/partial/non-exclusive licensing options regarding the granting of rights) Has the obligation to publish been exactly agreed? (Together with a great effort in the field of advertising, the publication obligations are an important basis for the agreement) Have the participation rights and co-operation obligations been agreed? (Due to the partly work-contractual character of the matter, it is possible to think of the artist´s participation in the advertising process, as well as the participation rights in the artistic design, especially in the context of remixes, title order and selection, cover design etc.) Have the quantity and quality of the service been agreed? (As a rule, the agreement of certain qualities and quantities is highly recommended)

Have advertising and merchandizing actions been previously agreed? (Obligations and rights must be regulated, which already begins with the possession of merchandising rights and other ancillary rights)

Have you agreed the contractual penalties and/or exemption?

Which party will cover the contractual expenses?

A previous agreement on the payment of the costs can be useful for each individual contractual party.

Have the payments and receipt been perfectly agreed and organized?

(In addition to the agreement on license fees and additional costs, the payments, the accounting, including taxation aspects must be determined in material and temporal terms)

What can we do for you?

We are no strangers to your world: We advise artists, musicians, composers, writers, producers as well as media, publishing agents, production and sales companies of all sizes in all matters of national and international music law.

We offer even more. Our lawyers are highly specialized and have the best contacts to companies in the media, film and music industry. We offer a full service consultation for all legal queries concerning the music business – without limitations. You may already know us because you have been one of our clients. You may also know one of our lawyers from scientific publications, our seminars or from the media itself.

You should hear about us for the first time, we offer you a reliable legal partner, who will help you shaping your success.

Some of our services:

  • Contracting and examining of licensing agreements, remuneration agreements and publishing, edition or administrative contracts, including agreements for the production of sounds, film and data media; (Artist and band takeover contracts, distribution contracts, performance contracts, etc.) ;
  • General media rights including publishing, press, internet, music, film, television and event law as well as drafting of contracts for film and television productions (scripted contracts, exploitation agreements, production agreements etc.);
  • Management, agency, consultancy and promotion contracts; Media cooperation and merchandising agreements;
  • Technical protection measures such as access control systems and copy protection systems, in particular copy protection for audio CDs, DVDs, as well as for film and multi-media DVDs and other data carriers;
  • Negotiation for authors with production and distribution companies;
  • Negotiation and supervision of production and distribution companies against authors;
  • Copyright examinations and evaluations, especially in the fields of design and art, as well as in the case of speech, sound and image works;
  • Rights examination, assurance and enforcement;
  • National and international legal management;
  • Utilization assessments (admissibility assessment of work use);
  • Judicial and arbitral enforcement of copyright claims of all kinds, including interim injunctions and international legal proceedings


For more information please visit our online page: .