Submitted by thewhippinpost on Mon, 29/01/2007 - 15:17.

I'm glad I found this - I read it a while back but lost the URL - If you're seriously looking to get signed to a label, then you owe it to yourself to read carefully.

These A&R guys are not allowed to write contracts. What they do is present the band with a letter of intent, or "deal memo," which loosely states some terms, and affirms that the band will sign with the label once a contract has been agreed on. The spookiest thing about this harmless sounding little memo, is that it is, for all legal purposes, a binding document.

That is, once the band signs it, they are under obligation to conclude a deal with the label.

If the label presents them with a contract that the band don't want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength. These letters never have any terms of expiration, so the band remain bound by the deal memo until a contract is signed, no matter how long that takes.

The band cannot sign to another label or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens. Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.

Read The Problem With Music and then tell us if you really still want that contract.