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Ryan Kairalla: Record Label Contracts & Trademarks

Joining us this week out of Miami, Florida is Ryan Kairalla. Ryan is a lawyer, writer, podcaster, and teacher. He advises clients in the music industry on a wide range of entertainment and business matters including recording agreements, publishing agreements, management agreements, music licensing, media appearances, live performances, entertainment litigation, copyright and trademark counseling, and corporate matters.

Ryan mostly focuses on advising independent musicians on their legal and business issues. His work as an “indie music lawyer” also extends to his writing and podcasting. His new book Break the Business: Declaring Your Independence and Achieving True Success in the Music Industry shines a light on the pitfalls that arise from record label contracts, and provides artists with helpful guidance on achieving music industry success on their own terms.

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  • Ryan explains that today an indie music lawyer needs to be an expert in a lot of different fields
  • The new music industry gives creators an unforeseen amount of control
  • A lot of things artists used to be able to defer to others, are now in their hands – knowledge is key!
  • “If you’re serious about a career in the music industry, you HAVE to get informed” – Ryan Kairalla
  • Marcio has a question for Ryan about the legality of trademarking your own name as your artist name
  • “When it’s cheaper to record, distribute, fund and promote your music, it raises the question about why artists would sign a record deal” – Ryan Kairalla
  • Ryan shares how there seems to be a “cocktail party bragging right” along with being signed to a label
  • Being signed or unsigned isn’t a reflection of how good or bad an artist is
  • Ryan shares some ways that artists are making money in today’s industry without selling recorded music
  • Patreon = a game changing platform
  • “Intellectual property is the most important property in the music industry” – Ryan Kairalla
  • Ryan debunks the most common myth around copyright in the music business
  • As soon as something is on a tangible medium, it is copyrighted – but that doesn’t mean it’s protected
  • Ryan shares some of the red flags he sees in record label contracts, and things artists need to be aware of
  • Ryan tells us what artists can do if they can’t afford a lawyer

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