In the Nigeria entertainment industry, we have, over the years experienced fallout between the artiste and their management. Most notable of such fallouts will be the one between musicians and their record label. The pattern to such occurrence is that their relationship starts very well, especially when the artiste is thirsty for stardom, makes the label a lot of money and then hit the anti-climax; have a row. This row often results from a lack of outstanding contracting binding either parties, or either party trying to cheat the other to maximize their part of the deal. In most cases, it doesn’t end well for either of them. Whoever takes the greater fall either coughs out a financial loss or have his career derailed.

It a fact that there are only a few legal binding contracts in the entertainment industry. Often times, what they have going is a verbal agreement on an outstanding relationship or referral. Issues like profit sharing, intellectual rights and performance rights aren’t tailored out properly. The rush for fame and quick cash is always a cog in the wheel of due process. Thus raises the following questions:

  1. What are the duties of a lawyer in entertainment?
  2. Why should every artiste and their management have a legally written contract before working together?

Other questions will arise as we examine entertainment in relation to the law in preceding blog posts. Another cankerworm to examine will be the greed by some management to cheat the artiste, hereby presenting a contract to him in the absence of a lawyer.

Why does an artiste need a lawyer?

Entertainers are business-minded people, every business person needs a lawyer. Entertainers need lawyers to help them draft and review contracts appropriately. If most entertainers had efficient entertainment lawyers, there would be less record label issues, because most of the terms and conditions for their operation would be stated in the contracts. An entertainment lawyer makes relating with record labels and agents easier, such that there would be less dispute in regard to the professional relationship that exists between the artist and record label.