Bare Contracts

Get the real deal behind that music contract before you sign it.

Let me decipher all the jargon and tell you exactly what you're signing, how it affects you and what your obligations will be after you sign it.

How It Works

You send me a PDF of the contract and I'll send back to you a plain English translation. Totally confidential. Easy as pie.

Important: I'm not a lawyer and I cannot give you legal advice. But I will tell you what you're signing. You'll know exactly what rights you're signing away, what the label will expect you to deliver and what they're offering in return.

I've been producing and releasing music since 1993. During that time I've seen all manner of music contracts - the good, the bad, the downright ugly. I can unravel the legal jargon in your contract and put you in a much more informed position.

If you have any questions try the FAQ or contact me.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I already signed a contract?
That's fine. You can still use this service to understand what you actually signed. I'll tell you what your obligations are to the label and what implications, if any, it has on your future work.

Can't I just trust the label to give me a fair deal?
Labels need to save time and costs wherever they can. Some of the contracts I've seen in the last few years have been free templates copied from the internet with the label and artist details pasted in. The label might not fully understand what's in the contract, let alone be sure that they're giving you a fair deal.

Should I try to negotiate terms of the contract?
If there are serious problems with the contract I would encourage you to address them with the label and ask for better terms but for most purposes it's enough to simply understand what you're signing.

Will this ensure I get paid for my tracks?
Unfortunately not. There will be a payment clause in the contract but if the label doesn't live up to their end of the deal there's little you can do about it. The amounts of money involved are likely too small to be worth legal action.

Shouldn't I get a lawyer for this?
Most small independent music contracts are less about the law and more about making sure you and the label know what to expect from each other. I don't discourage you from seeking legal advice but it can be costly. Qualified music lawyers are used to dealing with million dollar contracts.

Do I even need a contract? It seems like a lot of hassle!
The contract is there so you and the label know what to expect from each other and what rights you assign to the label. Your music is a valuable asset and you should protect it.

What's an artist contract?
An artist contract is used when a label wants to sign all of the future output of a particular artist name for the duration of the contract. This may be your real name or one of your aliases. This ties the artist name to the label for a period of time and you cannot record for other labels under the same name during this time.

What's a licensing contract?
A licensing contract is used when a label just wants to sign one, or several, of your tracks. Under a licensing contract you are free to record other tracks under the same name for other labels. You just can't sign the same tracks to other labels. Most contracts these days are simple licensing contracts.

Book It

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Book It

After payment you'll be able to upload your contract PDF. Turnaround time is 24-48 hours, sometimes faster.

First round of revisions included, further revisions will be charged at half price.

Single Page Contract - $20

Use this option if you have a Heads of Agreement or the contract is very short.

Multi Page Contract - $30

Use this option if you have a longer contract spanning more pages (max. 3).

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Contact Me

Thanks for your payment!

Email your contract PDF to dan@barecontracts.com

Please send it from the same email address you used for payment or include that email address in your message. I'll get back to you in 24-48 hours.