September 21, 2011

Recommended Reading: A Guide to Business Law

A book on law for entrepreneurs may seem out of place on a blog for music interns, but I promise you it isn't. Aside from those of you interested in starting your own business or becoming a lawyer, this book can help you understand the laws that make the music industry possible. The music industry is essentially a business based around the use and sale of intellectual property, so everything involved in it tends to relate to some aspect of the law. Technically, this book is a textbook, but it's written more as an easy to understand guide to countless complex legal subjects.   I admit, since it's a textbook, it is kind of costly, but Amazon lets you trade it in when you're done, so you can always save by selling it back. 

When an entrepreneur starts a business, they need to consider employment law, intellectual property, covenants not to compete, confidentiality, business entities, equity and stock options, contract law, and many other legal specialties. That list may seem daunting, but each of these topics represents a subject area you will likely come in contact with during your career in the entertainment business. As I said, intellectual property is basically what the music industry (and film, fashion, publishing, etc.) runs on. Non-competes and confidentiality agreements are common things you might be asked to sign as an employee of any company. Contracts are a good thing to understand in any business and especially for creative people like graphic designers, producers, performers, and songwriters. So, reading this book will provide you with a good basic understanding of the legal aspects at work behind your career and help keep you from "getting screwed over."
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