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I am a young recording artist - How can a lawyer help me?

At Waseme Associates, we assist in all legal aspects of your world, from advising you on important financial or real estate decisions to providing the tools to protect you from the illegal use of your creativity, from song lyrics to computer software.

We sit down with each new client and give personalized and professional attention so that our clients can learn which types of contracts to choose. We arm our clients with a vast array of knowledge from how to avoid common pitfalls in business deals and how to market a product, to where to find a good manager or accountant.

Why do I need a lawyer?

Everyone involved in any form of innovation or creativity needs a lawyer. Whether you’re involved in art, science, business, film, radio, television, music, publishing, theater and digital or multimedia entertainment (i.e. video games), a knowlegable intellectual property lawyer will sit down with you and explain your options on the big legal decisions of your life.

What if I have no big legal decisions?

If you think you have no legal decisions, consider negotiating a contract with a studio or gallery. What about when you are working on a project and you want to ensure you have medical coverage for the duration of that project? How about if you’re surfing the internet one day and see that someone is using your ideas or work product? Do you know what your options are? What would be your next step? A consultation with Waseme Associates prepares you for all of this AND we provide sure-fire solutions to the everyday problems of innovators just like you.

What does a day in the life of a Waseme Associate look like?

An Associate will sit with a client and provide meaningful feedback and legal solutions to any problem or challenge that the client is facing. A great solution might be to draft or review contracts that are offered to our client from managers, publicists, record labels, film studios and others.

How many times have you signed an agreement without knowing what in the world that fine print actually meant? At Waseme Associates we ensure that all of our clients enter into agreements with a full understanding of the documents they are signing.

How can Waseme Associates help a new artist?

Waseme Associates makes it a top priority to build strong relationships with studios and record labels. We want to assist our clientele, and therefore we must be aware of the influential people in the business. Having a law firm with strong contacts on your side is an amazingly efficient way to get deals done quickly.

I’m a seasoned artist. How can Waseme Associates help me?

Established artists can certainly benefit from the wealth of services Waseme Associates offers. No matter how long you’ve been in the industry, you’ll always need help with marketing and merchandising deals and real estate transactions. In fact, the bigger an artist you are, the more legal caretaking you need. The busier you are with your work, the more advising you’ll need, particularly with tax issues and making sure the rights to your work are sufficiently protected.

How can Waseme Associates help graphic designers or computer techy people?

Many designers work as independent contractors. What does that really say? Waseme Associates can help a designer mine the field of opportunity available to the independent contractor. What if you are an employee of a software company? Suppose you come up with an amazing idea on the weekend and you want to market it for yourself. Do you know whether the work you do for yourself on the weekends belongs to you or your employer? Waseme Associates can help you answer that question.

How can Waseme Associates help a scientist or engineer?

Waseme Associates seeks to protect and support individuals in all areas of innovation. Whether you create a song, artwork or a unique chemical compound, we're here to help. Creativity comes from an idea in the mind. Our goal is to make sure that idea - that intangible product of your mind and soul - belongs to you. It doesn't matter what it is! An initial consultation with Waseme Associates will educate you on your property - your INTELLECTUAL property - and arm you with ways to register, own and protect your rights to your ideas and creations.

How can Waseme Associates help small businesses and non-profits?

There's this weird idea out there that only big businesses need legal services. Where this came from, one can only guess. But rest assured, every business is all about innovation, or should be. Waseme Associates specializes in legal services tailored specifically to the needs of small to medium-size businesses and non-profit organizations. From overseeing proper formation, drafting operating agreements, preparing and filing general housekeeping documents, to advising on the acquisition and protection of intellectual property such as trade/service marks, we are committed to these entities as the backbone of our economy. Do you need a grant? Do you want to grow? Go global? Allow Waseme Associates to tackle the legal fine print so you can focus on the dreams and core values of your organization.

I don’t create any original work. But I’m a fantastic performer. How can Waseme Associates help me make a living with my talent?

If you don’t create music but you want to profit from it, you have to take the appropriate legal steps to make sure you don’t get sued. Waseme Associates helps you to legally work with music that other artists have written, and ensures that you are complying with copyright laws.

I work in the film industry. How can Waseme Associates help me?

We prepare contracts with talent, assist you with labor negotiations, equipment rentals, product placement, licensing, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property issues.

My passion is in publishing. How can Waseme Associates help me?

Waseme Associates can assist you in publishing by advising on author agreements, production contracts and other agreements to govern marketing and advertising, as well as trademark and copyright issues.

What are some types of contracts that Waseme Associates prepares for the music industry?

Within the music niche of entertainment law we prepare tons of contracts, not only with managers, agents, record labels, promoters and producers, but also contracts involving studio rentals, copyright issues, licensing and royalty agreements.

Are the same contracts in the music industry used for TV and Radio?

In areas such as entertainment, science, and art, many types of contracts do overlap. Contracts such as distribution agreements and broadcast licensing are extremely important to TV, Radio and other media streams.

The importance of the digital arena is increasing daily. How can Waseme Associates assist me in navigating that?

At Waseme Associates we handle your talent agreements, music and image use agreements and, most importantly, licensing agreements and copyright issues. In this area, space and equipment rentals and purchasing are sometimes also matters of concern.

I am established in the film industry. I am making a transition to theatre. How can Waseme Associates assist me?

You are probably familiar with talent and crew contracts and possibly rental and co-production agreements and liability issues. However with theatre, there are also unique ticket sale agreements and copyright and trademark issues that you may not be familiar with. Waseme Associates can walk you through these processes with ease.

What is the difference between transaction law and litigation?

Transaction law is about negotiating and drafting agreements. Litigation focuses on dispute resolution, either by arbitration, mediation or filing a lawsuit in court. With an expert team of professionals, Waseme Associates is pleased to be able to offer both forms of law practice.

How do I find a good lawyer to meet my needs?

Ask yourself a few questions.

• Does this person have the background to fit my needs?

• Has this firm handled contracts within my industry?

• Does this firm have experience in the areas that concern me the most? • Does this firm offer creative and flexible billing that fit my needs?

• Does this firm offer personalized attention or factory-line services?

Waseme Associates educates you, keeps you informed and protects you by drafting air-tight contracts and offering a top-notch negotiations team. As an intellectual property law firm, we are the industry’s version of Obama's security team.

What are royalties?

Royalties are monetary sums due and payable to an artist by contract and represent a percentage of sales of artistic work. For example, when an artist signs a recording contract with a record company, the recording company masters and produces an album and then sells it, a percentage of the sales is due to the recording artist.

How are royalties in the record industry different from the publishing industry?

Although the concept is the same, generally in the publishing industry an author is given an advance payment and is subsequently paid a fixed percentage of the price of the book. The digital arena is forcing both industries to evolve. The sands of time and technology are changing the way these industries have done business in the past. Waseme Associates can assist you in navigating the shifting scene in this exciting time.

What is a contract?

There are many definitions, but we hold a contract to be an agreement between parties that is written and enforceable by law. At Waseme Associates we educate you by walking you through the many clauses that a contract will have.

I want to shoot in NYC. How can Waseme Associates help?

New York City is highly diverse in people, culture, architecture, and even landscape. From the pulse of 42nd Street to the serene Hudson River and East River views, NYC is one of the best places in the world to shoot blockbuster movies as diverse as the fun, action-packed “Men in Black” series, and romantic comedies like “Sleepless in Seattle.” Waseme Associates walks industry professionals through the challenges of shooting by handling essential forms and guidelines and providing the insider's scoop on discounts, incentives and other resources. Waseme Associates is the perfect piece to make solving the red-tape puzzle seem like a piece of cake.

Are there any examples where good legal advice could have been of assistance?

There are a good many artists that signed contracts that did not serve them. A simple Google search reveals that although TLC ("Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg," "Waterfalls") and Toni Braxton ("Unbreak My Heart" and "Breathe Again") landed at the top of the charts, they were both forced into bankruptcy because their contracts paid them too little to survive.

The effervescent Florence Ballard of the Supremes ("Stop in the Name of Love" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On") died on welfare.

Even with 23 number one hits, the legendary country music phenomenon, Merle Haggard never ever received any royalties until he went with indie label Epitaph.

Do NOT be one of these casualties. Call for a consultation today.

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