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Steve Weaver
I am an entertainment attorney with offices near "Music Row" in Nashville, Tennessee.
Recent Activity
This is a bit facetious and might make some people angry. I'm not picking on mothers! However my opinion is based on my experience and observation. Unless they are proven music industry professionals -- hopefully managers -- do not hire... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2013 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Over the years I have represented a number of bands and individuals trying to break into the music business. Most all of my clients now are established companies and artists but I am pretty sure that the beginners are still... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2013 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
I recently came across an article entitled “10 Things Not To Do In Nashville”. The article contains a lot of advice I have given to Songwriters in my posts over the years. It also contains advice I have not given.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2013 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
It has taken me a long time but my first book is now live at! The book is primarily intended for lawyers, law students and also songwriters and music pubishers who want to learn more about their contracts and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2012 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Yes Florida. That is what I said. There are only 2 copyrights in most recordings - the underlying performance on the record - or the mp3 which is the "Sound Recording" copyright and the copyright in the underlying musical composition. Steve
I have a new blog where I will write about being an entertainment attorney, about being a solo lawyer, and about tips, hints, practices and technologies that apply to those two. This was started to give me a place to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2012 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Thanks for the comment Tobias. This is a difficult question. It is almost like "you had to be there". In my experience as a musician the bands I was a member of never had any doubt about this. A member or two would come in with a new song and the whole band would "work it up" for performance. Unless you happened to be the person who brought in the song you never claimed to be a writer. It is like working up a cover song - just because you add your own licks and interpretations for performance purposes doesn't mean you can now claim ownership in that song.
I am still getting regular emails and phone calls from songwriters wanting everything from me to pitch their songs to asking my fee to review a Single Song Agreement they have been offered. Same with other artists. Most of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
As a part of my morning pages I always do a short gratitude list. I find it a good way to start the day. Today’s list was primarily about my career so I thought I would share it with my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Recently my stepdaughter decided to leave her job at one of the major labels and become an independent designer. Her primary expertise is album artwork. Katie is a “creative” and has no business experience. I shared with her a few... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
I just finished reading Bob Lefsetz article entitled "Negotiation". He begins the article by quoting Irving Azoff at the Pollstar Awards: “There’s no one in this room I haven’t screwed.” The implication being this is what you need to do... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Good to hear from you Josh. Glad to help. Best of luck! Steve
This weekend I was inspired to go back and look some of the emails I have received from hopeful songwriters. Most were embarassingly unprofessional. If you happen to be one of the hopefuls then let me share with you a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
I just re-read a very informative blog post by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Review entitled “When Your Voicemails and Emails Go Unanswered, What Should You Do?" This is an excellent read for any professional, business person or creative... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Thanks for the example Brent. I always appreciate your observations.
Continuing with last weeks subject matter, why is it when you hire musicians, producers, vocalists and others that the resulting Master tracks are not “Works Made For Hire”. If the recording were works for hire then you as the person... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
There seems to be a common presumption that if you pay for the recording session you automatically own the copyrights in the Sound Recordings – that is the Demo or Master tracks. The Sound Recording copyright needs to be distinguished... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
I hope my friends in A&R do not take offense. I'm sure they wonder what it is that I do. Nevertheless, I have heard many artist managers ask (rhetorically and cynically) “What do the A&R people do these days?” In... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2011 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
More than once in my career I have seen arguments occur among band members over who wrote the group’s songs. Is it the member or members who walked in the door one day with the melody and lyrics or is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2010 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Many years ago I was attending a meeting of a songwriters’ association. The speaker, a friend of mine, had procured many major artist cuts of her songs. She was not affiliated with a publisher and did all of her own... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2010 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
And I know that you, as a manager, have dealt with this first hand, Jeff.
Last year I posted about one of the requirements for landing a record deal in Nashville – or for that matter succeeding as a recording artist in any genre or label city. In that blog I posted about talent as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2010 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)
Ditto the question about the telephone. I am a transactional attorney constantly engaged in negotiations. Both me and the opposing attorneys in my specialty tend to send marked-up and revised agreements (and comments) back and forth via email. That at least is the initial method of negotiation. Rarely are we in the same State, let alone the same city. The last round is usually via telephone. Thanks for the post. Steve
A baker doesn’t ask his attorney’s opinion of which dough to purchase. However, as any entertainment attorney knows, he or she may often be asked for opinions and advice on artist career matters which technically have nothing to do with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2010 at Music Row Lawyer (C. Stephen Weaver)