Scenario: Band members are “in love” and all is rocking along. Money is starting to be made and then it happens — the honeymoon is over and a band member leaves voluntarily or is forced out. A lawsuit is filed and it starts to get ugly.
Even a written Band Partnership Agreement or LLC Membership Agreement may not be sufficient to resolve the dispute between the parties. A third-party neutral, i.e., mediator, might be necessary to hear all sides of the dispute and help guide the band members to a workable solution.
Common battle grounds include:
Who gets to use the band name?
Who owns the master recording copyrights?
Who owns the song copyrights?
Who owns the physical product or merchandise?
Can the band keep using the leaving band member’s name and likeness?
Here are some on-going band disputes where mediation, also known as alternative dispute resolution, could be used as a vehicle to resolve the dispute by the parties rather than by a judge or jury:
Boston v. Tom Sholz (former Boston guitar player)
LIVE – mediation occurred on November 1, 2012
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
J Geils Band
En Vogue – lawsuit settled via arbitration
Chris Daughtry sued by Absent Element
To learn more about Music Attorney Tamera Bennett’s mediation practice click here.