Beat Auction ATL Reality TV Show! 

Finally!! We finished our reality tv show "Beat Auction ATL" This is one of greatest accomplishments seeing my vision come to life. Me and my team work real hard to bring you something different and innovative. Check it out! We would love to hear from you. Do you want to see more? Let's discuss! 

This is our competition reality TV show called "Beat Auction ATL" that consist of four cast members (London "Elixir", EvaWill, Tempo & Lafayette Beatz) all based here in Atlanta Georgia. Each producer will auction their beats to the highest bidder that need production tracks for their projects. The producers that have the highest dollar amount stays on the show and advance til it's only one producer left. The producer with the lowest dollar amount get eliminated til it's only one producer left. That producer will win a cash bonus of $50k and the total amount of money earn from tracks sold to the bidders. This plot comes with drama, action and greed. Tune in for more episodes! 

Executive Producer: Vance "Choo" Branch 

Associate Producer: Coleman Agency "Tayla Coleman". 

Production Manager: Michael Wrtight Sr. 

Music Theme: KE Turner "Over It" Produced by Owdareech Productions. 
Download Now: https://keturnermusic.bandcamp.com 

Film by: Rogers Williams Sr. 

Editors: Emanuelle Perry & Vance "Choo The Specializt" Branch 

Additional Editing: Rogers Williams Jr. 

Writers: Vance "Choo" Branch 

If any TV networks watching this sizzle, have more in-store plus another TV show called "Muted". 

We self made this sizzle reel with a limited budget. The Producers Beat Auction Event is in four states now a growing fast! California, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta in conjunction with SAE Institute School of Technology. 

Official site: www.producersbeatauction.com 

Social Media: 

Facebook.com/beatauctin 

Instagram: producersbeatauction 

Twitter: BeatAuctionATL 

Snapchat: BeatAuctionATL 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vance-branch-13288013 

Please feel to inbox me if you're interested in working with us producersbeatauctionatlanta@gmail.com 

If you haven't been to any of our events, I stress you come to see a dope and innovative concept. We are in 4 states Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles. 

Official Site: www.producersbeatauction.com 

Seeking Investors, Angels and TV Networks until then we're going to pursue to push this show and events throughout multiple locations and channel. God Bless. 

Copyright and Registered Producers Beat Auction LLC. 2018 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HWsM193HY8&feature=youtu.be

What's The Silent Auction All About 

I thought I'll write a quick blog about a new segment I added to The Producers Beat Auction events, which is the "Silent Auction". We're kicking off this concept off Sat. April 21st 6PM-9PM during the PBA event. I don't want to share too much info yet because we are still tweaking, but if you are a beat maker or producer that lives in another city or outside the USA this will be a great opportunity to be a part of. Your beats will go to the highest bidder and winner pay cash for your beats. I hope to see a lot of artists, singers & songwriters there to check out the hottest tracks! Cover charge is $5 and you get to bring a guest for FREE! Tickets is on eventbrite. Reserve now to get a seat. 

We're now seeking producers to SIGN UP by filling out the submission form under the submit tab at top menu. If your choosing someone will reach out to you personally with further instructions. Good luck.

PBA Producer Management Company 

Listen up everybody, we're starting a new producer management company. We are going to be shopping beats to local and major artists, tv commercials and film. If you make beats drop a link of your work below. Looking for all types of beat makers and producers with all styles! If we like your production We'll be in touch in a couple of days.

Producers Beat Auction Hits Nashville! 

We're blasting off the PBA in Nashville Tenn. Sept 30th. Seeking producers and beat makers who want to sell beats at the event as well as vendors who want to promote their brand. If you would like to attend to check out some beats and come network purchase your RSVP ticket on our eventbrite page!

Seeking out producers:

SAE Students Free

Non-Students-$25

Audition Casting Call For Music Producers 

The Producers Beat Auction LLC is having a Casting Call to find the hottest & best music producers for our Reality TV Show Pilot/Sizzle Reel "Beat Auction ATL" Sat. August 19th 2pm-4pm at SAE Institute Downtown 215 Peachtree St NE #300, Atlanta, GA 30303. It's first come first serve basis. Bring 1-2 tracks on cd or phone, ipod, mp3 player, A bio, and a picture (head shot prefer). Food will be serve by Sweetz Kitchen Catering. Join our website for updates at www.producersbeatauction.com

How I “Made It” in the Music Industry: My Top 10 Tips 


Kellee MaizeRapper, singer, activist and entrepreneur

First off, by “Made It,” I don’t mean filling up arenas or the sort of unlimited abundance that could “make it rain” everyday. I mean making music a full-time focus that pays bills, so that you can start doing what you love. 

With all of this talk about Female Hip Hop Artists failing in the music industry andless and less female rappers being signed, I have been inspired to write this article and share what worked and what didn’t ... and a LOT didn’t. I’m still applying these new discoveries myself and learning everyday from them, so I can make no guarantees, but my hope is that this helps a next generation of conscious artists trying to let their voices be heard. 

Who am I? 
I am an unsigned rapper and singer from Pittsburgh. With Licensing, Shows, MP3 Sales, and a Toyota Hybrid Sponsorship, I can do music full-time and focus on evolving my sound and my SELF, building a team and working more in my community. Most importantly, I am building a fan base. (I don’t really like the word “fan” and prefer supporters or better yet community, but for simplicity sake, we will say fan and fan base here in this article.) My hope is we get to a gift economy in the VERY near future. Meantime lets share in the spirit of collaboration and NOT competition! 

So ... let’s begin ... My 10 Tips to “Make It” In the Music Industry ... 

1. Don’t Do Free Shows 
I love to perform and connect with people, I’ve probably done around 150 free shows over the years. It’s amazing practice, but once you get to a point where you feel like you have confidence in creating an engaging live show, I suggest not continuing to do it without some compensation. Unless of course it’s for a cause you care about, it can be a lot of effort and time that does not amount to very much tangible support. The sound systems at most shows asking you to perform for free could also be a poor representation of your voice and generally folks won’t know your music, so there will be little engagement. Especially if you are a rapper, your lyrics might be too hard understand. 

You may get a few die hard fans from a show, but that same effort you put into an online marketing campaign could yield thousands of new die hard supporters. At the same time, I don’t suggest not performing for more than a month or two, to keep you limber and in touch. 

2. Don’t Contact Music Blogs 
Smaller music blogs (that are still influential) like Gorilla vs Bear, Pigeons and Planes or Pretty Much Amazing get about 10,000 visits and 200 music submissions a day. How are you supposed to make your email to them stand out? 

When I started reaching out to blogs many years ago, the volume of emails coming to these sites wasn’t as large. I definitely received some blog love, and it helped my SEO a great deal, but more and more folks are making amazing music, (which is awesome), and this marketing strategy of emailing music blogs is now over-saturated. 

Just imagine how many submissions Stereo Gum and Pitchfork get? And, getting no response, time and time again can be a discouragement that you don’t deserve - but don’t worry, blogs will start reaching out to you, once you build a fan base. 

(Here’s an interview I did with Cypress Hill’s B Real TV. I never contacted them asking them for an interview ... they saw that I had gotten some buzz and wanted an interview. I was honored and beyond excited given I was OBSESSED with his music when I was young!) 

3. Don’t Worry About “Getting Signed” 
95 percent of signed artists fail. With those odds, it makes more sense to learn the new music business on your own. You can stay Independent and keep control of your music by learning and applying the principles of marketing to your music. You’ll have a better shot at sustainability than if you sign somewhere and let a label with a 5 percent success rate manage your career. (Not to mention the control they will have over your creativity and image.) 

If you’re not into learning business/marketing, get someone on your team that wants to learn it while you learn to evolve your music. I partnered with someone that loves my music and loves marketing, and it helps if you love and enjoy each other as people and have similar spiritual and creative interests! 

Having my own marketing and events firm didn’t hurt, but it was about making many financial and PR mistakes (and learning from them) that actually created the sustainability. Give your marketing person a piece of your potential profits and all the love you can muster as this type of support is such a precious gift to an artist. There is a ton of great music and lots of talented artists out there, but there seems to be very few talented marketers in the music industry. 

4. Give Your Music Away For Free - The Legal Way 
Don’t just give away your music for free — assign a Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0) License to your music. 

What in the world is Creative Commons? 

It’s a copyright license you put on your music that allows you to let others download your music for free and use it for whatever they want. They just have to give you credit for it. This is a very unique and new marketing strategy that will get you many new fans. If you are not comfortable doing this, that’s understandable, because I was not at first. Why would we spend hard-earned money and time writing, recording, mixing, and mastering my music only to give away for free? 

I argued for a long time with my partner about it, and the value of art. It wasn’t that I wanted to make a ton of money off of my music, but I wanted to stand for the value of all art in general. But in the end I trusted his instinct — giving away all 5 of my albums for free. I also am not into the monetary system as it is anyway and loved that anyone could have access to music, even if they couldn’t afford it. 

Here is a great tool to choose a license - Choose a Creative Commons License > 

5. Submit Your Music to Jamendo, Frostwire & Free Music Archive 
OK, so assuming that you now have chosen a Creative Commons license, it’s time to submit your music to some of the most awesome Creative Commons sites out there. Check out Jamendo, Frostwire and Free Music Archive. These sites host CC music and have large member bases so you’ll immediately start to see plays and downloads. Congrats! You have begun to build a fan base! (There are definitely more of these types of sites — Google them.) 

6. Charge For Your Music 
Wait but I thought I was giving my music away for free? 

You are, but there will still be people that want to support you by purchasing it. Then there are the people that won’t even know your music is free - they’ll also buy it or stream it on Spotify. Even though Spotify only pays less than a penny a stream, don’t worry about money, just be happy that you actually get streamed and are growing a fan base for your art! 

You can use Tunecore (It’s expensive since they charge you around $30 yearly per album, but easy to use) or CD Baby (One time $49 fee for an album and no yearly fees) to get your music on pay sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Rdio. Those are the only ones that really matter IMO. 

7. Let Others Make Money Off Of Your Music 
This may seems strange and make some feel uncomfortable, but yes — let others make money off of your music, without paying you anything. 

What does this mean exactly? 
Remember that Creative Commons license you signed up for? You already agreed to this. You’re letting others use your music for their own financial gain as long as they give you credit. Good news — this will get you even more fans!!! Here’s how you can let others make money off of your music: 

Just upload all of your CC BY music to a Youtube channel with a picture of you/your album art and your CC License in the description. 

Next, start messaging content creators on Youtube and let them know your music is licensed as CC BY and provide a brief explanation of it just in case they need it. 

What’s a Youtube content creator? 
Search on Youtube how to paint your nails, how to grow tomatoes, how to downgrade windows 8, how to learn karate! There are tens of thousands of content creators with millions of videos, and these videos need music! 

In most cases, Youtube will not allow them to use traditionally copyrighted music (and so much is), and these content creators risk getting their video deleted, or even worse, getting their account banned. Music that is licensed by Creative Commons allows these Youtubers to use your music and credit you in the description. 

Guaranteed people will be watching a video on how to do X, Y or Z, and they come across your song, like it, google your name since you are credited in the description, and end up following you on Twitter or Facebook, and buying your song on iTunes. And yes, that Youtube content creator will be getting ad money from Youtube on the video they made using your music. 

How can I message all of these Youtube content creators about using my music? 

Sign up for Tubeassist.com and follow their really simple instructions. 

Yes, content creators on Youtube will be making money off of a video with your music in it...which I personally think is great. I am all about sharing abundance, but you have to be also. 

(This video, by Youtube Content Creator, Mark E Miller, uses my song “In Tune” and has over 100,000 views and has gotten me tons of MP3 downloads and new fans!) There are over 12,500 videos (and counting) on Youtube that use my music. 

Also, an added bonus ... 
Since you uploaded your music to Jamendo, Frostwire and Free Music Archive - many content creators go to those sites to find music for their videos. Youtube search your name and sort by latest upload date and see if any videos using your music are popping up! (make sure you contact the video owner if you aren’t properly credited.) 

8. Use Social Media To Turn Your “Followers” Into Friends 
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram - These all get lumped into 1 because I feel they’re not as important as you would think. They won’t actually get you new fans, but they will allow you to interact with them. Here’s what I suggest when starting out: 

Answer every person’s tweet, comment & message to you 

Follow them as well! (only follow people that mention you) 

Build long lasting online relationships with them. 

These people believe in you and most likely care about what you care about, which is so precious and beautiful. Everyone has a gift to share and you will likely learn and hear amazing art and ideas from them too. 

On Facebook, post about your personal life. On Twitter, do the same. On Instagram, post really cool pics. Respond to everyone that comments or tweets and try to create ongoing discussion. Do this at least, daily. 

Oh, and you will start to see repetitive questions, keep log of your answers for easy cutting and pasting, but also respond to the personal part so that fans know you did actually read what they wrote. This is also a great way to spread the word about whatever current campaign you are doing online. In the response, ask kindly to share, download, etc. 

What about Youtube? 
As far as Youtube goes, don’t make a music video until you start to get some fans first. The song you want to make a video for might not be the song your fans like. Download data on all of the CC sites mentioned above and it will reveal what your fan’s favorite song is, make a music video for it and share it with them! 

Again, social media doesn’t seem to really get new support but giving away your music for FREE will. These listeners will become your base on your social media and will want to interact with you. Be ready for them and reply to them — build a community! 

9. Make sure you have an AWESOME EPK 
Sonicbids is expensive. You have to pay a monthly fee and then a fee for submitting for each gig. It seems to be over-saturated and less and less effective these days, especially since their latest platform update. I would avoid the free shows at Sonicbids ... for the same reason as above. 

Make your own EPK. 

Here is my EPK, as an example: 

Update it every time something awesome happens. 

The beauty of having this readily available is that the media (and fans) will LOVE a 1 stop shop where they can get everything they need about you and spend less of their precious time searching. Your bio, your latest accomplishments, your pics, your music and links to important places should be included. 

10. Email is the Holy Grail 
What? Email? What is this, 2001? 

Email is still, by far, the highest converting online marketing tactic. From my experience, your number of fans is determined by the number of emails you have. 

Not your Facebook fans. 
Not your Twitter following. 
Not your number of Instagram likes on your cute puppy. 

And even crazier is that your number of fans = your email list opens, not your total email list. That number will probably be around 50 percent ... so for every 2 emails you get, consider that 1 true fan. 

How do you get these emails? 
If you ask, you shall receive. 

Once you give away your music for free and post it on all of the Creative Commons websites (make sure you put your social media links in all of the descriptions), you will begin to see new fans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc. 

Engage with them, authentically and from your heart. Ask them for their email address so that you can continue to send them free music / concert updates / anything that isn’t spam! 

Since you now have someone on your team that is devoted to marketing your music, every new marketing idea you come up with should have an end goal of getting an email address. 

CONCLUSION 

This entire process will have a spiraling exponential effect. The more fans you get, the more fans you will get. Here it is, again: 

1. Make music 
2. Give it away for free using a CC license 
3. Free music = new fans 
4. New fans will reach out via social media and engage, be grateful and love them! 
5. Collect emails from your fans 
6. Make more music and give it away for free 
7. Email your current fans and ask them to share it 
8. Free new music + Current fans sharing that music = more new fans 
9. Repeat 1 through 8 over and over again. 
10. Magical things will happen 

  • Blogs will start posting your music 
  • People will want to book you 
  • Your mp3 sales will start to appear 
  • You will get licensing opportunities 
  • Brands that align with you and your music will want to help you 

Again, I can make no guarantees and also could share a lot more about what worked and what didn’t but I know time is limited. I will follow up with some more articles very soon, so please, follow me on Twitter to get my updates. 

I also believe heavily in putting focus and intention on what you want (the laws of attraction) and could suggest various things that helped me creatively, but if you have a method that works, keep it up! Every mistake is a lesson learned and no way is ever the right way. For example if you are a busker or living and playing on the festival circuit, you are a bad ass and I admire it so much! But, I just hope you find something of value from my suggestions. May the force of amazing music and love, always be with you! xoxo

STORY IS SPONSORED BY:
Chooz Cd Mastering House
Email:choozmastering@gmail.com

Kanye West Says The Taylor Swift Line On "Famous" Helped Him Beat Writer's Block 

ByAngus Walker, Hot New Hip Hop

After performing "Famous" for the first time in the Philippines, Kanye West segues into an emotional speech about overcoming writer's block, a battle that began after his run-in with Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs. 

"That night when I went on stage was the beginning of the end of my life. Lady GaGa cancelled the tour the next day. You know what night I'm talking about," Kanye West told the crowd during his headlining show at The Paradise International Music Festival in the Philippines last night after performing "Famous" for the first time ever. The night in question is the night of September 13, 2009, when Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video at the VMAs was interrupted by Kanye during her acceptance speech, who told her, "I'mma let you finish," before telling the audience that "Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time." 

The controversial moment was brought up again after Kanye released his latest album, The Life of Pablo, as on the track "Famous," which was recently named Pablo's first single, Kanye opened with the lines: "For all my Southside n*ggas that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous." That line ended up leading to another uncomfortable award show moment, as Swift seemed to target Kanye during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year at this year's Grammys. 

After giving the inaugural performance of "Famous" in Manila last night, Kanye explained how "Famous," and its opening line in particular, helped him rid himself of writer's block. "What I wanted you to know the whole time," he told the crowd, repeating the song's final lyric, "in the spirit of Nina Simone -- in the spirit of real artists -- this is the song that broke the writer's block for me." 

He went on to relive his infamous 2009 stage-crash, which he feels was an example of him saying "what everybody else was thinking." "So if I get in trouble for saying the truth," he continued, "what's being said the rest of the time?" He also revealed that he "fought to make that ["Famous"] the first single off of Pablo." 

"It's really overwhelming for me to perform that song for the first time and for y'all to react to it that way," said an emotional Kanye. "If you don't mind, I'd like to do the song one more time." They didn't. Watch the entire speech below.

Spotify CEO Claims the Music Industry Would Be Dead? 


By Charlotte Hassan, Digital Music News

Are streaming services helping the music industry grow, or having a harmful impact? 

Streaming services are now enjoying unprecedented growth, though it’s been non-stop warfare with the music industry.  At the dawn of Apple Music in July of last year, Taylor Swift pulled her music based on a high-profile disagreement over payment.  Adele flatly refused to license Apple Music and Spotify.  Then, there was the Grammy fiasco last night, in which NARAS president Neil Portnow attacked streaming services like Spotify for not paying artists fairly. 

All of which brings us back to the biggest industry question: are music streaming services harmful to the industry? 

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek doesn’t seem to think so.  Actually, he thinks the exact opposite, and goes as far as taking full credit for pulling the music industry out of years of decline towards positive growth.  In a Q&A session on Quora, Ek claimed ample credit for a music industry recovery.  “Now, finally, after years and years of decline, music is growing again, streaming is behind the growth in music, and Spotify is behind the growth in streaming.” 

Essentially, Ek is claiming that without Spotify, the music industry would be in a deep decline, if not totally dead.   And the basic premise behind this assertion is that by pumping money into the music industry, everyone is now benefitting.  But that analysis fails to consider what artists are getting paid for their work (if they’re getting paid at all).  After all, it’s the artists that are creating the music, and it’s the artists that are suffering the most alongside streaming’s growth. 

For many artists, the benefits don’t seem to be trickling down.  Despite Spotify claiming that 70% of its revenue is paid back into the music industry and that it has paid in excess of $2 billion to the music industry since it was founded in 2008, many are still questioning who actually benefits.  According to reports, the cut that artists are getting works out less than half-a-penny a play, and artists are simply not satisfied. 

And the biggest strikes are coming from superstars.  Shortly after Swift pulled her music from Spotify, superstars Adele and Prince amongst several others have followed suit.  Others like Lady Gaga have played along with Spotify, but ultimately complained. 

The question is whether Spotify is actively addressing this issue, or simply spinning platitudes.  ”We love music, we love all the amazing people who make it, and we want to succeed together,” Ek continued.  But, artists are not really buying what Spotify is claiming.  If the streaming service wants artists to stay on board, they will have to re-examine their payment structures so it is viable for artists.  If not, it could seriously stunt the company’s future growth. 

For now, Daniel Ek is promising pie-in-the-sky growth, saying that the company ”will give thousands and thousands of artists, songwriters, producers and so on the chance to do what they love, and their fans love, while being paid fairly for doing it”. 

The question is, what is fair…? 

(Photo by Kmeron, Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic, c by 2.0)

STORY SPONSORED BY CHOOZ CD MASTERING HOUSE
Email: Choozmastering@gmail.com

Hamilton: creator of sold-out musical earns $105,000 a week in royalties 

By The Guardian

Everyone wants to be in the room where it happens. The “it”, of course, being theBroadway musical Hamilton, which is sold out through the end of the year. And the man who created it is making at least $105,000 a week in royalties. 

Those lucky enough to get a ticket for a musical based on founding father Alexander Hamilton’s life have paid a pretty penny for it. Premium tickets sell for as much as $549 each, close to 55 of the $10 bills that bear the face of the nation’s first treasury secretary. Black market tickets can go for close to three times that. The show’s success is a boon for its investors, who put up $12.5m and – the rumor has it – have already been paid back. 

“It might be one of the fastest returns ever for the show’s investors,” Ken Davenport, producer of the hit musical Kinky Boots, told the New York Post. “Rumors are already hitting the street that the show has fully recouped.” 

Within five weeks of opening on Broadway, the show’s backers have received about 25% of their initial investment. And according to the financial statementobtained by the Hollywood Reporter, the show brought in about $61.7m by the start of this month. If you add in tickets bought in advance, the number goes up to about $82m. 

That figure is not surprising, considering that before it even opened on Broadway in August, the show sold about $27.6m in pre-sale tickets. Overall, weekly ticket sales bring in about $1.5m. According to the New York Times, about $500,000 of it is profit. 

So, where is all of that money going? 

About 40% is spent on rent for the Richard Rodgers Theatre, salaries of the crew and staff and the show’s expenses, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  

While it was in previews, the show spent about $100,000 a week on advertising and promotions. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical and stars in the lead role, gets a 7% cut. That’s equivalent to about $105,000 in royalties each week. Since the show is based on a biography written by Ron Chernow, Miranda pays him part of his royalties out of his share. Miranda also receives a salary for his role as Alexander Hamilton.  

Producers Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman get a 3% share and a $3,000 weekly administrative fee. 
According to the New York Times, the profits from the shows are divided among roughly 100 investors. 

Late last year, members of the cast asked the show’s producers for a share of the gross. 

“We live in a real world, and in that world, people are allowed to raise their hands and say, ‘May I please have more?’ And I don’t blame them. I would, too,” Seller, one of the producers, told the New York Times. While he said that they had reached an agreement with the cast, he would not disclose the details of the terms. “They are the ones bringing this show to life. It was a powerful argument they made; it was gut-­wrenching for me, and I took it seriously.” 

The moneymaking machine is not yet complete. Hamilton is set to open in Chicago later this year and in London in 2017. A national tour will kick off in San Francisco next year.

AD SPONSORED BY CHOOZ CD MASTERING 
Email: choozmastering@gmail.com

Parents of Young Stars Trying To Break Into the Entertainment Business! (Read this!!) 

Attention: Parents of Young Stars Trying To Break Into the Entertainment Business! (Read this!!)

By W

Entertainment Lawyer/Music, Film, TV & Technology


If your son or daughter is an aspiring entertainer, computer code writer, app designer or video game whiz kid, this article might be of interest. With media giants like Disney and Viacom/Nickelodeon creating shows featuring younger and younger performers for the adolescent and ‘tween demographic, and YouTube, Spotify and other online companies hosting content by eager young creators, child stars and teenage creators are in ever-increasing demand. Moreover, technology companies often employ young teenage whiz kids to write code and develop video games and mobile apps. All of this raises the predicament of dealing with a contract which involves a contracting party under the age of eighteen.

The dilemma for these companies is that a minor may disaffirm a contract at any time during minority or upon reaching contractual majority (at the age of 18). The mere exercise of having the parent of the minor co-sign, approve or “guarantee” the contract does not resolve the problem. The minor may still repudiate the contract on the ground of infancy, asserting that the parent or guardian lacked authority to make the contract. Although many tech companies may rely on the fact that they believe the minor is an employee creating intellectual property for the company, this may not be sufficient to transfer rights to the company as a “work made for hire” under U.S. Copyright law, or otherwise.

For this reason, the people and companies that your children deal with may seek court approval of the employment arrangement. States such as California, New York and Tennessee have laws which establish procedures regarding the judicial approval of contracts with minors. Companies working with minors will probably seek to employ this process at some point because once the Court judicially approves the contract the minor will be held to a standard of adult responsibility for its contractual obligations – and this procedure assures the company that it will get what it bargained for.

The legal procedure is nothing to be afraid of for parents although in most cases you will want to retain a lawyer to guide you through the process – probably the same lawyer that you use to negotiate the contract itself. A proceeding for judicial approval of a minor's contract is usually commenced by the company or employer filing a petition with the Court. Along with the petition there will be affidavits or statements from the parents of the minor consenting to the arrangement.

An order granting judicial approval of a contract for the services of a minor will not usually be granted on the papers alone. A hearing will be commenced in which the minor, the parents and the various other interested parties may appear before the assigned Judge. In the course of the proceeding, the court will decide what portion of the net earnings of the minor, if any, are to be set aside in a trust. In fixing the amount to be set aside, the court will take into consideration the financial circumstances of the parents entitled to the minor's earnings, the needs of the parents' other children and the needs of the minor's spouse, if married. Such amounts as are set aside are to be saved for the minor under guardianship until the minor becomes 18 years old.

Once the court does grant approval, an order will be issued which will, in effect, declare the minor an adult for purposes of fulfilling his or her contractual obligations. This will assure that the company gets what it bargained for and that your child is adequately and fairly compensated for his work.

One final warning: some companies try to avoid the cost of the court proceeding and, instead, seek to have the parent or guardian of the child sign a guaranty. Parents are well-advised to be very careful about what they sign. As mentioned earlier, the parent cannot bind the child to the contract no matter what they sign. The child, as a minor, can legally walk away from the contractual arrangement. However, if the parent has signed some document that states that the parent is liable for amounts due to the company from the child or for damages if they child disavows the contract, that contract may be enforceable against the parent and the parent could be on the hook for much more than they anticipated. A parent can sign something that consents to the child working with the company but should be wary of signing any document that goes any further.         

WALLACE E.J. COLLINS III, ESQ. is a leading industry authority on contracts with minors practicing primarily in the areas of entertainment, technology and intellectual property law. www.wallacecollins.com; Direct Tel: 212-661-36