Here is a look at the many of the basic contracts that exist in the arts, entertainment, and sports context.
Consignments. A consignment is an agreement between a merchant and the creator of goods, in which the merchant promises to offer the goods for sale to the public and to pay the creator, minus a commission, upon the sale of the good. The advantage to the merchant is that he or she doesn't have to pay the creator anything until the good is sold. Specialty clothes, individually designed jewelry, and art are examples of goods that are often sold in consignment.
Under Illinois law, consignment agreements must be in writing, and they must contain a provision setting out the terms for delivering the proceeds of the sale, a provision stating that the merchant is responsible for the good while in his or her possession, a provision requiring the merchant to sell the good for at least what the creator has agreed to, a provision stating that the merchant cannot display the good without the creator's written consent, and a provision stating that the creator's right to receive proceeds from the sale have priority over other claims against the merchant.
Booking contracts. A booking contract is an agreement between an artist and the person who manages the artist. The contract provides how much the artist will pay the manager and the duties and responsibilities the manager will have in promoting the artist.
Performance contracts. A performance contract is an agreement between an artist and the party wanting the artist to perform. It typically contains provisions such as how much the organizer is paying the artist, when the performance or performances are to take place, how the events are to be promoted, and any other conditions the artist may place on the performance.
Publishing contracts. A publishing contract is an agreement between an artist and a publishing company in which the publishing company agrees to pay a fee to the artist, plus normally a royalty, in return for the exclusive right to publish the artist's work. The typical publishing contract includes provisions regarding both hardcover and paperback rights, international publishing rights, and the right to print the material in other media, such as CD ROM and online. The agreement will also address the right of the artist to license the content to other publishers, as well as other general provisions, such as warranties the artist makes that she has the right to grant publishing permission to the publisher, promises the publisher makes to prevent copyright infringement, and promises the publisher makes to keep the material published for a specific time period.
Co-publishing contracts. A co-publishing agreement is a contract between an artist, usually a songwriter, and a publishing company. It differs from the standard publishing contract in that it allows the songwriter to transfer less of the copyright to the publisher than under a standard publishing contract, which means that the songwriter can make more money on the songs. Generally, only songwriters with a proven track record of success have the negotiating leverage necessary to get a co-publishing contract.
Sponsorship contracts. A sponsorship contract is an agreement between a company with a product or service to sell and the organizers of an event. The event can be a golf tournament, a concert, a museum exhibit, a television special, or any other activity that might attract potential customers to it. The standard agreement will contain provisions setting out the fee to be paid to the organizers, the responsibilities of the organizers to promote the event, the placement of ads at the event, and the rights to merchandise related products.
Endorsement contracts. An endorsement contract is an agreement between a celebrity or an athlete and a company with a product or service to sell. In return for a fee, the celebrity or athlete might agree to appear in television commercials, print ads, publicity events, or, where permitted, to display the company's logo while performing.
Mutual release contracts. Following the breakup of an artistic group, disputes can arise as to who has rights to the group's name, who has rights to the group's work product, and who has rights to any continuing income that may be received. The purpose of the mutual release contract is set out the rights of the parties at the time of the breakup and to avoid later disputes.
Interactive media contracts. An interactive media contract is an agreement between an interactive publisher and the producers and performers who create the interactive product. It's similar to a standard radio or television contract, but it has been modified for the growing field of interactive gaming, which includes video games, flight simulators, interactive movies, and various educational products. The first interactive media contract was signed in the early 1990s.