The following documents are examples of some of the types of contracts, releases and other agreements commonly used in the management of creative and cultural assets. These sample agreements are intended to help producers, artists, museums and nonprofits better understand the kinds of provisions typically included of these types of agreements. They are not intended as a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney and receiving legal advice based on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. They also do not necessarily represent the only possible way to structure the business relationship or the range of deal terms that might be available in a particular situation.
It is important to remember that just as every transaction is unique, so is the proper structure of the agreement documenting that transaction. Rarely does a so-called “standard” or “boilerplate” legal form fit the particular needs of the parties to a transaction. When a party says their contact is “standard” what they usually mean is that it is in a format that they are accustomed to using. There is some value in starting from a common ground, but never assume that a “standard” contract is not negotiable. It is all too common for parties to employ a “standard” form agreement without carefully considering the implications of its terms or its failure to address critical issues until a dispute arises. There are those who believe that the process of negotiating the terms of agreements is tedious and is a waste of time and money – they often try to cut corners by employing “standard” forms. However, in our experience the process of careful drafting and through negotiation is as valuable (or more so) than the final product. Those who take the time to clearly discuss their expectations, and to memorialize those expectations in a written agreement, forge stronger relationships and are much less likely to find themselves in a dispute later on.