Artistry is sort of a secret profession namely because you make money from your creativity. This means that when you discuss certain elements of your show with someone else you need to be protected that thus said person doesn’t go out and do what you are planning to do. In other words you want to legally bind the other party to not tell other people, sell or discuss your show secrets to anyone that is either competition or not.
These forms are called NDA’s or Non Disclosure Agreements and are very important if you want to do something unique. Normally businesses use NDA’s when they are dealing with an external business and want to keep their secrets safe. A NDA isn’t just for the time of the show, you can even contractually bind someone for up to a year or two, which is nice especially when you’re planning on using your technique or show secret for a significant period of time.
How do NDA’s apply to DJs?
Well the way the NDA will work for a DJ is when he or she implements something unique within their show. This could be a surprise for the public, but the club or venue will need to know in advance. So if you want to keep the venue’s mouths shut, you’ll need to work on an NDA. What would have happened if DeadMou5 didn’t set up an NDA for using the Mouse head? In no time people would have gone out and started playing with similar apparel. Luckily DeadMou5 was able to brand himself with his gigantic mouse head that anyone else attempting to do the same would have come out to be a “copy cat”. If you have something interesting and unique and don’t have it branded yet, then the NDA is your best ally.
What should go in my NDA?
The NDA is basically a contract that binds the recipient for a certain period of time and thus must specify to what they cannot talk about or what they need to keep confidential and for how long. You should also state within the NDA the punishment for breaking the contract. This way the person signing the contract won’t come out and claim he did not know.
So here are the basics of the NDA:
- Between who and who is the agreement
- What the agreement is, or what is to be “confidential”
- Time the agreement will be valid for
- Punishment if agreement is broken
Obviously the NDA should be written in superb English or whatever the language you are using, so if you are not a writer you should definitely think about getting some professional outside help. People don’t understand the importance of perfection within the professional world and with simple things like spelling mistakes one could lose a lot of potential business.
Get your NDA’s signed and maybe even notarized if the contract or show is substantial. It is always better to go that extra mile when it comes to working on your paperwork. You want to have absolutely every “T” crossed and every “I” dotted. The importance of having the business of your music completely under control is great, without it you won’t be able to break into more professional venues and will be stuck playing weddings and parties. Therefor, don’t simply focus on your music…focus on the business behind your music and you’ll see that when the two meet in perfect harmony…you’ll become a success.