Managing artists
Artist management involves the activities of organizations or persons that facilitate the
success of artists. The artist manager makes use of the artists’ potential in benefiting both parties
of the agreement (Allen, 2011, p.1). Laws in place have affected the customs and practices in
artist management over the last twenty-five years in music. Acts by the governing authorities
have contributed to these changes in the United Kingdom. Initially agreement between artists and
their managers neglected issues relating with the requirement of laws. However, dissatisfaction
by artistes led to filing of suits, which later formed precedent by altering the laws governing
music practices. Artist management has to be effective for all the stakeholders in music to
benefit. Therefore, there has to be an artist manager who takes the responsibilities to ensure
business takes place mutually (Allen, 2011). The person will take charge in planning and other
managerial responsibilities. This paper looks at how the report cases influenced the music artist
management in the United Kingdom.
The cases in this study have caused a shift from the traditional practices in music
management for over the last twenty-five years. The judgments of those cases have lead to the
establishment of laws guiding relations in the music industry, specifically artist management. All
the cases emphasized on the need to shift away from split management, which was common in
the UK in the past. In the case of Mills Company as an example, Sullivan received 50% for the
copyright, which later became a precedent in the customs and practices of artist management.
Legal authorities nowadays have influence on artist management activities compared to the past
(Allen, 2011). In the case above the judge ordered an inquiry into profits made by Mills
Company. There are compensations to artists as opposed to the past, from the above case mills is
fighting for his empire, which is suffering because of engaging in malpractice. The judgment and
laws in place forces him to adhere to requirements when managing artists.
According to the case reports music has become a source of livelihood to many
individuals in United Kingdom. Allen (2011) states that the music industry has experienced
growth over the past years commercially thus promoting professionalism in artist management.
The present day artists understand their basic patent rights regarding music and the relations with
their managers (Marcone, 2003, p.145). Awareness has made the artists challenge status quo
from the traditional style of artist management. In the case reports, financial agreements takes
place in accordance to the acts stipulated thus alteration to custom and practices, which took
place in the past.
 The case reports clearly highlight management roles in ensuring success to the music
industry. All the cases prove that some management duties are more critical like marketing and
selling artistry works. The report cases have influenced the present practices by managers
whereby signing contracts have become a basic legal requirement before managing an artist
(Allen, 2011, p.2). This ensures justice and fairness to all the parties who engage in music in case
where a dispute arises.
In the report cases, copyright is a sensitive element considered as the major contributor of
disputes in music. Financial disagreements are subjective to patent rights when solving cases
affecting artist managers (Beeching, 2005). The artists and other individuals in the music
industry have the mandatory obligation of recognizing copyright laws as stipulated in the United
Kingdom. The copyright law has provision that allows for fair utilization of literature material by
all citizens, whereby they have a right to conduct personal research on a piece of music works.
The law gives artists managers the right use music from other artists but reciprocate with
payment (Allen, 2011, p.186). The United Kingdom lined their copyright law with the
international standards for code of ethics to facilitate smooth business since music is an
international business.
The case reports show roles that artist managers perform in order to ensure all legal
requirements are attained in the business. The case of Donald Passam clearly highlights the
duties and obligations that artist managers embrace to facilitate smooth business. The artists’
manager should connect them to lawyers, but from the instances mentioned in the case studies
above, artist managers neglected this duty. The case states that split management was a preferred
practice for artist management in the UK. This happened before the introduction of stringent
measures on the terms of engagement that later altered traditional practices. The judgments
provide an elaborate structure for commission review when signing contracts. The managers
were so influential in signing artists in the past years as opposed to what the law requires
currently (Allen, 2011, p.32).
 In all the report cases artists were exclude in decision making like the signing of
contracts ignored their individual rights. This report cases highlights how artist managers
conducted duties contrary to the requirements in contracts made in the music industry today. The
reports elaborate on the role of artist managers in signing contracts to be in line with changes in
customs and practices of the society (Allen, 2011, p.52). The rulings made emphasized on the
requirement by management in signing of contracts and making other decisional roles critical to
the development of music. The review on commission agreement in the United Kingdom
improved artists’ lifestyles by increasing their earnings. Alteration of individuals’ practices
happens in the case where James filed a legal suit for damages. This later set a precedent for
other disgruntled artists who felt deprived by artist management companies. In the past, several
artists engaged in contracts under the influence of artist managers. This happened from either
trust or an illusion of what is expected. Upon the judgment of this case, there is concern on
royalties where writers now earn much income from their songs compared to the past (Allen,
Most artists signed contracts with limited knowledge in the past only to realize later that
music companies were infringing on their patent rights. Artist managers were using the service
of artists for their own benefit like song writing. Organizations capitalized on artists prior to the
establishment of strict measures in place recently. Nowadays an artist can attain full benefits of
his /her works regardless of their knowledge on music management (Smirke, 2012). The laws
have ensured artists’ managers recognize service of artists such as writing songs and
The report cases discussed above have brought about the element of professionalism in
artist management, thus minimizing conflicts in music management practices. Legal channels
have been developed and put in place to monitor future relations between various stakeholders in
the music industry. Most music companies now are engaging in ethical practices by recognizing
the efforts of individual artists they manage. Though the cases resulted to justice to the aggrieved
parties, they have brought detrimental impacts to those who capitalized on weak legal system for
the acts on artist management (Allen, 2011, p.260). In the case involving Gilbert O’sulvian, the
Judge ordered an inquiry into profits made by the accused music company to track any form of
malpractice. The artist won the copyright back from the judgment against mills, two years later
mills launched an appeal to fight back for his empire. Mills was frustrated and later forced to
manage his first artist due to the strict laws introduced about music artist management.
The element of counseling is important in artist management as it prevents irregularities
from taking place (Beeching, 2005). In one of the report cases, Elton john struggled toward his
success before fully establishing his potential. He joined the music industry at a tender age
through songwriting, which earned them a lot. There was a sudden disgruntlement from the
artists upon fully understanding how the industry operates. The doctrine of equity applied in the
cases above, when settling legal issues within the music field. For example in the case,
O’Sullivan versus Management Agency and Music Limited (1985), the time of the agreement
forms a basis of judgment in this case.
 Time changes determine the relationships that exist in music management;
modernization tends to complicates this by bringing up copyright laws for digital music and
other advancements in the musical field (Allen, 2011). Some elements not present in the past
twenty-five years are challenging organizations already engaged in the music when adjusting to
present regulations. The cases identify the elements considered when picking the right manager
by an artist in music. Prior to a choosing a manager artists will have considered the previous
record of the manager in terms of ethics since this will guide the courts when settling disputes.
The willingness that the artist manager expresses in terms of enthusiasm and zeal for the music
and experience in handling legal disputes is also considered (Marcone, 2003, p.5). The
management was concerned with the element of accountings and record keeping in the past,
which later shifted to a more dynamic role. The report cases indicate that back up information
formalization financial agreements when making contracts with the artists should be considered.
Everyone in the cases was liable to their responsibilities where ignorance of the music copyright
act will not defend a judgment by legal institutions. 
Compensation is emphasized when conducting music businesses via an artist manager
(Allen, 2011, p.6). Those using artistic materials are obliged to pay their owners. The cases
resulted in artists getting back what was theirs. This frustrated the efforts of companies that did
not conduct businesses in line with the provisions about artist management. In all the report cases
the management companies suffered because of neglecting their roles as artist’s managers, their
motive was to capitalize on the artist’s effort while enriching themselves.
The cases discussed contributed to the changes in the music industry concerning artist
management practices. Music management has been formalized due to custom changes are
congruent with the ethical practices under the laws of United Kingdom pertaining music.
Previously, artist managers neglected their roles and instead capitalized on the limited
knowledge of their artists to enrich themselves. Due to changes of practices in music artist
management, the manager can act as a technical manager or a tour manager in the music
according to the report cases. Artists presently benefit from their efforts while they can file cases
when aggrieved. A contract has become an essential requirement prior to any engagement
between the artists and their managers. Exceptions are only in cases where artists manage
themselves (Allen, 2011). The cases led to development of clear policies concerning
compensation for works of literature. This has improved cordial relations in music management,
which was not common in the past twenty-five years. However, on the negative, artist
management has increased cases of mistrust, whereby business are conducted in line the acts in a
rigid environment. This limits flexibility on either side that engages in music activities.
Allen, P., 2011. Artist Management for the Music Business, Burlington, MA: Focal Press.
Beeching, A., 2005. Beyond talent: creating a successful career in music, Oxford, UK: Oxford
University Press.
Marcone, S., 2003. Managing your band: artist management: the ultimate responsibility, Wayne,
NJ, HiMarks Pub.
Smirke, R., 2012. System of Survival. Billboard, vol. 124, no. 6, pp. 4-5. 

Enjoy big discounts

Get 35% discount on your first order

We have made it easy for you to place an order


WHATSAPP: +1 (209) 260-9257

TWITTER: Our Twitter Page

EMAIL:[email protected]