Kanye West Offers Guidelines for Artists to Avoid Getting Screwed by Record Labels

Kanye West has given future music moguls a template for how to manage contracts with their biggest artists amid a freedom bid against executives at Sony and Universal.

The rapper is attempting to buy back his masters as part of a plan to shut down his restrictive contract, which he shared with followers on social media last week (ends18Sep20), while insisting that he was coming up with a plan to help Jay-Z and Taylor Swift obtain their back catalogues.

And he shared his new vision for what record deals should look like on Sunday (20Sep20), urging music industry bosses to adopt his guidelines, so he and his peers can enjoy a fairer share in the albums and singles they record.

"It sounds basic and logical but it does NOT exist," he wrote on Twitter. "They (executives) focus on top earners and ZERO look at the 440 stores… Only the top few. Artists are global. That's why their contract territory says GLOBAL (sic)."

The rapper's manifesto urges music moguls to allow artists to automatically own the copyright to the songs they record for a label and lease tracks to companies for a year, maximum.

He also suggests record label bosses and publishers should get a lesser share of any profits during that year.

And he calls on label lawyers to make their contracts simpler and banish legal jargon. "We need Plain English contracts," he writes. "A Lawyers role is to IMPROVE deals… not charge for contracts we cannot understand or track (sic)."

Kanye also feels artists should be allowed to manage their own back catalogues, adding, "You should need NO ONE else to understand the business you're in."

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