About X Factor record deals and management contracts

I decided to jump straight into the rabbit hole and check what I could find out about X Factor UK contracts. After little bit of googling, I must say that I found out quite a lot of things.

In December 2008 there were many articles in newspapers based on an exposé made by Daily Mirror. Headlines mostly screamed about how people were duped, since winner’s contract (then officially worth 1 million pounds) was actually overall deal which included 150.000£ advance (out of which expenses must be paid) for a first album and the million pound deal was actually completed only after four albums.

But this exposé and a bunch of other articles reveal many interesting things:

The (X Factor) contract was 80 pages long in 2008. It also was enforceable “anywhere in the world and solar system”. The contract also contains a clause protecting Simon Cowell, stating that artists must not make any statement which “may be considered unduly negative, critical or derogatory of the company – including its personnel and, in particular, Simon Cowell”. x

My comment: No wonder 1D doesn’t even dare to comment Cowell’s upcoming fatherhood to the press, if their contract has a similar clause.

All 12 contestants who go to the liveshows were given three weeks to peruse and sign the contract before the beginning of each series (live shows) and offered a choice of three independent solicitors, whose fees were paid by Cowell. x

Artists who were voted out of the show are still under contract to Cowell’s label for up to three months. x

Winner gets £150k advance, 2nd gets £75k, 3rd £50k and 4th £10k. x

Apparently the winner and runner-ups can be signed to any of Sony’s record labels like RCA or Epic Records, not only Syco. But being in top 4 doesn’t automatically mean a record deal, even though advances have been specified in the contract.

So the initial contract not only binds the winner, it’s also applicable to top 4. But I’d assume that all the pre-show deals expire after the series has ended, and then they’re just renewed (or in some cases renegotiated) based on the initial contract for longer tenure, since not every act gets the deal after the show.

The interesting thing is that Rebecca Ferguson’s (runner-up) deal with Modest was dated to be starting from October 2010. x Which could mean that either the contract which live show contestants sign has already some kind of clause about Modest managing them (or the top 4?) during the live shows, or the renegotiated deal is retroactive from the point when they entered the competition. Not sure if this is possible under British law?

The winner had to sign up with the agent, Modest Management, in a deal having the potential to last 14 years. x Based on this it seems like Modest has a legal option for a possibility to lengthen winner’s management deal after the initial deal has been completed. This is the tricky part here. Sadly we don’t have any clearer wording of this particular clause.

The winner gets 15 per cent from single and album sales. Headlining a tour brings 7.5 per cent of show profits and 15 per cent of merchandise sales. x

The record label has “final say” over tracks for albums, and can choose producers and single releases. x

Another clause states that artists leaving the show may have to give 5 per cent of all future live earnings to Cowell for a year. x



Next, let’s take a look of the X Factor Australia deal as a comparison…

In Australian version of X Factor (2012), the contract was mere 66 pages and  X Factor contestants must hand over the rights to their performances, including to be used in non-English speaking markets.

”Without limiting the foregoing in any way, the company [X Factor] shall be entitled to: dub my voice in any language.”

X Factor can also use personal information about X Factor contestants, including photographs, likenesses and biographical information, and transmit those personal details ”throughout the Universe”.

Buried deep in the fine print, the contract reads, ”I hereby licence to the company all rights in the composition(s) for the full period of copyright including any renewals, reversions, revivals or extensions throughout the universe…in all media and formats throughout the Universe.”

The contract demands that these rights to the performance can be used, as well as passed to others, to exploit by all means and in all media formats, ”whether now known or hereafter invented throughout the Universe.”

In addition to appearing on the show for nothing, contestants also agree to promote it without pay for one month after it finishes screening.

They also agree to a gag clause preventing them speaking to the media without permission.

”Should I be contacted by a member of the press I hereby undertake to refer them to the company’s publicity office,” the contract states.

Contestants also agree:

  •  to disclose any criminal offences they have committed, except driving infractions;
  • to sign recording and management agreements based on ”independent legal advice” provided by one of three lawyers ”introduced by the company”;
  • not to perform on any other TV or radio shows without permission.

Clearly there are some similarities between Australian and UK contracts. This is only logical, since many TV franchises use the contracts drawn either in the UK or the US. I personally know at least about one reality show contract which wasn’t even applicable in my country, but was still enforced upon contestants, it also included a gag clause with a severe penalty.

Sources: Belfast Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Sydney Morning Herald BusinessDay, CMU

Watch on genuinelybelieve.tumblr.com

Here’s the interview that’s the source of the gifsets going around today. I don’t hear Zayn say “on Friday.”

It’s still possible that the contract does end in April 2015, which would fit with OTRA tour dates, but I don’t think we have a firm basis for a date of resigning.

anonymous said:

Do you think that their contract with their HJPR is ending too? Has anyone in the fandom talked about it? I know we've noticed some weird things management-wise (eg. the lack of promo) Anyway, I went to HJPR's website and I've noticed their One Direction bio is old - it talks about the 2nd album and how 2013 could be One Direction's year - I found that weird so I've checked Little Mix and THEIR bio is up to date, about their new album and everything.


I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode, but: I’m thinking yes.

I just wanted people to get this info too. As I grew up in the nineties and the Stone Roses were a huge influence on The British scène of that time, I recognized the shirt - I also knew the documentary - but fourcryingoutloud is right: it is an interesting story in reference to 1D. Not necessarily because Louis meant this as a reference - Stone Roses are just a really cool band - like Joy Division etc, the other stuff he wears t-shirts of. But it’s significant in the sense that they had so much trouble with their management and contract that, by the time they got out of it, their ‘wave’ had passed. Pretty sure this story was at the back of my head when I wrote a post about why it would be wiser for Louis and Harry to sit out a three (or five) year contract with MM and then change managements rather than try to break free early, even if the conditions are homophobic and murdering. Legal trouble in cases like these can mean a dent in or the end of one’s career for all the wrong reasons.

You know you're in law school when...
  1. SOL stands for ‘statute of limitations’ and ‘shit out of luck’ is merely the short-version meaning of ‘statute of limitations’
  2. Alcohol becomes more important than food
  3. Highlighters are more important than shampoo
  4. You start nitpicking the meaning of every word on the restaurant menu
  5. Logical fallacies on the web bother you even more than they used to
  6. You have finals flashbacks when you watch The Hunger Games
  7. Dean Winchester’s torture in Hell reminds you of your Con Law professor’s teaching methods
  8. You wish the Doctor would pick you up in the TARDIS so you have more time to get your reading and outlining done before finals
  9. You wish Hannibal would have the class gunners over for dinner
  10. You start analyzing the clauses in Bilbo’s contract with the dwarves (like this guy did)
  11. You’ve said “I could totally get that guy acquitted” when you watch crime dramas
  12. You want to strangle undergrads who complain about their exams
  13. You’ve stopped yourself from punching someone in the face by thinking of the bar’s character and fitness review
  14. When someone says “supplements,” you think of books, not vitamins
  15. You’ve caught yourself saying, “Yay! Only 50 pages of reading for tomorrow!”

anonymous said:

There has been a lot of speculation about the changing of management after the year is up, and thus the ending of Elounor- and I'm sure the ending of a whole plethora of other things. But is it possible that they just renegotiated the contract? That way all the people who work with 1d, but are hired by mm! aren't out of a job, but the boys get what they want? mm! would be stupid not to do everything they could to keep them on board.

Well, there are several possibilities.

— It’s a five-year contract or some other deal meaning it’s not up for renewal in mid-December 2013.

— It’s a three-year contract up for renewal in mid-December 2013.

     — They completely change management companies (with the quality of that management company and the nature of closeting restrictions an unknown).

     — They stay with Modest, but negotiate terms more favorable to themselves (they have power and experience they didn’t have previously).

     — They stay with Modest and things carry on the same as before.

I’d say the last option is the least likely.

But yeah I don’t know.

How to Negotiate a Contract Like a Cartoonist

Want to learn how to improve your negotiation skills?

Watch other people negotiate.

“But Katie, that sounds boring! And possibly worse than suffering through the last episode of Lost.”

Perhaps. But not when Penny Arcade does it!

Strip SearchPenny Arcade‘s reality show, pits 12 cartoonists against one another to battle it out for a chance to win $15K and a year embedded at the Penny Arcade studio.

Last Friday’s challenge? Contract negotiations.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use the episode to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of negotiating contracts on your own.

Read the rest of the post on the blog!

anonymous said:

sorry i just have a bunch of questions and i decided to write em all in the same ask. why do you think they have a 3 years contract with modest and not a 5 years one? and what do you think about the possibility of a coming out before the WWA tour starts? and the last one, what do you think about the theory of the Elounor break up being announced before NYE (more likely tomorrow evening)? thank you, your blog is really inspiring xx

No, thank you for your kind words.

1) On the contract with Modest.

I think they had a three years contract for a few reasons:

  • a) First of fall, and basically, because the one with Syco was also  a 3 years contract. I believe that signing a management contract with an artist for five years, if that artist had only a 3 years Record contract would have made no sense

[As I said here a 3 years contract would have left the door open for two possibilities:

i)  At the end of the three years, 1D signed with a new management company.

ii) They resigned with Modest at better terms (I cannot imagine they would ever  have resigned at the same terms and conditions) Now I tend to believe they signed  with a new company, because the contract ended likely around December 12 th/December 17 th (they signed after 2010 X-Factor final) and I think Modest would have already made an announcement of the renewal (like Syco did)]

  • b) It seemed Modest goal was to make the most money in the short term. They did tire the boys out. They did overload their audience with a over-the-top merchandising. They did alienate a part of the fandom.
  • c) Lately it seemed they did not care about their brand anymore:  no promo for Midnight Memories and Thisisus, a big delay in the announcement of the American leg of the WWA Tour etc

 2) On the coming out.

I’m less optimistic than some of my friends on a coming out before the WWA Tour starts.

This is an amazing post of people questioning if the former closeting would effect  the way audience would deal with a coming out. As i said there i tend to believe people would forget everything and they would focus only in the positiviness of it. It happened before. It is also true, however, that two band mates at the peek of their career coming out would be a first. Morover, i’m not sure they would be able to tell all the truth about the former closeting and the bearding so I ask myself if they would accept to tell more lies about their love story.

I think it also has a lot to do with their new management vision. At the moment i tend to believe there will be more likely a glassy glass closet until the WWA Tour. Everything is possible, though  (and i’m sure about one thing: their coming out would change a lot of lives. I said something about it also here. )  I hope my theory will be soon belied by the facts, though. After all, Louis just saw a shooting star for the first time.

3) On the announcement of an Elounor break-up .

Fist of all, I do believe the contract ended, for these reasons:

  • a) This a consequence of my believes on 1). Signing a bearding contract lasting longer than their management contract would have made no sense.
  • b) Also Louis new found happiness, the lacking of Elounor in the last month (hell, not even a Christmas tweet!), a few articles suggesting the fame was hard for Eleanor..

So, the obvious question to be asked is: when will we hear an announcement? I think it also has a lot to do with their new management vision. Would they like a quetly break-up? Would they like to emphasize the news? If it’s the former, yes an announcement just before an holiday would be a clever thing to do. Well, we can only wait, and see.

I got this 4 part ask yesterday, and well, it’s very insightful, so give it a read. It was in response to this ask I got earlier that day. 


(1) Just following on from the question the anon sent you asking why X-Factor staff haven’t gone to the press with stories if Larry is real. I work in reality TV (albeit not in the UK) and for the majority of big shows like TXF there are non-disclosure agreements in place for production crew. For the most part, these NDAs are about episodic content only (concerned with spoilers being released prior to air-dates, rather than about the the goings-on of the contestants) but to cover their bases,

(2) they’re written very broadly and don’t expire after the show has aired. I’m not exaggerating when I say that one of my NDAs has included the phrase “in perpetuity throughout the known universe” - this isn’t the legal team’s first rodeo. A crew member COULD risk leaking something to the press after the show has wrapped, BUT it’s pretty clearly understood that it’s totally unprofessional and, if you got caught doing it, it would be career-suicide. Seriously, you would never work in the

(3) industry again. Like, ever. Also, depending on what you said, they could sue you. Particularly in the UK it can take years and years to work your way up to even a minor role on a show as big as TXF, so that’s a big risk for a little bit of idle chatter. All of this being said, the reality TV industry is surprisingly small, crew talk and gossip travels pretty far internally. I’d suggest that that the entire production crew knew what was going on with those boys, and probably a fair deal of

(4) the general UK entertainment industry too. I haven’t worked on my country’s X-Factor, but I know a LOT about what’s gone on on set because I’ve got friends on that crew. Some of it is big, scandalous shit, but did they or I go to the press with it? Nope, because that would be a terrible fucking idea. Just because it hasn’t gone public, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and CERTAINLY doesn’t mean that no one knows about it.

Michael Weatherly Closes 2-Year Deal With CBS Studios To Return To ‘NCIS’, Produce New Projects

NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly has finalized a new deal with series producer CBS Studios. Under the two-year pact, Weatherly will return to the highly rated CBS drama where he has been since the pilot, playing Anthony DiNozzo. His new agreement also includes an overall development deal for Weatherly’s newly launched production company, Solar Drive Productions. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue playing Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo on NCIS for seasons 12 and 13,” Weatherly said. “Leslie (Moonves), Nina (Tassler) and David (Stapf) have been incredibly supportive of my growth over the last decade and I couldn’t be more excited about working with them on the production side. My new company, Solar Drive Productions, will have fancy letterhead and nice furniture.” Weatherly joins fellow NCIS cast members Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum and Rocky Carroll who also recently renewed their contracts for two more seasons. The entire cast of the veteran CBS drama series is set to return next fall. Weatherly is repped by Anonymous and McKuin, Frankle, Whitehead.

"Today you can’t use email, check your bank balance, or shop online without being subject to a contract. There are so many contracts that we don’t even try to read them anymore. It would be hard to get anything done if we read every contract that was thrust in our direction. That’s because mass consumer contracts are not intended to be read — they are intended to protect companies. Consumers often don’t read terms because there’s just too much information. It’s too difficult to sort out the relevant from the irrelevant."

 Nancy S. Kim, author of Wrap Contracts: Foundations and Ramifications, talks about Carnival, contracts, and the loss of unconscionability as a defence for consumers. (via Carnival Cruise and the contracting of everything | OUPblog)

Network Services Agreements are interesting. No, really.

So Nintendo just put out a new Network Services Agreement. 


As anyone who plays games nowadays knows, the bottom line of any mainstream digital distribution service is that you pretty much don’t own anything. Instead you purchase a license, which gives you access to the software. Moreover, anything you make within these games technically belongs to the developers and/or distributors, as it was made in the software that you don’t actually own. Every major corporation does this with one bizarre exception.


Section 3 of the agreement states as follows:

3. User Content

You own your User Content. But by entering into this Agreement you grant to Nintendo a worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, and subliscenseable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, distribute, perform, and display User Content that you post or provide in whole or in part and to incorporate your User Content in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes.


For those of you whose eyes glazed over, let me translate. Anything you make or do in a Nintendo game is yours. They can redistribute it as they please for things like Miiverse or use a quote for the game’s store page, for example, but at the end of the day you still own your stuff. Maybe it’s because Nintendo has never had a very strong grasp of things like “standard business models” or “the internet”, but I find that kind of adorable.

TL;DR: Rest easy internet, your Miiverse drawing of Mario straddling a pipe that’s totally not shaped like a dick will belong to you forever.

NASA Expands Commercial Space Program, Requests Proposals for Second Round of Cargo Resupply Contracts for International Space Station

On the heels of awarding groundbreaking contracts to U.S. commercial space companies to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA has released a request for proposals (RFP) for the next round of contracts for private-sector companies to deliver experiments and supplies to the orbiting laboratory.
Full article