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

anonymous asked:

Hey, just a quick q about contracts in general! Can a mgmt team really prevent someone from coming out if they want to? They can definitely advise against it etc.. but isn't saying "oh no you can't come out" a human rights violation? Don't you think H&L would've come out already if they had wanted to? :C

This is an interesting question, actually.

Can a closeting provision (either explicit or implicit) be in a contract? Totally. Would a court uphold it? We don’t know yet! There’s no precedent for that kind of case (as far as I know?).

Do I think they would have come out already if they want to? Noooooooo. If they did, and Modest sued them, it could be an absolute nightmare. I don’t think this fandom understands how terrible lawsuits really are, especially when they involve as much money as this one would.

That said, if Harry and Louis have legal grounds to sue Modest when this is all said and done, and their claim is still timely, blah blah blah, and they’re willing to go through that process, and they WIN, it could have an enormous impact on…a lot of things in this world, really.

anonymous asked:

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.

anonymous asked:

“maybe it wouldn’t be so crazy” I'm admitting that if they are capable to stop interacting in public to manipulate some fans perception maybe they would be capable of lying and covering other truths(and it wouldn't be too far fetched). It did happen in the past in other boybands. It's 2014 though and times have changed and I'm not sure their situation, if they were gay and in a relationship together, would require so many precautions. It's sad if it were true.--

—Plus, the boys don’t seem the types who would get themselves in such a big tangle of lies. But what do I know. (With“other certain extents”I meant bearding, lying etc and “different things” I meant them being in relationships with girls, them not being a couple etc)


The first half of your message is such a great point (and it’s really nice to see someone who’s clearly skeptical about Harry and Louis being the one to make the point). If they could go to great effort to influence public perception about the nature of Harry and Louis’s relationship in one way, why couldn’t they do the same, but in reverse? This is literally a billion-dollar brand we’re talking about, in an industry that’s built on lies and the manipulation of public perception. There is no reason to think the powers that be wouldn’t work very hard to protect a secret they think would jeopardize an incredibly profitable brand.

As for the “they don’t seem the types” argument — I think this fandom seriously underestimates the power of contract and seriously overestimates the power that the boys had when they first signed with Syco and Modest!. Remember, they only placed third on The X-Factor, and there hadn’t been a massively successful boy band in years. They were incredibly young, and desperate to have careers in the industry. They had virtually no power, and I’d guess they would have been willing to agree to a lot of provisions that might not have been their personal preferences. They would have had to be in order to have careers at all.

In this industry, it doesn’t matter very much what people seem the type to do, especially when we’re talking about their initial contract (I’m keeping a close eye on the changes between this tour and last and thinking about which power dynamics have changed). The entertainment industry covers up enormous amounts of truths (dude, Hollywood closeting often includes marriage and babies — don’t tell me that Elounor-level bearding is too much effort for a billion-dollar boy band), and people accept it without question because they don’t want to believe they’re being deceived. But they are.

Also! Not everybody is ready to be out of the closet! I think we’ve seen plenty of indications that Harry and Louis have both been pounding on the closet door at various points in time, but it’s completely possible that at least when they started their careers, they weren’t ready to be out to the whole world (and given the homophobia I’ve seen in some parts of this fandom, I certainly can’t blame them). If that’s the case, the last thing they need from their fans is condemnation of any lies in which they were complicit. Remember: staying closeted is not cowardice.

Finally, while it’s true that it’s 2014 and public perceptions of homosexuality are improving daily, the entertainment industry — especially the big moneymakers like One Direction — is still incredibly closeted. If Harry and Louis come out soon, I think it will be more attributable to their own need to be out of the closet than to any changes in society.

Watch on

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.

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.

anonymous asked:

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.

fuzzypurplestuff asked:

On the subject of them making the choice to take the money. Yes, they signed the contract, but remember how clear that glass closet was for a very long time. I think the rules were changed on them. The way the contract was enforced was clearly changed in 2012.

Anon said:

For that anon: I’m sorry but no, I can’t blame them. Harry and Louis were 16 and 18 when they signed that contract, probably they didn’t understand what that would entail. Also I think they never really thought that it would ever go this far. I can’t blame two boys when their own management abused them. Not when I see how much they were miserable in these past years during their stunts. Not when they are fighting day after day. Nothing will ever justify what they’ve done to them. Nothing.

louisalmightys asked:

i think maybe itll be a glass closet type. so theyll be able to be closer and basically be a couple w/o holding hands, kissing, any solid evidence, until after the tour and they dont have stadiums to sell and time to themselves after the fact.

Actually i agree. It looks like they’re slowly undermining every slayer of the closet, going backwards in time (we are now around August 2012 with touching and sitting together at Awards) so i can easily picture a glass closet like during X Factor until the end of the Tour.

And then, after the Tour ends (and after the contract with Modest ends, whenever it will be -as i said i think October 2015-)…


But i won’t be shocked if it will be happen befor that.

anonymous asked:

1arry-isnt-rea1.)tumblr.)com/post/110460928413/question-for-larries do you think this makes any sense? I'm really not trying to troll I'm just trying to come up with an answer.


I think that for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with contracts, contract law or legalities it can make a lot of sense.  There’s also a lot about their contract that we don’t know. There is a lot of information about the situation that we don’t know. I think this post ignores a lot of things and oversimplifies others.

Let’s start with the idea that they’ve been under the same contract with modest the whole time. That’s not a fact we know. In 2013 it was reported 1D signed a 3 album, three year extension deal with Syco. What that tells me is that, despite what most people thought, their original deal was /not/  for 5 years, but most likely for 3. Did they resign with Modest? Maybe. Was their deal with modest designed to expand as their partnership with Syco did? Maybe. This article explains that the winner must sign with Modest, a contract that has the potential to last up to 14 years (X-factor has since dropped modest, and this article was written two years before the boy’s season). I also have no idea if the contracts that apply to the winner apply to 2nd and third runner-ups.

To me, it sounds like the OP expects everything to remain constant and consistent, and that line of thinking just isn’t realistic. I really don’t have the energy right now to delve too deep into this, so I’m going to keep things brief. The timing of when the change happened is so crucial, ignoring it changes the entire context.

When did Harry and Louis to begin publicly separate? Early to mid 2012? That’s about when Harry publicly moved out, when they stopped tweeting each other, stopped being seen together. What is significant about early to mid 2012? They began to break into North America.

That is absolutely such a massively significant point to observe. When they started travelling to states, being interviewed there, touring there, they also started getting asked about Larry Stylinson. They started to genuinely "deny" their relationship. The separation happened quickly, over 6 months or so. And I think anyone who thinks it was natural and not forced is just not paying any attention at all. It’s not natural that their management stopped putting them in interviews together, that they stopped sitting them next to each other, that went out of their way to make sure they weren’t seen together. That’s not natural. And more than that, Harry and Louis’ actions tell us it wasn’t natural. 

So the answer to the post is simple; circumstances changed. And behaviour and actions changed accordingly. Despite how “progressive” things are, if One Direction had a gay couple out of the closet within the band, they would not be as big as they are right now. They would not have made as much money, they wouldn’t be the biggest band in the world. They would not have conquered America the way they did. And this is just scratching the surface of the answer to that question. But I’ve already made this answer long enough.

anonymous asked:

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.

Just because I click on this ‘terms of service’ on a website, just to get past the stupid fine print, to get to a picture I want to see or whatever, I don’t think it means I’m literally bound by everything in the fine print. What if there’s something non-good faith buried in the fine print? What if the fine print has buried somewhere, “And you agree to give me your house in two years”—should that be enforceable? It’s ridiculous. People have a tendency to over-legalize things, and they want to equate a piece of paper with the contract. To my mind the piece of paper is just evidence of what the contract is. The contract is really the understanding between the parties—meeting of the minds—and good faith should be a core element of interpreting terms in these contracts. And, if it’s not reasonable, if one side knows the other side never did read these terms… why am I be bound by that?