Info for Artists

Manifesto

Manifesto

  • ART FIRST
  • We are pro people, we are pro planet.
  • We are a development label: we encourage, we plan, we promote, we release,
  • We are not for every artist, not for every band.
  • We are not a panacea.
  • We believe the musician and the record label are collaborators, neither is subservient to the other.
  • We believe in trust.

We are home to artists not defined by traditional symmetry, shape or arrangement and accordingly we do things differently. We are not a traditional ‘label’, but aim to become a creative ecosystem, a supporting incubator, moulding around our artists to help feed our shared creative goals.

What we do and how we do it are integral to who we are. If you intend to take yourself seriously as an Irregular Patterns (IP) artist make time to read and understand our manifesto. It is important.

This manifesto is the bedrock of our working relationship and forms part of our agreement of understanding and trust with you.

Trust:

The foundation for trust is truth. We cannot promise you anything but our truth and we expect the same from those we work with. We will admit when we get things wrong and if we say we’ll do. If we (Irregular Patterns) and you (the artists) cannot live up to the values of trust and truth then we should not be working together. Simple.

Copyrights: 

Irregular Patterns makes no claim on or control over artists copyright or publishing. The terms of our agreement is limited to the granting of ad hoc permission for the duration of the artist/band giving permission under our agreement. This agreement based on trust, understanding and with zero financial obligation to each other.

Irregular Patterns assumes that any artist providing content has obtained any and all clearances and or permissions for any material provided and accepts all legal and financial responsibility over the correct allocation and distribution of splits arising from any monies earned during their involvement with Irregular Patterns.

If and when this agreement is terminated Irregular Patterns agrees to make no claim of copyright, royalties or future earnings relating to content provided by and retained by the artist/band.  

Irregular Patterns will never license or sell your music/art to a third party (outside of this agreement) without your expressed permission in writing. 

Any third party enquiries Irregular Patterns will be forwarded to you (the artist) and you decide what you want to do eg terminating this agreement and moving on.

If for whatever reason Irregular Patterns cease to trade all rights remain with the rights holders.

Distribution: 

The artist/band retains 100% of income generated through downloads and streaming platforms which Irregular Patterns oversees distribution of on their behalf.

Downloads:

Irregular Patterns will manage a pro label account on the Bandcamp platform and provide each artist with an individual pro-Bandcamp account linked to the label account. This will be paid for by Irregular Patterns, not the artist/band and is separate from sales.  

Payment will be made to the artist/band direct through their dedicated PayPall account as stipulated by the terms & conditions of Bandcamp.  

Streaming:

Irregular Patterns will subscribe to a digital distribution service, (these might include though not limited to the likes of LANDR, CD Baby, TuneCore, Ditto Music, etc.) Irregular patterns will seek to obtain a digital distribution service that maintains a physical and financial UK presence. 

The artist/band gives permission for Irregular Patterns to upload content, images and art they have either created, seen or agreed to for the purpose streaming for sale to the general public.

Irregular Patterns will inform the artist/band of the digital distribution platform being utilised along with their standard terms and conditions. 

The agreed digital Distribution platform will oversee the distribution of content across streaming platform such as (though not exhaustive), Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube, Tidal etc ) The default position is that content will be distributed to all streaming platforms unless otherwise requested by the artist. IP will confirm platforms prior to release.

The artist/band will receive 100% of all royalties from the streaming platforms that Irregular Patterns has signed up to and paid the annual subscriptions for. Irregular Patterns will pay the annual subscription charges for the digital streaming services, not the artist/band. Payment to the artist will be managed via UK banking facilities on a quarterly basis and is separate from physical sales. 

The artist/band will receive regular updates on streaming activity, including reports from the digital distribution platform either on request or bi-monthly.

Physical Sales:

Where possible Irregular Patterns will oversee the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of occasional, one-off and limited-edition, physical releases. Irregular Patterns will manage the sale and distribution of physical stock.

Income splits will be determined on a case-by-case basis and mainly influenced by who paid for the production of the physical asset (i.e. vinyl, cassette, poster, book for example).

If the artist has wholly paid for the creation of product, but requests Irregular Patterns to distribute the product. Irregular Patterns will recover all costs associated with postage and packaging as part of each sale. 

If Irregular Patterns has agreed in advance (and in writing) to contribute towards product/production costs, all cost which Irregular Patterns has invested will be repaid via sales before any income split between artist/band and Irregular Patterns. 

Once Irregular Patterns has recouped costs the artist/band will receive 100% of income minus any postage and package costs associated with distribution.

Where physical stock remains with Irregular Patterns after this agreement is terminated:

  1. Stock will be offered to the artist/band at cost: unit cost + 2% + p&p. 
  2. Payment must be received before stock is shipped/returned.
  3. Artists must confirm how they want outstanding stock to be handled within 10 working days from the date of termination. 
  4. If stock remains uncollected after 20 working days, from date of termination, Irregular Patterns will make plans for the disposal of the stock, as it feels fit and notify the artist
  5. If stock remains with Irregular Patterns after 30 working days, following the date of termination, stock will be disposed of. 

Merch:  

Irregular Patterns will operate an online infrastructure to promote our artists and their work. Sales of merchandise will be managed via our Bandcamp label site, web pages and social media sites as well as at Slive events.

Profit share from march will be negotiated and agreed in advance on a case-by-case basis.

Irregular Patterns will develop branded merch, which will be sold to raise money solely for the purpose of label activity.

Promotional Works: 

The artist/band gives permission for Irregular Patterns to provide free access to their content for the sole purpose of promotion and eliciting reviews by journalists, bloggers and influencers in the music & creative industries.

Irregular Patterns will work with the artist/band to tailor promotional campaigns, which enhances their individual style and image. 

Campaigns may involve, though not exhaustive:

  • Video production
  • Live events
  • Social media engagement
  • Online content
  • Seeking inclusion in playlists
  • Utilising third party services and advice
  • Development of fan databases
  • Paid adverts
  • Targeted merchandise
  • Press releases

There is a commitment by artists/bands that they will utilise their own (virtual and real) networks to promote their content and the content of fellow Irregular Patterns artists and their work.

Quantity:

The artist/band is under no obligation to produce an agreed output, including albums, singles or video for the purpose of promotion and distribution by Irregular Patterns. 

Content: 

The artist is wholly responsible for producing content themselves and Irregular Patterns makes presentations via the label in good faith: Content must be original, cleared e.g. have permission to use sampled sounds/music/etc and free from the copyright of any other third-party obligations to this end the artist(s) takes full legal responsibility for their content. 

If content is found to contravene this requirement it will be immediately withdrawn from all Irregular Patterns distribution and this agreement will be deemed terminated.

Quality:

Artists are encouraged to develop their work to a point that they are satisfied with it and to share it with Irregular Patterns. Irregular Patterns reserves the right to suggest changes or improvements (e.g. mix, mastering, artwork, etc) and to not present work that we feel lacks rigour or fails to express artistic freedom or is derivative in a bad way, feel to be lazy or misrepresents our project. Artist are more than welcome to present works in progress either speculatively or with a view to release.

Artists/Bands can argue with us, we are persuadable but our decision once we have considered and reflected on your arguments and informed you will be final. Once accepted and all agreed the work is ready for release.

If Irregular Patterns declines to present the work the artist is completely free to go elsewhere with all rights intact.

Content Outside of this Agreement

Irregular Patterns encourages artists/bands to develop projects outside of this agreement, which may be created in collaboration with others or by themselves. In such cases Irregular Patterns makes no copyright, legal claim or responsibility whatsoever. Irregular Pattern artist are free to work with whoever they want whenever they want wherever they want..

Advances:

Irregular Patterns does not provide payment in advance of royalties, streaming, or downloads.

The artist/band is wholly responsible for all expenditure incurred for the creation and production of works. In this way the artist preserve their rights.

Irregular Patterns may consider investing in a proposed project on a case-by-case basis. This will need to be agreed in writing and in advance of any expenditure being incurred by the artist/band.

This will be subject to negotiation and agreement between the artist/bands and Irregular Patterns and will be an addendum to this expression of understanding and trust.

Pay As You Earn

We are striving to do things differently and turn the traditional label model on its head. 

Irregular Patterns are not seeking a direct cut of artist earnings per se but if we are successful in generating a noticeable uptick in overall income for artists we ask in return for an annual donation (pay what you can) towards Irregular Patterns ongoing running costs and development work. This benefits you well as helping develop new and emerging artists – Irregular Patterns earns its crust through trust.

The level of this donation is entirely up to you, be it £1 or £1 million.  

If you earn and decide not to donate then we will serve the 20 days termination of this agreement and wish you well, but if you earn nothing, then you pay Irregular Patterns nothing. Simple.

Terminator:

Either party may terminate this agreement for whatever reason by giving 30 working days written notice. This period is specifically designed to provide opportunity for the artist’s presence to be removed from Irregular Patterns online and physical outlets. 

Where physical stock remains with Irregular Patterns:

Stock will be offered to the artist at cost. Copies of CD’s for example will be offered to the artist at unit cost + 2% + p&p. Illustration Only: 50 CDs produced at a cost of £150. £3 per unit cost + 2% = £3.06 per CD (then add any shipping related costs).

Payment must be received before stock is shipped/returned.

Artists must confirm how they want outstanding stock to be handled within 10 working days from the date of termination. 

If stock remains uncollected after 15 working days, from date of termination, Irregular Patterns will make plans for the disposal of the stock as it feels fit and notify the artist

If stock remains with Irregular Patterns after 20 working days, following the date of termination, stock will be disposed of as notified.

Think:

The work you put in now will save you both time and money in the future. While certainly not a precondition to working with Irregular Patterns, we definitely recommend you get organised.

As an artist, you have several ways of generating income if your work finds a paying audience. The manifesto has so far focussed on income from downloads and merchandise. We now turn our attention to the tricky issue of performing rights and royalties. 

The issue of is often seen as complicated. It is not, but it does require your focused attention. Its complication is an historical hangover from those vying for a slice of the artists pie from managers, record labels and collecting societies. 

In recent years those engaged in collecting performance royalties have worked hard to streamline the process, but before we talk about them. There are always exceptions, but the traditional arrangement is that artists are effectively employed by record labels to produce music for them to sell to the world. Performing rights and royalties are accrued when your work is broadcast on radio, TV, used in films, used in a public place, etc. 

In order to make a living from your music you’ll need to secure revenue streams from all the various different sources and be rigorous about registering and maintaining your writing and performance details. 

Ensure whatever format of your release is professionally mastered and encoded appropriately. This should include a UTC / ISRC. This encoding enables your music to be identified and monies collected for you for all your hard work.

International Standard Recording Code (ISRC):

The artist/band is responsible for ensuring content is correctly ISRC coded and that they are registered with the appropriate collecting agencies. 

Some digital distribution platforms offer ISRC’s as part of their services, in some cases free of charge. If this is the case Irregular Patterns will advise the artist/band, although this does not remove the obligation on the artist/band to ensure content is coded correctly.

Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) are the exclusive company in charge of issuing ISRCs in UK.  These can be obtained here: https://myppl.ppluk.com/s/qq There is an option to just get ISRCs without being a member of PPL.

PRS for Music Limited is a British music copyright collective, made up of two collection societies: the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society. PRS for music collect and pay out royalties to their members (who are the writers of the music) when their music is played in broadcast, performed in public, streamed, downloaded, used in films, radio or TV, etc.

Also we strongly recommend that you join the Musicians Union as they provide a lawyer to read through contracts along with instrument insurance for the price of the annual membership.

IP can provide only limited guidance and support to you on these issues, but we are a collective of artists and people passionate about our creative ecosystem and happy to share our knowledge and experience. We will discuss this further with you as part of your introduction to the label.

You can find some more helpful information by following these links:

The Unsigned Guide

PRS for Music

PPL

The Musicians Union

Let’s assume, for a moment, you create a piece of work that gets traction. Several things will immediately come into play.

Firstly, we will all be celebrating your success. Secondly, bigger labels will be tracking you down and you’ll be on your way to better things. Again, we will be celebrating this. Thirdly, your initial success will probably be down to the following factors. 

1.    Your talent.

2.    The work of IP to get your music heard.

3.    Luck.

Unfortunately, we can’t legislate for luck so let’s ignore that…

If you are successful in generating performance royalties, we ask for an annual donation/pay what you can towards IP’s ongoing ‘not-for-profit’ development work we intend to do with new and emerging artists. The level of this donation is entirely up to you, be it £1 or £1 million.  But if you earn nothing, then you pay IP nothing.

Integrity

Irregular Patterns will passionately defend the right of any artist to create challenging work. We understand that freedom of speech does not mean freedom to hate. 

Hope Not Hate

The purpose of life is to be happy and we very much see ourselves as celebrating life, its challenges, and its ups and downs. Irregular Patterns are not in the slightest bit interested in content and art that purposely sows hatred between people. 

The ethos of Irregular Patterns is internationalist, without borders, we embrace the notion of hope not hate and repudiate discrimination no matter what rock it festers under. 

Change, no matter how big always starts with small steps. 

Irregular Patterns has made a commitment that by 2024 we will not be the label we are currently. Our roster of artists for example will be increasingly reflective of the beautiful and creative diversity surrounding us. 

This will require us to seek out new talent, stretch our legs and engage with artists and communities beyond our normal horizons and networks. 

We expect everybody associated with Irregular Patterns to listen, learn and be prepared not only to change, but also encourage and help artists who face bias when seeking to release and perform their material.

By signing up to Irregular Patterns you will be committing yourself to help Irregular Patterns to achieve this ambition.  

If you feel uncomfortable with our commitment to https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/ please do not sign.

Values and Aspirations

We align with the aspirations and values as defined by the 17 UN Sustainability Goals.

We are constantly open to learning better ways to run our business that won’t leave a harmful trace for current and future generations.

We endeavour to use methods that have a minimal, neutral, or positive impact on our physical and mental environment. We will only work with artists, people and companies who share our values and vision. 

Where we have influence we will use it to secure positive change in line with our values and vision.

Where we have no control or influence we will join with others to demand change to tackle harm, injustice and discrimination. 

To Sum Up:

IP may be small but we are honest, open and care.

The artists we love are rich in talent, poor in time, hungry and fucked off.

Existing in the grey areas and seemingly at odds with popular culture, Irregular Patterns plans on being the change we want to see in the music business. Operating on a not for profit basis our plan is to turn the traditional record label set up on its head. The inversion can simply be described as: the record label working for the artist.

What this means is that artists retain 100% of their rights and royalties and agree to pay Irregular Patterns a share after income is earned. It’s a pay what you can model: If you earn a lot of money and pay us nothing the relationship is over.

If you earn a little and pay us a little we will be very grateful. You pay us what you think we’ve earned and any cash we receive will be reinvested back into the label and support emerging artists.

It’s about trust and only trust. We’ll give you our best work if you can give us your best work. We see ourselves as a development label, a stepping stone for artists.

Irregular Patterns, in its small, but positive way, is part of the build back, exploring doughnut economics for the record industry. We are in development at a time when the world is starting its slow and painful emergence from a pandemic as we investigate more sustainable operating models for the production and distribution of music.

We are always pleased to hear from like-minded people.

Contact us here.