As CION's Music Sector Development Officer and the accomplished frontwoman of a touring band, Melanie St-Pierre has seen the good, the bad, and the often overlooked aspects of the music industry - experiences and lessons that she brings to each of her artist consultations.
On March 9, 2023, Melanie partnered with entertainment lawyer Byron Pascoe of Edwards Creative Law, to deliver the "It Started with an Email" webinar - a free information session on the importance of detecting music industry scams from unsolicited emails. This webinar, containing real-life examples of common scams, details the importance of identifying swindlers who seek to sneak profits from the pockets of emerging musicians.
"It Started with an Email" is now live on YouTube:
The current state of the music industry and its relationship with the digital era - where self promotion and an active social media presence has become part of any aspiring musician's toolkit - has made it easier for emerging artists to connect with people who can elevate their careers. Festival coordinators, live-music venues, likeminded musicians, and new audiences; almost everybody is keeping a watchful eye on up-and-comers whose portfolios are readily available online.
Melanie and Byron warn, however, that a new tool must be included in the arsenal of the modern musician: the ability to spot an imposter. That is, malicious intent disguised as messaging that claims a mutually beneficial opportunity - sometimes as harmless as a sense of false hope, but often designed to cheat artists of their income and music rights.
The aim of this series is to assist artists in the protection their artwork and share with them the steps toward working with a reputable team. The use of a lawyer is always recommended before signing any documents, but it can prove difficult to justify spending money on having a contract reviewed when you believe the opportunity is reasonable (and you don’t want to lose it by having a lawyer propose any changes to the agreement). Unfortunately, you may need a lawyer to help get you out of a situation before it begins.