Close Up: Creative Works Legal Services

Creative Works Legal Services


Combining Passions for Music and Law: A few years into his legal career, Joe Joseph circled back to his enduring passion for music and, inspired by his family’s longstanding entrepreneurial spirit, launched his own firm, and its music law division, Creative Works Legal Services. Going strong after nearly 12 years, Joseph and his staff, serving local and national clients from offices in Detroit and Nashville, are committed to offering first class legal solutions for all types of music professionals. As stated in their MC ad, one of the most important elements of the practice is to “protect and secure your creative works.” 

Ironically, when Joseph was first considering law school, many people in his life, including numerous lawyers, tried to dissuade him. It wasn’t until years later, when he began reaching out to top music lawyers in preparation for his entry into music and entertainment law, that he received genuine encouragement and the reassurance that working in music law was one of the greatest jobs in the world. “Long before a crisis arises that demands legal assistance,” he says, “it’s important for artists, songwriters, musicians and producers to find an experienced attorney, in the industry, who knows the ins and outs of the music business. It is much more beneficial, and far less expensive, to have an attorney review your affairs prospectively, as opposed to trying to undue that which has caused you harm and damage,” says Joseph. “I’ve developed my reputation by building long-lasting relationships based on trust and by continuously educating myself and staying on top of evolving trends and industry practices.”

Philosophy on the Importance of Music: Joseph may be the only music industry lawyer whose home page has a photo of him sitting informally on the floor, holding his electric guitar. The image speaks volumes about his foundational love of music, which drives his dedication and devotion to helping his clients do what they do best, which is create. “Creative minds should be able to focus on their craft without being bogged down by the countless nuances on the business side of things,” says Joseph. Accompanying the photo is a mission statement reflecting Joseph and his team’s belief in the cultural importance of music: “We believe that music is an indispensable component in the fabric of life, having the ability to transcend both time and space. Music acts as a bridge between the past and present, while providing an inspirational window into the future. It has shaped cultures, ideologies, and the world as we know it. In essence, music plays an instrumental role in defining the very nature of our society.”

Array of Legal Services: The first words visitors to the website will see is a concise summary of what Creative Works does for its clients: “Know Your Rights, Own Your Rights.” Joseph believes that although the industry has seen many improvements over the years, the playing field is still largely uneven. “The idea that something must be a certain way, simply because it is ‘industry standard,’ is not a concept we subscribe to or accept. This is what drives me and my team.” Putting a premium on educating clients, Joseph’s services include contracts (band agreements, record deals, publishing contracts, licensing agreements, administration deals, co-writing/collaboration agreements, work for hire agreements), copyright (from registration and management and administration to dispute resolution), trademark (registration, licensing), sync licensing (film & TV, advertising, gaming) and business formation (operating and partnership agreements).

Contact Creative Works Legal Services: Detroit 248-455-4344;
Nashville 629-895-1762