Vocal recording legalities

Hi everyone,

I’m an American who has been teaching for the past couple of years (no spouse or special status, just a teaching ARC), but recently I have been hoping to move into more vocal recording work instead. I would like to quit my teaching job to focus on recording jobs and my studies. I’ve been accumulating some experience from little side jobs but now I do enough recording work where I am starting to be concerned about the legalities. When I asked the studio they were surprised because no foreigner has ever asked about permits or documentation before. I hope to start advertising myself as a freelance vocal talent and I would like to do it legally. I don’t plan to work for one studio, but to do freelance work on a job by job basis.

Yes, I did read the other posts about freelancing, and it seems to me it’s not possible unless I get some kind of agent / intermediary company. Is that correct? If so, can someone make a recommendation about how to find one and what I should do next? And what are the details about needing a “media permit?” Any advice would be much appreciated. I know there are some of you out there who are really experienced and who have even sustained yourselves on recording work so I would love to hear your perspectives.

How long have you been in Taiwan? 183 days per year for five years to get permanent residency and open work rights.

Wait, what kind of recording? I guess it pretty much depends on the context… for example music you need to provide partiturs, and lyrics, as well as the recorded sample. For other things, such as learning courses and audiobooks, what’s more important in the eye of the law is the content. Now as a vocal talent, for translations, voice overs, or just some kind of radio host, I would believe agent could be a good start, since then the product would be yourself.

Well, for the first post, I have only been in Taiwan 2 years so I’m not able to get an open work permit for a while yet.

As for the kind of recording, it’s mostly educational stuff but I also did the voiceover for a promotional DVD. Right now most of the jobs I am able to respond to are the ones put out by educational publishers, but I also don’t want to be limited in the future. I aspire to do more voiceovers for documentaries and programming like that, as well as try new things if the opportunity comes up (not just things related to English education). Some of my current content is sold as online learning materials, and some is, I believe, published in hard copy audiobook form. Some is exclusively used by schools for their tests. What does the law say about this kind of content, for starters?

I really like the idea of working with an agent who can take care of legalities and formalities for me so I don’t end up on the wrong side of the paperwork. Do you know how to go about getting one?

Thanks for the input!

Sounds like you are on the right track, at least you’re starting up and creating what’s called a portfolio, which is somewhat a history of works done by yourself which you can show off to potential/employer clients.
I don’t know much about TW copyright laws, what I said is based on my experience recording and registering content in the west, it is only fair that for the ones that are sold, you get a share of it, IF you are indeed an owner of the content part and not just the voicing, in those matters voice is not as important as content.
There are talent agencies in TW, and they do recruit, maybe talking with someone in that biz can help you out more than what I can.