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Copyright in the Music Industry

Posted by convergingsounds on June 1st, 2020

As an aspiring musician it is essential to understand the copyright laws trademarks and other key aspects of the same so as to be aware of other people mooching off or taking credit for your work.

While trademark protects a name or a brand such as a band or artist name in the instance that it stays unique to you and prevents other people from using that same name while copyright looks into more specific aspects such as the very song itself. As a song writer you retain exclusive rights to you retain exclusive rights to your work regardless it’s published or not.  These means as soon as you write a song (or create anything else), it is automatically copyrighted to you. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generates by default exclusivity as follows: Reproduce the work, prepare derivative works based upon the work, distribute copies of the work to the public, perform the work publicly and display the copyrighted work publicly ("Music Industry Copyright and Trademark", 2014). Mixing and Mastering Services

There exists different kind of copyrights is sound composition and sound recording. In a recording scenario the recorded sound is often considered as a master and while registering a song the musician must remember to copyright separately as just the recording will not give the rights immediately. By industry tradition, the copyright in the composition is managed by music publishing companies while the sound recordings are managed by the record labels. Publishers or record-labels usually own 50%of the composition as a tribute for their services and they as an entity do hold the rights to licencing the piece of works for film, videos and other creative media fields. In most cases the publisher usually handles the publishing and copyright works.

The creator owns the copyright to his work for up to 70 years and if t was released through a publisher it’s up to 95 years. If in a scenario where the authors of the work were to pass away the rights remain up to 70 years after his demise. In most situations, the author of a song will be the individual composer or team of composer and lyricist. But situations occur where the members of the band have arranged to work as employees for the band as a corporation or limited liability company. In this case, band members would be creating the work as a work-for-hire, and the corporation/LLC would be the author. There are a few other situations where the composer will be asked to sign a work-for-hire agreement, but in all but rare cases, musicians should resist these arrangements (Ravgiala, n.d.). Beats for Sale

As a start-up artist looking to purchase or but beats online, he must be aware of the different licences and leases available at his disposal. We at Converging Sounds make this process both simple and affordable at the same time. We ensure the artist have access to a variety of licences so they can expand their contracts as they grow.
Fair use always comes down to the individual and specific circumstances for each use. It’s often more likely that if your making music for a company or corporation that they will probably trademark and copyright the work but as an independent artist one must be on the constant look out for people knocking off their work (Butler, 2018).


Also See: Work Publicly, Retain Exclusive, Record Labels, Music Industry, Work, Copyright, Song

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