MusicDish e-Journal - April 1, 2015
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

5 Myths About Music Industry Law
The purpose of this blog post is to clarify several common misconceptions about music industry law
By Altarboy Music
(more articles from this author)
2012-01-17
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

This is a guest post written by Juan Lopez, a legal consultant at Altarboy Music. The purpose of this blog post is to clarify several common misconceptions about music industry law that are often discussed amongst musicians on the internet.

MYTH 1. Songs must be registered for the copyright to be protected
Copyright is an automatic right of the author, meaning that as soon as you make a tangible copy of a work (i.e a recording of your song or a transcript of some lyrics), then you own the copyright. Although the common practice of posting a copy of your material to yourself has nothing to do with securing copyright, it does however establish the date of when you created the work. This is very important, because should anyone later decide to use your material without permission, then you are protected, as this process is regarded as proof of when the work was written and by whom.

In the US, registering the Copyright grants you certain legal advantages (which you would be missing out on if you don't register), including the following:
1. Being able to collect compulsory license royalties
2. Being able to file infringement action for damages and injunctions; you are also able to recover attorney fees (if you win).
3. In the event of an infringement dispute in court the burden of proof is put on the party allegedly infringing your copyright.

MYTH 2. If I write the lyrics in a song I can later on take those lyrics and use them again
This is actually true in the UK, but only when the portion of the work written is sufficiently distinct and identifiable from the other parts of the co-written work with someone else.

In the event that a co-written portion of the work is not distinct from that of the other(s) all of the owners would have to agree to a request if someone wants to copy or use the work or a portion of the work of joint ownership, including the very same authors.

In the US this is not true. According to US copyright law even if two people create separate, distinct parts of a work, they each own and interest in the whole copyright, not just their contribution. For example: if two collaborators get together and one writes the lyrics and the other writes the music, either author can grant non-exclusive licenses for the entire composition (provided they pay each other their share of income) BUT neither is allowed to just pick their bit in the composition and leave the other without continuing to pay their percentage of the song.

MYTH 3. You don't need to clear a sample if it's very short
As ruled in Bridgeport Music v Dimension Films (2004) "any sampling of a master, even if it's unrecognizable is an infringement of copyright". The sample in question in this case was a two-second guitar chord with the pitch lowered and looped five times. This was all done without the owner's permission or compensation paid. The court ruled the owner of the copyright on a work had exclusive right to duplicate the work and therefore usage of any section of a work, regardless of length, would be in violation of copyright.

MYTH 4. A group's name belongs to whoever started using it first
This is only true for unregistered marks for which considerable goodwill and reputation in the market has been built in respect of the brand itself.

If someone is using your unregistered brand name you will have to show that they are trading on your reputation by passing off as you, thus causing confusion in the mind of the public 'and' diverting custom. This last part is very important because if there is no loss of income attributable to the unauthorized use the claim is likely to collapse.

Registering a trademark has, on the other hand, clear advantages as it allows you to stop any and all uses considerably quicker and cost-effectively.

MYTH 5. Being offered a five album deal by a record company means the company is committing to record and promote your next five albums
Recording agreement terms are traditionally structured in options periods. A five album deal may in reality be a five options deal (in favor of the label) in which the label gets to decide at their sole discretion whether or not to extend the Term after the end of each period for a further (option) period.

If the label does not extend the Term for a further option period then the agreement can be terminated and then you, the Artist, can be 'dropped'.

In general, recording agreements impose the smallest obligation on the label in terms of releasing albums, while keeping the option to get as much content as possible.


Home » Career Tips » 5 Myths About Music Industry Law
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=13104
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Career Tips

» Vintage King Launches "Make Your Mark" Video Series

» How To Manage Your Talent: FIVE Realistic Tips for Success

» Why Branding Is More Important Than Ever

» Arctic Monkeys "Do I Wanna Know" - Deconstructed

» SaskMusic Seeks Executive Director

Career Tips Directory



» [2015-03-31] Inside All That Matters: John Cappo, CEO, AEG China; John Cappo Will Discuss The Structures Of Modern Brand And Artist Partnerships In Live Entertainment

» [2015-03-31] Inside All That Matters: Shen LiHui, Founder, Modernsky Entertainment; Shen LiHui Will Be Sharing Insights About The Independent Music Scene In China

» [2015-03-31] Rock In Rio Teams With Fanstang To Stream Festival In Mainland China And Integrate Chinese Music Into Future Shows; First Rock In Rio Festival Stream Starts With US Festival Weekends May 8-9 And 15-16 [China Standard Time May 9-10 And 16-17]

» [2015-03-31] Inside All That Matters: Marc Vincent, President, Sennheiser Greater China; Marc Vincent Will Discuss Sound Architecture For Festivals And Venues, And Creating Branded Content From Live And Recorded Music

» [2015-03-31] Inside All That Matters: John Cappo, CEO, AEG China; Inside All That Matters: John Cappo, CEO, AEG China

» [2015-03-31] Inside All That Matters: Shen LiHui, Founder, Modernsky Entertainment; Inside All That Matters: Shen LiHui, Founder, Modernsky Entertainment

» [2015-03-31] Inside All That Matters: Marc Vincent, President, Sennheiser Greater China; Inside All That Matters: Marc Vincent, President, Sennheiser Greater China

» [2015-03-30] ReverbNation And SESAC To Nurture Emerging Artists; Strategic Relationship Provides A Path For ReverbNation Artists To Become Part Of The SESAC Community

» [2015-03-24] Veteran Chinese Rocker Wu Tong Presents "Song Of The Sheng"; Veteran Chinese Rocker Wu Tong Presents "Song Of The Sheng"

» [2015-03-24] Inner-Mongolian Indie Band Ajinai's World Tour Launches In Toronto; Small World Will Be Opening Their 13th Annual Asian Music Series With Chinese Indie Band Ajinai On April 2

» [2015-03-21] 26th Annual Golden Melody Awards & Festival; 31 "Stars Of Golden Melody" Presented At A Press Conference Held In Taipei, Announcing Proudly The Very First Round Of Performers And Programming

» [2015-03-21] Toyota 'Feeling The Street' Global Street Music Campaign; Toyota Motor Corporation Announced On March 18 The Launch Of "Feeling The Street," A Global Street Music Initiative
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Celebrating 10 Years Of Success And Community In The Midwest With Mindset Evolution

The Underground Presents PLANETROX China 2015

Dramatic New Solo Piano Album Represents Several "Firsts" For Award-Winning Artist Fiona Joy And Cookie Marenco’s Blue Coast Music Group

On Easter Sunday 2015, The Light Will Shine In The Darkness

Meresha - 1st Ever World Music Premier On The #1 Social Media Startup Tsu April 7

Legendary Stax Guitarist Steve Cropper And Rock Newcomer Matt Miller Make Beautiful Music Together

Taiwan's Bearbabes Answer "How To Love" With Upcoming Performances

Aleynu. New Video From LENKA LICHTENBERG Is Upon Us!



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2015 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships