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    What is a 'Copyright'?


    What is a Copyright?

    • A copyright is the exclusive legal right that grants ownership over an original work.
    • A copyright gives the creator the exclusive right to:
      • Reproduce the work
      • Distribute copies
      • Publicly perform
      • Publicly display
      • Prepare any derivative work(s)


    What are the different types of rights you receive?

    • Reproduction: The right to make copies of the work, like in a record, cassette, CD, sheet music, etc.


    • Distribution of copies: The right to distribute and sell copies of the work.


    • Public Performance: The right to have the work performed publicly, like in a nightclub, live venue, on the radio, television, elevators, stores, etc.


    • Public display: The right to display the lyrics and/or musical notation to a song. For example music on a karaoke machine.


    • Making derivative works: The right to create a music work based on another (i.e., a remix to a previous song or a parody).


    When and how do I obtain a copyright?

    • Is automatic when you create but still important to register with US Copyright Office.


    Why are copyrights important to you?

    • As a songwriter: protects you from having your musical ideas taken/used without your permission.
    • As someone wanting to use music in projects: you must obtain a copyright first, otherwise you may be issued a copyright infringement notice or have legal action taken against you.
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