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.