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Although the general rule is that the original composer or lyricist is the copyright owner, there are some exceptions.
If you are working for a company and you are part of the company’s staff, the employer will usually own the copyright in works you create in part of your employment duties.
E.g. Microsoft and bill gates- He owns copyright though doesn’t actually write the programming.
If you are a freelance worker (payed to do specific job, but not employed as a member of staff), the person who pays the freelance worker does not automatically own copyright, but may be entitled to ownership, and is usually entitled to use the work for the purpose of the commission.
Governments generally own copyright in works made for them, or first pub. My music lessons created for TAFE purposes are technically owned by TAFE.
70 years after the death of the original creator, music enters the ‘Public Domain’ and is free for people to use without seeking permission.
For educational purposes: Students are allowed to photocopy books, burn/copy songs etc for the purposes of study and education.
Recordings of a cover song. You can re record songs without seeking permission, providing a royalty is paid to the original creator. The original creator may try to prevent the re recording of their song if the new version devalues the original in anyway.
If you want to record a cover version you should apply to the Australasian mechanical copyright owners’ society (AMCOS – you can find them through APRA), who will administers certain rights on behalf of music publishers and royalty payment.
Band names – Registered trade marks
Band names are not protected by copyright, although other laws protect these names. A name may be registered as a trade mark, and may need to be registered as a business. Consider the ownership and control problems if you could copyright names.
There are also laws which may apply when a person establishes a reputation in connection with a name.
If another business trades with a name which can be identified with an already created product, it may be argued that the new business is profiting of the success of the previously created business.
Copying MP3's, CD's vinyls
Since 11th Dec 2006, and amendment to the copyright act now makes it legal to copy music for personal usage. Previously, by law, it was illegal to make copies of your personal CD’s and cassettes etc.
For example you can now copy music from you CD;
to you computer
blank CD for car
Blank CD as backup
blank CD for second CD player
to portable mp3 player
When copying you can only copy the CD when you;
own the CD yourself
it is a non infringing copy (burnt)
you make the copy yourself and
you make it to play on your own device
Copying MP3's, CD's vinyls
If you do copy any of your CD’s you may NOT lend them to anyone, except to members of your family, or to people living under the same roof.
You can copy downloaded MP3's so long as your download is not illegal (P-2-P file sharing etc), and if you have paid for it or it is a legal copy. Though if there are terms and conditions to the file that you download, those terms and conditions ride over the new amendments created.
If you wish to sell or make mixes or re-mix other peoples material, you have to get clearance from the copyright owners or publishers of the material.
If you want to play music live in public you have to be covered by an APRA licence (playing live) and a PPCA licence (playing recorded music). This may be relevant if you’re hired to play at functions and parties as a DJ, though in many cases if playing in venues they will have both.
Copyright and DJ's
The types of copyright DJ's have to be aware of and recognise are;