Let’s Start Before Recordings• Since 1000 AD, composers of music havecreated their compositions by writing downnotes in the form of music notation.
To HEAR the music, you neededmusicians to play the notessince there was no such thingas a sound recordinguntil hundreds of years later..
First Copyright Laws in England• Copyright laws were first introduced in 1710 in England.Lawmakers were urged pass laws to encourage"learned men to compose and write useful books“ bygranting them exclusive rights to sell and copy theiroriginal books,but Musical works (compositions) werenot listed as a protectable creation.
Copyright Comes to the United States• The newly formed United States followed suit by including a“copyright clause” in the US Constitution authorizing the passage oflaws to protect copyrights and patents. In 1790, the US legislaturepassed the first Copyright Act.• But again, musical compositions were not listed as copyrightprotected works.
First US Copyright Protection ofMusical Compositions• It was not until 1831 that the US CopyrightAct was amended to include musicalcompositions or “ musical works”.
The First Musical Sound Recording• Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 which,for the first time, enabled users to hear a pre-recordedsong on a wax cylinder.
Copyright Protection Lags ForSound Recordings– It took until almost 100 years after thecreation of the phonograph– for sound recordings to finally be givenprotection under the US Copyright Act.
Now Two Copyrightable Works• Since 1976, with the addition of soundrecordings to the creative worksprotectable under the US copyright act,each musical recording contains twodistinct and separate copyrightable works
Who Owns these Copyrights?For Compositions, the authors are thesongwriters
Enter Music Publishing Companies• Ownership of successful compositionsusually ends up being transferred bysongwriters to major music publishers forworld wide administration in exchange forroyalties:
For Sound Recordings, the authors are theproducer, musicians and vocalistswho made the recording
• When Artists Sign Recording Contractshowever, the language in the recordingcontract transfers their copyrights to themasters to the record company forcommercial exploitation in exchange forroyalties
How Long Does the CopyrightProtection Last?• The author’s life plus 70 years – whichgives the author’s heirs the benefit ofearnings made from successful worksafter death
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