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Copyright for Musicians

Copyright for Musicians



Copyright for Musicians 101: What do you need to know?

Copyright for Musicians 101: What do you need to know?



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Copyright for Musicians Copyright for Musicians Presentation Transcript

  • ©
    Copyright for Artists: A Crash Course
    Presenter: Katherine Stimson

    This presentation is for general educational purposes.
    Consult a copyright attorney for your individual copyright needs.
  • Copyright: What is It?
    Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the
    U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original
    works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium
    of expression.Copyright covers both published
    and unpublished works.
    -Source: Copyright.gov website
  • What can be copywritten?
    Visual arts
    Performing arts
    Motion Pictures
    Musical compositions
    Sound Recordings
    Literary works
    Computer software Websites
    Architecture Boat Hulls?
  • Do I have a copyright, a trademark, or a patent?
    Copyright= original work, in a fixed medium. The work itself is protected, not an idea or discovery.
    Patent= protection for discovery, idea, or invention
    Trademark= word, symbol, or phrase that identifies where a goods or services come from (a “brand”)
  • How do I get a copyright?
    Copyright protection exists at the time of creation. As soon as you write down a poem, take a photo, or record a song- you have a copyright.
    Its no longer required to use the © symbol in the U.S., but you may wish to. This lets others know your work is copywritten.
    © 2010 Katherine Stimson
    Sound recordings may use ℗ symbol.
  • What are my rights as a copyright owner?
    To reproduce the work in copies or sound recordings.
    Create derivative works.
    Distribute copies or sound recordings to the public (sale, rent, or lease)
    Perform the work publicly.
    Display the work publicly.
    Sound recordings only- to perform the work by digital audio transmission.
  • Copyright Facts & Fiction
    How long is copyright protection valid for?
    • Life of the author plus 70 years is the current length of protection.
    • If a work for hire, anonymous, or pseudonymous, 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
    • Works created before January 1, 1978 are subject to different copyright protection lengths. Consult copyright.gov.
  • Copyright Facts & Fiction
    “Do I have to submit a copyright application to Copyright.gov?”
    No, this is not required to have copyright protection. But in the event of a lawsuit, there many be benefits to a registration, such as collecting statutory damages and attorneys fees.
    “I can just mail the CD to myself, right?”
    The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.
    - Copyright.gov
  • Copyright: Most Common Mistakes
    Collaborations: Determine, in writing, who owns what elements and/or what percentage of the work. If not, ownership is assumed to be divided by the number of collaborators. For example, 2 authors= 50% ownership each.
    • Common problem in music with many artists on a track.
    Work for hire: Who owns it? See page 2 of handout.
    • Get this in writing before the commission or job starts.
    Copyright release form: What are your clients/actors/extras/producers/studio musicians signing? Have a standard one ready to use.
  • Copyright: Most Common Mistakes
    “I found this photo on a blog/website, I can use it, right?”
    • Copyright applies the same to online works.
    “I want to write a sequel to the last “Star Wars” movie.”
    • Copyright owners have derivative rights and this may infringe on that right. (Don’t try this with George Lucas.)
    “This music/book is so old, no one has a copyright on
    this anymore.”
    • Works before 1923 are generally public domain.
    • Works after 1923 may or may not be public domain.
  • Copyright: Most Common Mistakes
    • “I didn’t make money from photocopying 100 parts of this sheet
    You don’t have make money to commit copyright infringement.
    • “There’s no copyright symbol on this book, so its not covered by
    A copyright notice is no longer a requirement in the U.S., so the work may or may not be copywritten.
  • Using someone else’s work
    Ask permission first. A copyright infringement lawsuit is expensive.
    Fair Use or Parody: These apply in limited cases, usually using a small portion for academic or criticism purposes.
    Fair Use and Parody are tricky areas of copyright law. When considering these instead of asking permission, consult a copyright attorney.
  • Copyright: Other Considerations
    Copyrights at marriage, having children, divorce, and death: Consult a copyright and/or estate lawyer to get a plan in place.
    Keep track of your copyrights- use an Excel spreadsheet.
    International copyright laws: Other countries may or may not recognize U.S. copyright laws. Visual artists may have more protection in other countries.
  • How can I make money?
    Assign or transfer your copyrights (“sell”) to a record company, publisher, etc. who will promote and make money for you.
    • You may receive a continuing royalty and/or a one-time payment.
    • Assignments need to be in writing.
  • How Can I Make Money?
    Licensing: You retain ownership but receive income from use: Find your niche market- what does no one else do?
    Stock footage libraries
    Newspapers and magazines
    Video for film, tv, web uses
    Music for film, tv, web uses
    Target art departments or music supervisors who can use your work.
    Musical compositions: Mechanical licenses allow you to earn income when others record your work.
  • Register your copyright online
    $35 to file a copyright application online.
    Follow directions to fill out forms.
    Receive registration certificate in about 6 months.
    Upload samples of your work to online system, or print off receipt and mail in.
    You can also use Form CO or paper forms.
    These cost $45-$65 to file and take 9 months-2 years to receive registration certificate.
  • Resources
    Copyright Law by Richard Stim.
  • Questions?
    Katherine Stimson
    (305) 401-7483 (cell)
    ©2010 Katherine Stimson