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Business & Law Aspects of Music - For Music Artists &

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SIGN UP FOR MY COURSE "How to Make Money From Your Music | Music Marketing 101" with a special promo code for students using this link:
https://www.udemy.com/make-money-from-your-music/?couponCode=promo99
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My name is Sam Mollaei, Esq., a music lawyer specializing in music law.

I made this presentation because I'm interested in music just as much as you are reading this. As a house music producer and musician for over a decade, I combined my strong passion in music to help music artists with their career.

This presentation is about the Business and Law aspects of Music. We’ll cover:
✓ How to copyright your music
✓ What to do if you’re going to sample a song
✓ What Licenses are
✓ Who Music Publishers are, who Music Labels are
✓ How to brand yourself and how to sell your songs online
✓ We’ll also cover social media
✓ What a music lawyer does

For more information, visit our website: http://www.mollaeilaw.com

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I post good relevant content on all of my social media accounts related to music law that could help with your career.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mollaeilaw
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mollaeilaw
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammollaei

Thank you,

- Sam Mollaei, Esq. | Mollaei Law

Published in: Law
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Business & Law Aspects of Music - For Music Artists &

  1. 1. Business & Law Aspects of Music By Sam Mollaei, Esq. Music Lawyer Copyright © 2015 Mollaei Law
  2. 2. Stand Out From the Rest • Everyone is trying to be a DJ or a music producer. • But that shouldn’t discourage you from achieving your dreams. • This year should be the year to commit yourself to the goal of taking your music career further.
  3. 3. Who Owns a Song? • Copyright - officially identifies who actually owns the song. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive rights to: 1. Make copies of the work 2. Make derivatives or revisions 3. Distribute or publish the work 4. Perform the work in public, or 5. Display the work in public. • Songs are automatically considered copyrighted as long as they are original and in a tangible form. • Original – song can’t be identical or substantially similar to other songs • Tangible form – written on paper or recorded on a computer
  4. 4. Why You Should Register Your Song • Just because the song is technically copyrighted as soon as you record it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t register your song, especially if the song is important for you. • Registering your song will protect you in the event that someone steals your song and claims it as their own. You must register your song before you sue for infringement.
  5. 5. How to Register Your Song • The U.S. Copyright Office allows you to register your song online: www.copyright.gov • Registering a song involves 3 steps: 1. Completing an application 2. Making the $35 application fee 3. Uploading your work
  6. 6. Performance Rights • When you hear your favorite song on the radio or even a song playing in the background at a restaurant, the writer of that song gets paid for that performance. • Performance Rights Organizations work on behalf of the artists to get them paid. If you want to get paid for your songs being played, you need to register your songs with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO). • Justin will talk more in depth about this.
  7. 7. Collaborations • Split Letter or Split Sheet – standard form in which contributors to the song are listed along with the percentages each contributor is responsible for. For example, lyricist and producers would each be 50% contributors to a song.
  8. 8. Permission to Sample Others Artist’s Music • Sample Clearance - The process of getting permission from the owners of the sampled song. • Failure to get the proper permission could lead to serious consequences: lawsuits or the inability to distribute your music to the public.
  9. 9. When Sample Clearance is Required • In general, sample clearance is required only if you plan to make copies of your music and distribute the copies to the public. • Sample clearance is generally not required if: • You are just using the sampled music at home. • You are using the sample in live shows. • You plan to distribute copies to the public but meet one of the following criteria: • 1. An average listener would not notice the similarities between your end product and the sample, or • 2. Your use of the sample falls under the ”Fair Use” doctrine. • Fair use - your use is for a limited purpose, such as for educational use in a classroom or to comment upon, criticize, or parody the work being sampled.
  10. 10. How to Get Sample Clearance • If you plan to use samples in your music, you may need to get 2 clearances to avoid legal trouble: • One from the copyright owner of the Musical Composition (Music Publisher), and • One from the copyright owner of the Master Recording (Record Company)
  11. 11. Licenses • Mechanical License – right to record and distribute a a song that you don’t own or control (i.e.- cover a song) • Master Recording License – right to distribute original recording (i.e.- compilation CD) • Sync License – right to synchronize a recording of the song with a visual presentation. (i.e.- someone wanting to use your song in a video, TV show, movie, video game, etc.)
  12. 12. Music Publishers • Music Publishers make sure song writers get paid. Their role is to exploit songs (exploit in a good way). This is done when the songwriter assigns the copyright to the publisher. • Publisher want to maximize what each song is worth by placing it in TV/film, or any other usage. • Publishers have the means and contacts to exploit your songs. • Publishers have connections in the business that song writers don’t have. • Publishers have the business savvy to make deals that might be difficult for artists to make. • For their service, publishers usually get partial ownership of the song. • Soundcloud / Facebook Fans leverage? Is there really a need? Is it worth it?
  13. 13. Music Labels • Traditional role of Music Labels: • Fund your album • Secure radio play • Providing advances to support: • Touring • Creating merchandise • Shooting videos • Building website and other media presence
  14. 14. Build Your Own Brand • Build your fan base • “Follow to Download” trend - exchange of song downloads for email addresses • www.toneden.io • www.stereoload.com • www.unlockthis.net • Social Media / Website • Writing and recording music • BE ORIGINAL!
  15. 15. How to Sell Your Songs Online • TuneCore (tunecore.com) – sells your music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, etc. • Costs: $30 per album during and $10 per song during first year. However, you keep 100% of distribution sales revenue. • CD Baby (cdbaby.com) – sells your music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, etc. • Costs: $49 per album or $13 per song. They also take a 9% cut from every digital sale.
  16. 16. Digital Distribution Costs Digital Distribution Percentages Based on $.99 • Using iTunes, you’ll receive $.69 since iTunes takes 30% per download. • Using TuneCore, you’ll receive $.69 since you keep 100% of distribution sales revenue. • Using CD Baby, you’ll receive $.63 since they take a 9% cut from every digital sale.
  17. 17. Direct-to-Fan Platforms • Topspin (topspinmedia.com) • ReverbNation (reverbnation.com) • Bandcamp (bandcamp.com) • These websites let you set up a storefront on their website to sell your music in the form of digital downloads as well as other merchandise like T-shirts, stickers, etc. • They also offer Facebook and Twitter integration so you can promote your profile on social media. • They also help you build a fan email list. • Cost: 10% to 15% of sales or monthly plan or a combination.
  18. 18. Social Media • Facebook • Share announcement, photos, and videos. Videos have the most leverage right now. • The trick isn’t to get as many people as possible to like your Facebook page; Engagement is key so your fans may be compelled to share and recommend to their friends, potentially turning their friends into your fans as well. • Twitter • Announcements of new releases, gigs, etc. • Use of hashtags • Don’t overdo it; don’t be annoying. • Instagram • Huge impact on mobile influence. Don’t forget to utilize videos on Instagram. • YouTube • Monetizing your videos w/ advertisements (Google AdSense) • Annotations on video that links to your website for fans to purchase your music • Sign up with YouTube’s Content ID System – tells YouTube you own your song. Alerts you if someone else uploads your song. • Lyric videos, videos of you producing your music, cover songs, create “how to” videos, etc.
  19. 19. Pitching Your Songs for TV Show Placements • Any show that uses music has a music supervisor whose role is to find and license music for the show. • Good news for you! Many music supervisors are eager to find and debut new songs on their shows. • www.MusicRegistery.com  Film & Television Music Guide (a complete guide of registered music supervisors)
  20. 20. Who Has Time For All of This? • Anything outside of actually making music, that is the • Distribution, • Publishing • Sales • Marketing • Touring • Video making, • Promotion • is INCREDIBLY time consuming. • However, it’s all stuff you should be doing if you want to advance your career in the music business. • If you’re a solo act, all of the responsibilities pretty much land on your shoulders. But whether you’re in a band or a solo act, you need help.
  21. 21. Why Work with a Music Lawyer? • A Music lawyer is involved in all areas of an artist’s career, including everything on this PowerPoint presentation. • Before signing ANY contracts or agreements, you should have a lawyer review the contract. • A music lawyer can help artists find new music deals. A music lawyer is very involved in organizing deals and shaping an artist’s business life. • A music lawyer helps make the introduction to other powerful influencers in the music industry including agents, business managers, record labels, other DJ's, personal managers, and promoters.
  22. 22. Why Work with a Music Lawyer? • A music lawyer can provide services drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and providing guidance on the following contracts and agreements: • Split Sheets • Records & Publishing Contracts • Live Performance Agreements • Sponsorship & Merchandising Agreements • Distribution Contracts • Marketing Contracts • Most importantly, a music lawyer helps artists achieve their full potential while minimizing legal distractions.
  23. 23. Today We Covered • How To Stand Out From The Rest • Who Owns A Song (Copyright) • Why You Should Register Your Song • How To Register Your Song • What You Need Before You Start A Collaboration • What A Sample Clearance Is • When Sample Clearance Is Required • How To Get A Sample Clearance • What Licenses Are (Mechanical, Master Recording, Sync License) • Who Music Publishers Are • Who Music Labels Are • How To Build Your Own Brand • How To Sell Your Songs Online • Digital Distribution Costs • Social Media • How To Pitch Your Songs For TV Show Placements • Why You Should Work With A Music Lawyer
  24. 24. How to Contact Me Sam Mollaei, Esq. Mollaei Law Specializing in Entertainment & Business Law www.MollaeiLaw.com Sam@MollaeiLaw.com (818) 925-0002 @MollaeiLaw on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn If you're serious about your music career, I want to keep in touch with you.

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