W2TW: Copyright part 1

As you may know, most of you don’t (it’s okay), I am majoring in Music Industry studies (future barista extraordinaire!) I have had the opportunity for the past two years to learn about music business practices, new and old, all the way to marketing and music law.

I thought it would be best to share some industry knowledge, combined with some inspirational and affective words of wisdom.

Today I start with it all, Copyright (this hurts less than catheters and more than puppies).

If you create music, write, dance/choreograph, and/or create art, then you are essentially an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are special because their businesses are built on innovation, creativity, and most important, passion.

Copyright-a limited duration monopoly. In other words it only lasts a certain amount of time.

These times include:

Single creator: Life of the creator plus 70 years (that’s why $team Boat Willy still makes money)

Joint Authors: Life of last surviving author plus 70 years (writing a song with your baby doesn’t count…I’m talking to you Lil’ Bowow!)

Works for Hire (employed to create) by Anonymous Creators: 95 years from first publication or 125 years by creation

That’s what I mean by limited duration. You can take that to the books.

For something to be COPYRIGHTABLE, it must fall under one of these categories.

  • Literary Works
  • Musical Works, including any accompanying words
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works

I will continue this education in the next Word to the Wise piece.

REMEMBER Copyright was established to protect your creations. This world would be less beautiful if it’s creators lost their spark due to people taking their music, claiming it as their own, and using it wrongfully (we will talk about downloading and free music soon…trust me, they can co-exist)

If you are interested in starting a business in your musical creations (email me! contact), I recommend you read this bad boy. It’s indepth, it’s historical, it’s accurate. The only downside is that the book covers major labels, which are currently falling. As an innovator, you will be able to learn from past practices and be able to create a more ethical industry, thus a fulfilling living.

All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Seventh Edition


Check out the Q&A‘s to see how your fellow musicians are playing the field. Maybe you will gain some insight. That’s what it is all about!

State of Love and Trust

-Cameron C.

One Response to “W2TW: Copyright part 1”
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  1. […] rights more in depth in my next copyright piece. If you haven’t already, please read my first Copyright Piece, it introduces important concepts dealing with intellectual property and music business. State of […]

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