Music Copywriting - Greg & Steffen Music Biz Talks

Copyrighting vs. Publishing | How to fully monetize your music

When is a copyright created? The copyright of a song is created whenever the work has been completed in the creator’s mind. 

After the work has been completed, you then have the option to register the copyright with the library of congress.

Why should you register your copyright? This is how you formally claim the rights that are due to you by creating original work. 

Also, for the most part, you cannot seek remuneration or past royalties on infringement of your copyright without it being registered.

This topic tends to confuse many of our students and it’s integral to becoming a professional artist or producer. In the following video, we sit down with music business instructor and mentor Steffen Franz to break it down in simple terms.

A few key points to take from the video:

  • There are five basic rights and protections that come with your copyright
  • There are two types of copyright, performance art (PA), or sound recording (SR).
  • PA applies to the ownership in the song but not the actual recording. It is the title to the car, it’s the legal document that gives the writer ownership.
  • PR is the recorded copyright, so the album version. This protects the label so they’re sure to earn back their investment if they paid to produce the recording.
  • Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) like ASCAP or BMI collect your royalties for you and distribute them to you.

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