Copyright Definition
Property comprised of a set of privileges to the creators of artistic works
What 3 exclusive rights does a copyright give you?
o who does it first
o what unusual uses are ok
o give compulsory license (same lyrics/chords)
Pre-requisites to get copyright
o original to author
o fixed – made permanent in some way (on mp3, CD, vinyl)
How to obtain copyright
• Take fixed version and lead sheet to library of Congress, who file song (2 version)
What is the problem with sending multiple songs under one heading to library of congress
must be able to remember heading or lose reference to song
what does Public Domain mean
copyright has lapsed
public owns copyright
How long does it take a copyright to become public domain
70 years after life of author
3 ways to check a copyright
1. Pay a lawyer
2. Call performance society
3. search internet
What do you copyright
creative ideas
What do you trademark
What do you patent
Songwriter vs recording artists
Songwriter gets all rights
Co-writers Split
Assume 50-50 is no writing
No longer NEED to include but good idea to
Most important part of copyright
right to dictate who does the song first
Work for hire
must be writing
must be in scope of employment
3 people who can own a copyright
Compulsary license
accounting every 30 days
10 cent statutory rate
no price drops
Negotiated license
accounting quarterly
7.5 cent statutory rate
price drops
Copyright Infringment
Generates fear
statute of limitation for songs
3 years
penalty for copyright infringment
label pulls record
court order to pull song from record
intent to infringe – monetary damages
2 Step Threshold in Establishing Infringment
Reasonable Access – reasonable possibility heard line before writing song

Sustainable Similarity – not identical but more than a little alike

Fair Use Doctrine
allows religious and educational exceptions
distribution of physical product
how relevant/useful the infringement was
using short pieces of music in a long piece of music
What should you do if planning to use a sample
check with artist, label, and publishing company
bring a demo before cutting the record
Elements of Contract law regarding infringement
Warranty Clause
Indemnity Clause
Satisfactory Master Clause
Warranty Clause
Warrant that product will serve its purpose
Indemnity Clause
Makes one party step into shoes of other
Satisfactory Master Clause
Master is up to standard
How much time is considered major use when sampling
5 seconds