7 – How long should music composer copyright be?

As long as possible.  If you own the rights, then you can sell it, license it, give it away or whatever.  A system whereby you have to reassert your rights regularly removes control from you.  If it is assumed that the creator of the product owns their own rights, then it is their choice as to what they do.  If it is enforced externally by legislation that an author or composers copyright has to be reconfirmed every few years or copyright is removed entirely, then the creator no longer has control.  There will be no incentive for those who derive an income from the licensing of the rights of their music.

See this discussion for an interesting idea that we disagree with and the ensuing discussion.

New Music Strategies – How long should music copyright be?


5 – How should I make audio available on my website?

Promoting your music through a website is all about striking a balance between supplying the needs of the customer/consumer/listener/fan and retaining your rights.

First of all, ask yourself some questions

1 – Do you hold the rights to the music?  If not, then you must seek permission to stream or otherwise make available the audio by contacting MCPS for a licence. 

2 – Is the music original?  Still, you must ascertain if you have the permission of the performers to disseminate the track.  If you paid them for the session and they signed a waiver, then you may well be okay.  If in doubt, seek permission first.  It’s all about communication.

So, you have permission of the rights holders to use the track – how to proceed?

If you make the track freely available, then be aware of what the possible consequences may be.  It is very hip to suggest that you give away everything, but this is only suggested by people who produce no music of their own.  You may wish to give away one complete track and stream the rest.  You could stream everything or make a compilation track available.

Which model you use is up to you, the important thing is to be aware of the different options and what each one means to you as a creative artist.

If you employ effective methods for user feedback, this will tell you whether or not your chosen model of offering audio dissemination is any good.

1 – How does copyright work?

There are 3 kinds of copyright in a piece of recorded music.

1 – The author/composer/songwriter copyright

2 – The recording copyright

3 – The performer copyright

1a – If you write a song, then the copyright lasts for 70 years after your death.  You can loan it to someone (assigning) via a publishing agreement or similar.

2a – If you own the recording copyright, it lasts for 50 years after the year of production.

3a – If you perform on a recording as either a featured or unfeatured performer, it lasts for 50 years after the of production.

Your music activity can earn you money called royalties when someone uses it.

1b – MCPS/PRS collect royalties for the first copyright when a piece of music is sold, covered, performed or otherwise used in public.

 2b – PPL – collect royalties for record companies when a recording is publicly used.

3b – PPL collect royalties for performers when a recording is publicly used.

MCPS/PRS – www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk

PPL – www.ppluk.com