Manage Yourself

April 14, 2010

This blog is specifically for people like you and myself. It’s an information blog on how to manage your own music career. If you’re a musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, or producer, but don’t know the first thing about copyrights, publishing, merchandising, or recording agreements then this is the blog for you. Even if you have a manager, it’s always best to know the business that you’re in , or trying to get into. Entertainment lawyers are very expensive and can cost you thousands of dollars, while managers can take up to 20% of everything you earn, and sometimes more. So if you’re serious about a career in the music business, I strongly suggest you learn as much as you possibly can about the business of music.  In the music business the things you don’t know, or the things you can’t do is how someone else make money off of you. Now I’m not claiming to be an entertainment lawyer or that I know all there is to know about copyrights, or the music business. What I’m attempting to do is educate you on the things that I do know. So let’s start with copyrights.

What are copyrights?

Copyrights are a bundle of laws that were passed by congress to protect the intellectual property of writers, songwriters, publishers, architects, and etc.

Intellectual Property Law

Is a law that transforms ideas into tangible property, and because these creations are products of the mind, they are known as intellectual property. Such as music, architecture, books, plays, computer software, dances, movies, photographs, painting etc. Under the copyright law all of these are copyrightable works.

Copyrightable Works

Is an original work fixed in any tangible medium of expression. Such as paper, digital audio tape, cds etc. Copyright protection starts the moment an original work is fixed in any perceivable form. Any person, or entity that creates an original copyrightable work, is known as the author of that work. The author of a work is generally the owner of the copyright.

Work Registration

Since this blog is on how to manage your music career. Let’s get into song registration. Song registration is very important if you write, produced, or record records. If you have a song that hasn’t been registered with the Library of Congress then your song is not legally protected. Even though registration is not required for protection, however registration provide legal rights under the Copyright Act to the author in the event of an infringement. An infringement lawsuit cannot be filed without proper registration. Once a song has been properly registered protection last for the life of the author plus 70 years after the death of the author.

Well that’s it for this post. Be sure to check out my next post, where I explain about performance rights organizations, and the proper copyright forms you will need, and how to fill them out.

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April 13, 2010

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