#1
WHAT YOU CANNOT COPYRIGHT
Works not “fixed in a tangible medium,” Song Titles*, Company Names*, Common
Musical Phrases, Chord Progressions, Ideas, Concepts, Company Slogans*, etc.
*Don't think you can just automatically use someone else's title or slogan, however. These may be
protected under other laws, such as Trademark or Unfair Competition Laws (you can’t profit from
someone else’s fame).

WHAT YOU CAN COPYRIGHT
Original works of authorship that are “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” (either
recorded or written down), including: Music (with no words), Words & Music (Songs),
Lyrics, Sound Recordings. Once you "fix" it, you own the copyright for life + 70 years,
unless you sign it over to a company or person(s).

PUBLIC DOMAIN

When all copyright protection has expired, the work goes into Public Domain. Original
copyright law specified two conditions: (1) The copyright owner should be able to
exclusively profit from the work for a reasonable amount of time (then, 7 years!). After
that, (2) The work goes into Public Domain, to be owned, used and enjoyed by the
public at large. Over time, copyright duration has gotten longer and longer. Once a
work is in Public Domain, no one can ever own it again. This concept is being
challenged by the industry’s giants. They would like to be able to own copyrights
“Forever minus one day!”

COPYRIGHT DURATION
Since 1998: Life + 70 years* . . . 1976 to 1998: Life + 50 years
Pre 1976: 75 years from the date of creation. Since 1998: 95 years from creation date*
1909 - 1976: 56 years total (28 years + 28-year renewal)
Work-For-Hire: 100 years or 75 years from date of publication (sale to public)
Since 1998: 120 years or 95 years from date of publication
Ancient Durations: 28 years, 14 years, 7 years
*Affected by the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act of 1998.

THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER HAS THESE SIX EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS:

1. TO REPRODUCE THE WORK (COPIES, RECORDINGS)
2. TO PREPARE DERIVATIVE WORKS

EXAMPLES OF DERIVATIVE WORKS:
A. Adding original words to an old melody in Public Domain
B. Adding original music to poetry (or prose) in Public Domain
C. Adding new sections to a copyrighted song
D. Musical Arrangements
E. Changing the words of a copyrighted song (as in PARODY!)
F. Record Re-mixes

3. TO DISTRIBUTE COPIES OR PHONORECORDS
4. TO PERFORM THE WORK PUBLICLY
A. RECORDINGS (Exception: Mechanical License)
B. TO PERFORM LIVE OR VIA RADIO OR TV BROADCAST
5. TO DISPLAY THE WORK PUBLICLY (This applies to graphics, photos, depictions,)
6. TO PERFORM THE WORK PUBLICLY VIA DIGITAL AUDIO TRANSMISSION

These are the legal points upon which you can be sued for downloading songs.
Anyone Who Wants to record a copyrighted song must Get a Mechanical License
from the Copyright Owner.

"FAIR USE" — LIMITATIONS OF THE SIX EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS:

We can use copyrighted material for some purposes:
• Education, News, Reviews, Research . . . Parody
• REMEMBER: "Weird Al" always gets permission!
• CAREFUL! The Negativland case (band creates parody, gets sued, loses big!)
#2
i guess this is useful...kind of random though.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#3
Quote by mikeyElite
i guess this is useful...kind of random though.


I wasn't quite sure were to post this. As a matter of fact I have lots of stuff I would like to post concerning the business side of music. Could you give me a suggestion where on UG I could post it?
#4
i'm contemplating where this should go myself. i moved it in here because "original recordings" are something you'd want this info for. what other kind of stuff do you?
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#5
I'm an freelance Engineer/Studio Musician. Actually working on an article for running a studio. Really into the business side of music. Copyright, publishing, Distro...etc..
Last edited by JoeAudio at Dec 26, 2009,