1. What constitutes a song?

1. What constitutes a song?

A song is the combination of melody and words. Each is protected by copyright: the melody as a musical work and the lyrics as a literary work. One or the other could be used separately and still be protected.

2. Protecting your song

2. Protecting your song

Copyright law protects against copying so the song must be ‘original’ and in some ‘fixed’ form (that could be copied). Tina and Ben could fix the song by recording it on a mobile phone or any other means of doing so, e.g. by writing it on a piece of paper.

3. Sound Recording Rights

3. Sound Recording Rights

The copyright in a sound recording is different from the copyright in a song in a number of significant ways.

4. Publishing and Recording Deals

4. Publishing and Recording Deals

Traditionally there are two main types of contracts or ‘deals’ musicians are likely to seek in order to reach a wider audience: a music publishing deal and a record deal.

6. Public Performance, Royalties and Collecting Societies

6. Public Performance, Royalties and Collecting Societies

To reduce transaction costs for rights holders and rights users alike, collecting societies have been established in order to collectively negotiate and issue blanket licences to users, and to collect and distribute royalties to rights holders.

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