Copyright - Art and the Business of Recording

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Umaar Mirza

Art and Business of Recording

Assignment #2


Chapter 9 & 10: Copyright

        There are some things that can make or break a person.  A person’s talent, his brainpower, the way he conducts business, how he presents himself to a person.  But one thing that can be overlooked is the copyright.  Copyright can cement someone’s work as his own or can have someone else own the rights to the product entirely.  This has been a concept that has been around for a while.  Even during the Civil War with the Cotton Gin, everyone knew that Elie Whitney was the man who invented it, but he didn’t seem to get all the money off of it, why is that? Because somebody else snatched the patent for it before him.   For me I feel that copyright is something that should be negotiated before a song is recorded.  If you write a song, or had any part in the composition then you should put your name down with a © next to it just so there isn’t any sort of argument at that point.  But then when you start to record there are the producers being brought in, the sound engineers, mixers, etc.  They all have their finger prints on the recording, and needless to say some people do more work then others. So then you have to figure out who has done what, because more work on the project means more money in the mail from royalties.  So I don’t understand why there isn’t a written contract done before a piece of work.  This is how I would do business, I would have a well laid out contract, it would be tough to make everyone happy, but once they sign they can’t do anything right? It’s a contract, a binding agreement about the contract, what could go wrong?  Well if you’re unlucky enough, everything.  

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The owner of the copyright of a song has five basic rights:

  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords.
  • To prepare, derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental lease or lending.
  • In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicicly.
  • In the case of literary musical dramatic and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual ...

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