Music Copyright – The Bundle of Rights

Musicians have a tendency to create music – can’t blame them, it’s in their blood. If you are reading this, chances are you are one. But with all the music you create, did you ever stop and think about your rights to it?

In this video, James talks about music copyright, specifically, the bundle of rights. When you copyright a piece of music, it should be original and made into material form – basically, this means you’ve written the song down or recorded it.

Along with that copyright, you have your own bundle of rights that come with it.

These are:

– The right to do a derivative work

– The right to reproduce

– The right to distribute

– The right to perform or performance rights

What does these mean to you as an artist and how do you make sure your rights are being protected? Watch the video and let James explain.

Know your rights people.

Video Highlights:

0:24 – What is copyright
0:46 – The Bundle of Rights
1:17 – Derivative Rights
1:40 – Replication Rights
2:11 – Distribution Rights
2:26 – Performing Rights
3:28 – Recap

– Begin Transcript –

It’s James Taylor here from Music Business Institute, and in today’s video, I want to talk to you about copyright. Specifically, what we termed: The Bundle of Rights.

Now, just a quick recap, what is copyright first of all? Very simply, a copyright is created when you do something that is both original and in material form. So as an artist, if you write a song that’s original and you put it some kind of material form – you right it down, you record it – then that copyright is created from there.

But I want to talk about the bundle of rights. These are the rights when you create a copyright, the bundle of rights belong to you. And this is very, very important because as we get into different rights of usages, so whether someone want to use your music for print rights, or synchronization rights, or publishing rights, or whatever the types of rights. You can often just come back to this bundle of rights, which are yours when you create a work.

Derivative Rights

So the first of this bundle of rights is the right to do a derivative work. So if someone wants to do something based upon the work that you’ve created, they have to get your permission. It’s as simple as that.

So, on the flip side, if you wanted to do a derivative version of another songwriter’s work, you need to get permission from them or their publisher.

Replication Rights

The second right is this idea that you have permission to replicate, to copy. So if I want, as a record label, I want to use one of your songs, or one of the songs you’ve written, I have to get a license from you or your publisher. Or usually through what is called performing rights organizations, to use that work.

So that’s the second one. This is the idea of the right to replicate, or to reproduce.

Distribution Rights

And then the third right is the right to distribute. So, if I’ve got the right to be able to make copies of this thing, I still have to come back to you for the right to distribute the works as well.

Performing Rights

And then the fourth and final of this bundle of rights is this idea to perform the work publicly. So this is obviously called the performance rights, performing rights. So, this could be if someone wants to play one of your songs live, in public, technically they need to have the right, the authority, to do that.

Now, in reality, the way it works is these things called performing rights organizations, which act as giant clearing houses. Which helps the users of these rights and make it very simple for them to use these rights as well.

So if I’m a performing artist, and I want to perform one of your songs, I’m going around touring, and I want to get the right to record it in my new album, I don’t have to come to you as an individual, or your publisher, to get some of those specific authorities or specific licenses. Performing rights organizations, they allow me to go there, a one-stop shop, and I can get all of those rights.

So, when we talk about the bundle of rights, just to recap, we’re talking about these four things. First of all the right to do a derivative work, or derivative works. Secondly, we have the right ro reproduce. Thirdly, we have the right to distribute. And lastly, we have the right to perform it in public.

So, how does it feel? You’ve got all these rights, if your a creator, a music creator, a songwriter, congratulations. These rights are yours. As long as the work is original and in some kind of material form, then they’re yours. Congratulations.

Hope that’s been useful. My name is James Taylor from the Music Business Institute.

– End Transcript –

To learn more about the music industry and how to get a leg up, get the free Music Business video training series here.