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Music is created every day in all forms, whether it’s a radio jingle, a new number-one hit or a film soundtrack. Creators of any form of music are legally protected by music copyright. This protection ensures composers, recording artists, producers and other creatives are sufficiently recognised and recompensed for their work. The song’s music and lyrics are protected by copyright as soon as you record them in some way even if it’s just a rough recording on your cell phone.
Copyright law explains how to copyright songs. You can copyright music, lyrics, or both. You may copyright a new song or a new version or arrangement of an existing song. The song must be an original work and must show some minimal amount of creativity.
Music copyright includes the right to the song and the right to the recording, known as the master copyright. The master is the final version of a recording. All CDs, vinyl records or digital versions of this master are copies made with a license to copy the master. A music copyright is actually a bundle of separate exclusive rights. When you copyright songs, you have the right to, make and distribute copies, make and distribute the sound recording of the song, grant a license for the song and earn a royalty fee, prepare derivative works, including new arrangements, perform the song and authorize others to perform it, display the song.
There are principally 2 types of copyright to consider when we talk about music copyright.
· The traditional ©, ‘C in a circle’ copyright, applies to the composition, musical score, lyrics, as well as any artwork or cover designs, as all of these are individually subject to copyright in their own rights.
· The second type of copyright applies to the sound recording itself, and is signified by the ‘P in a circle’.