On January 1, 1978, copyright laws came into effect. Since then, creatives have been able to protect their work from being stolen by others. This was a huge win for the creative and music industries. However, people need to be aware of the copyright guidelines to avoid problems with the law. Here is what singers should know about copyright laws. Protect your music and the rights of other music artists.
Laws for others’ music
When artists create something, their music is automatically protected under copyright laws. It does not even need to be published to count. However, to legally protect your music, you need to register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. This gives creators the right to sue and claim damages if someone were to use their music as their own. These copyright laws also give artists the right to:
- Perform their work
- Arrange or change their work
- Reproduce their work
- Distribute and sell their work
- Use their work along with other visuals
- Prevent or allow anyone else to do any of the above
Laws for YouTube
One of the most popular platforms for singers and musicians is YouTube. Over the years, many people have posted cover videos of their favorite songs. Many artists have even been discovered through YouTube. Read the article here to read about just a few. However, it is important to use YouTube legally. What many people do not realize is that you cannot upload a cover of whatever song you did not write. You need permission to do so. For singers who plan to make money from their covers, they need a mechanical license. In the U.S., artists can contact Harry Fox Agency to obtain one. After that, artists will be required to pay a rate for anything they sell.
Even if you do not plan to make any money with your cover songs, you will still need to obtain the appropriate licensing. A synch license is required for anyone who publishes covers on YouTube, whether for money or just for fun. Performers can either contact the copyright owner directly or through YouTube. Ads may be added to your video or YouTube will take it down. You will be notified by YouTube what will happen to your video. However, if too many of your videos are taken down, your account will be removed from the platform and all videos deleted. That is why it is so important to follow copyright laws, even if you see everyone else posting covers without permission.
Learning what singers should know about copyright laws will save you trouble and possibly even legal issues. Not only that, but it will help you know how you can protect your music. Most importantly, be respectful of the work of others.