A Funny Week
This week has been a funny one in terms of
advising young inexperienced musicians. They
come up with theories and believe in urbain
legends about the music industry, which for
sure will not help them as a professional
"How many stories of great artists do we
hear of that get stuck into poor contracts
that benefit others before themselves.
Colonel Parker and Elvis: Noted without him
he may not of been the success he was, but
who should get the rewards?"
Was the King of Rock & Roll, the most famous
person on this planet, living in his mansion
hidden away on his immense estate given a
A sneaky trick that record companies do:
Advances from record companies need to be
Of course they do, they are advances. If you
go to your boss and ask for a sub, don't you
have to pay it back when you get your wages
at the end of the week? Or is that another
It's not necessary to register your
copyright with the government to sue for
wrongful use of your music. Artists can mail
themselves a copy of their songs and never
open the envelopes. The postal date on the
envelope is an official marking of the
government, so this technique would be
If you want to sue somebody for wrongful use
of your music you don't need to have your
music copyrighted. However to receive
damages you do.
Sending yourself a REGISTERED letter may be
proof of the fact that the work existed at
that time, however, there is nothing to say
that the work wasn't created well before the
date on the envelope, nor that it wasn't
created by somebody else.
Shouldn't we be thinking about how to
register unprotected work so that we may
continue in front without fear of future
problems? Doesn't that make more sense?
In the United States, any work you create is
automatically protected by law from the
moment it is created.
If you publish your work (put it on fixed
media like a CD) you should add the
copyright logo and the name of the author.
Although it is not obligitory, you don't
need to register your work at the U.S.
Copyright office, but, you cannot receive
damages for wrongful use of your music if it
is not registered.
It's for exactly examples like these that I
think it important the artist should find
out about the music industry and how it
works, and how to market their music at the
beginning of their career. After all to work
in any professional area, you need to know
about how the system works. Right?
Steve Allen is consultant and music
Author of "Marketing Your Music – Success
Strategies", "Personal Management in the
Music Industry" and "Street Teams – Expand
your Fan Base"
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