Monday, October 13, 2008

So You Wanna Be A DJ: Part 14

What is music publishing?

Hi guys this is a subject people go to school for, it is that huge. I am still learning everyday what this means. It is vital you learn as much as you can in order to protect yourself. This is where the writer really makes his/her dough, money, pension, etc. One hit song can keep you snug for years literally. But if you don't copyright your music, register it to these companies, you're lost in an uncounted sea of possible dollars. Some people say that these companies have bad accounting, go and line and you will read horror stories for sure, however most people I know including myself earn quite well from them, in the end it's better to have someone collect for you than not. You could look at this this way, if you do not play the lottery you have no chance of winning do you?

My advice is always hold on to your publishing, set up a company (inc) so you and your assets are safe, register all domain names of your company and make them legal. It is costly!!! (I know) and tough. The best option for the starving artiste is to register to Bmi/Ascap in the U.SA
and MCPS/ PRS in the U.K.

This is a handy site I have taken some pieces from here so you don't have to go anywhere, relax, sit back and study the shit out of it. I hope this helps you some, it is a tiny amount of info, compared to what there is to learn, however, as this is a basic overview. as always, investigate further my budding fellow musicians.

What does a publisher do?

The business of music publishing is basically concerned with developing, protecting and valuing music.

The business is diverse and demands a variety of skills. These range from the ability to spot writing talent and original music that is likely to appeal to an audience, to ensuring that all uses of music are properly licensed and paid for. Music publishers play a vital role in the development of new music and in taking care of the business side, allowing composers and songwriters to concentrate on their creative work.

The role of a music publisher involves:

Finding new and talented songwriters and composers and encouraging and supporting them as they develop their skills, whether through helping with their living expenses, providing them with the facilities they need to produce music or offering advice and guidance in writing for particular markets;

Securing commissions for new works and helping to coordinate work flow;

Registering the works of songwriters and composers with all appropriate collecting societies and agencies, such as MCPS and PRS;

Producing performance materials (score and parts) and demonstration recordings;

Producing and licensing the production of printed music;

Preparing promotional materials, including sampler CDs, study scores, etc;

Promoting composers and songwriters to performers, broadcasters, record companies and others who use music on a commercial basis;

Licensing the use of music;

Monitoring and tracking the use of the music they own and ensuring that proper payment is made for all licensed uses;

Making royalty payments to songwriters and composers in respect of the usage of their music;

Taking appropriate action against anyone using music without the necessary licence;

The business of music publishing is dependent upon there being a strong copyright framework in place. The control of copyright enables a publisher to recover the investment made in songwriters and composers and to ensure that they are rewarded for their creative work. Without copyright there would be no financial incentive for music publishers to invest in composers and musical works. This would be to the detriment of composers who depend upon publishers to manage the business of exploiting musical works and administering royalty payments.

The relationship between a music publisher and a songwriter/composer is supported by a publishing contract setting out the rights and obligations of each to the other. Under these contracts songwriters and composers assign the copyright in their music to the music publisher in return for a commitment to promote, exploit and protect that music. The publisher agrees to pay the songwriter/composer a percentage of any income earned from such exploitation as royalties.

What is copyright?

Copyright enables composers and authors to be paid for their work. Copyright is the means by which those who make and own creative works (e.g. music and literature) can control who makes use of their work and the circumstances in which it is used, to ensure that the integrity and value of the work is respected.

Copyright legislation has evolved over the last 500 years to provide a balance between the interests of those who invest skills and intellectual effort, time and money in the creation of works on the one hand and those who want to use and enjoy those works on the other.

The current UK copyright legislation is to be found principally in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Can I sample somone else's music?

Similarly, if you want to sample a recording of a song or piece of music which was made or released within the last 50 years then the recording will still be in copyright and can only be sampled with permission from the copyright owner of the recording (usually the record company) or their agent, PPL, and from the performer(s) in addition to the copyright owner of the music and of the words.

The sample used will infringe copyright in the music and/or the sound recording, as the case may be, if it is a ‘substantial part’ of the original and is used without the necessary permissions. The sample is considered ‘substantial’ by reference to its quality rather than its length. If it is recognisable, however short, as coming from the original piece of music or recording then it should be regarded as being substantial and the necessary permissions should be sought. If you are in any doubt, apply for permission.

How can I find the copyright owner for permission to use a piece of music?

To use any piece of music that is in copyright, you must first get permission. The type of permission required depends on how you wish to use the music.

For permission to photocopy printed music, the MPA can help to direct you to the copyright owner. You should provide as much information about the music as possible, including the title, composer, any arranger or editor and the date of publication or copyright line (usually inside the front cover or at the bottom of the first page of the music), together with the name of any publisher that you have for the work.

For permission to arrange music the MPA can help to direct you to the copyright owner. You should provide as much information about the music as possible, including the title, composer, any arranger or editor and the date of publication or copyright line (usually inside the front cover or at the bottom of the first page of the music), together with the name of any publisher that you have for the work.

For permission to use music in films or commercials you should contact the copyright owner. The MPA can help to direct you to the copyright owner.

For permission to record music you should contact MCPS.

For permission to perform music live you should contact PRS.

For permission to broadcast music or include it in a cable programme service you should contact PPL and MCPS-PRS Alliance.

For permission to perform a musical, opera or ballet you should contact the publisher directly. Again the MPA can help to direct you to the correct publisher.

For permission to play a recording of music in any public place you should contact PRS and PPL.
For any other usage not mentioned above you should contact the copyright owner directly. The MPA can help, email us on

What should I do if I believe that someone may be infringing copyright?

If you are concerned about illegal photocopying of music contact the MPA immediately.

If you are concerned about any other illegal use of music, film or software, contact the Copyright Advice & Anti-Piracy Hotline: 0845 603 4567

© Music Publishers Association - Contact Us - MPA legal notices

Hope this helps, luv n bass, DJ RAP

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