To develop an adequate understanding of the path to earning money with your original music, four essential areas make up the key foundational knowledge, and we’ll explore them in three posts. In this first post, we’ll look at the different copyrights and the basic blueprint for how revenue is generated by licensing your music. Part two will address creating value and earning income through licensed music. In part three, we’ll explore the diversity of buyers for original music, and the all-important connections you will need to develop to begin to make money from your original music. Read more.
“Don’t infringe on copyrights!” If your forte is creating beat-driven masterpieces that use other people’s work as source material, how do you ply your craft and share your art without getting in trouble? Let’s dive into the murky waters of legality and copyright ownership. Read more.
Music publishing has its lore and legends. The story of Michael Jackson coming to own the rights to The Beatles’ catalog is high on the list. It started when Jackson contributed to McCartney’s Pipes Of Pan album, when McCartney opened Jackson’s eyes to the notion of song copyrights as an investment. Read more.
If you are an aspiring songwriter, the promise of earning a steady stream of music royalties from the use of your songs is just that – a promise. Assuming that you’ve written songs that have the potential to attract an audience, and likewise a potential user of your songs (a licensee), understanding the numerous avenues available to license your original song is the next step on the road to earning money from your compositions. Read more.
Any time you reproduce and distribute a recording of a composition you did not write – and that is not in the public domain – you need a mechanical license. Mechanical licenses are issued by the owner or controller of the composition, typically publishers, acting on behalf of songwriters or composers. Basically, this is a royalty payment to the songwriter (or more correctly, the copyright owner) for allowing you the use of the composition. Read more…
What does copyright law say about your rights when an original idea is formed between two or more people? Here’s how some co-writers divide percentage shares in a song. Read the post.
So you’ve written a new song. It may have the potential to be a hit, but one thing is certain: it makes sense to properly protect your song if you hope to profit from its recording and public performance. How do music copyrights work? What is required to have ownership of your song’s copyright? Why should you register it with the Library of Congress? What are some of the common music licenses that generate income for songwriters? Read more
Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs … and what’s wrong with that? If you’re planning to use a previously written composition in your efforts, though, you may want to ask: “What constitutes a public domain composition?” Read More.
Cameron Mizell, freelance guitarist, producer, and consultant in Brooklyn, has written a four part series about self-releasing an album. Filled with helpful information and resources on everything from your production schedule to digital distribution to copyrights and cover songs, it is a must-read. Read more…
No musician can afford to miss out on a potential source of income. So if you’re a songwriter, and not a member of a Performance Rights Organizations (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or SOCAN (Canada), you could be leaving money on the table. It’s not difficult to join one of these organizations, and as an independent, there are ways to enroll that allow you to maximize your royalties and double what you might think you’re eligible for. Read More.
This one word has caused more musicians to pull their hair out than any other word in the music business. It’s a tricky and confusing subject – confusion that’s aided by the unintuitive nature of copyright law, the use of archaic terms left over from the history of music publishing, and the general craziness of the music business.
But music publishing is one of the most important aspects of the music business. Every musician wishing to earn money from their music needs to have at least a general understanding of publishing.
If you’ve been following the Music Business 101 series on GrindEFX, you should have a leg up on copyright and licensing, which form the basis for music publishing. Read more…
Here are 14 important tips to consider when choosing your record producer – regardless of your status as a signed or independent artist.
GrindEFX just wrote the first in a series of articles about the music business, targeted at musicians. This edition tackles the infamous copyright.
Welcome to the first installment of GrindEFX’s introduction to some of the most important, and most confusing, concepts in the music business. These are concepts that serve as required knowledge for anyone wishing to take their music beyond the hobby level.
If you’re sitting down to tackle making an album, there’s a lot to think about; from clearing the rights for your cover songs, to converting the cover art to the right format. These issues can trip you up, or cause the album to take a lot longer than you planned. Some musicians get so lost in handling the technical production of the album that they forget generating publicity and buzz about a new release. Read more…