Even though most of us pursue music for the passion, it's important to
take the music business seriously. We definitely have
consider if we want to handle our business properly.
When we create music, we can protect it by filing
for a copyright.
Once we begin to distribute our music through
various outlets (digitally and/or physically), we should make sure that
we are properly paid when our music is used within various media.
If we choose to maintain independence as musicians
instead of going the conventional route of hoping to be discovered or
trying to getting signed to a record label, we may consider
self-publishing our music through the major performing rights
in order to receive royalties that are due us when we license our music
to be played in movies, commercials, radio, the internet, ring-tones,
etc. We may even consider starting our own record label!
Obtaining copyright on your work is probably the first and most
important part of properly handling your music business.
is a form of protection provided by the
laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of
"original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical,
artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is
available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the
1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive
right to their works and to authorize the use of their works.
is a membership association of over 250,000 U.S. composers,
songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of
Through agreements with affiliated international
represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide.
the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by
composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors
elected by and from the membership. ASCAP
protects the rights of its
members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic
public performances of their copyrighted works.
encompass all who want to perform copyrighted music publicly. ASCAP
makes giving and obtaining permission to perform music simple for both
creators and users of music.
is an American performing rights organization that represents more
than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres
The non-profit-making company, founded in 1939,
license fees on behalf of those American creators it represents, as
well as thousands of creators from around the world who chose BMI for
representation in the United States.
The license fees BMI collects for
the "public performances" of its repertoire of more than 6.5 million
compositions - including radio airplay, broadcast and cable television
carriage, Internet and live and recorded performances by all other
users of music - are then distributed as royalties to the writers,
composers and copyright holders it represents.
is a performing rights organization with headquarters in
Nashville and offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and
Performing rights organizations, such as SESAC,
are businesses designed to represent songwriters and publishers and
their right to be compensated for having their music performed in
By securing a license from SESAC, for example,
(i.e., television and radio stations, auditoriums, restaurants, hotels,
theme parks, malls, etc.) can legally play any song in the SESAC
repertory. Without a license from a performing rights organization,
music users are in danger of copyright infringement.
When a songwriter or publisher affiliates with
then represents the right for that music to be played in
public. Here is a link to their “about” page:
At HFA, you
find everything you need to know about using cover songs on
your albums and how you go about doing it legally to assist you in your
is the foremost mechanical licensing,
collections, and distribution agency for U.S. music publishers. Their
processes, culture, and technology are client-driven and
results-oriented. They continually strive to add value and strength to
the music rights industry.
In 1927, the
National Music Publisher's
Association established HFA
to act as an information source,
clearinghouse and monitoring service for licensing musical copyrights.
Since its founding, HFA has provided efficient and convenient services
for publishers, licensees, and a broad spectrum of music
Once you have materials available through various forms of the media,
you'll need to be even more aware of what's going on in your music
SoundScan is an information system that
tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United
States and Canada. Sales data from point-of-sale cash registers is
collected weekly from over 14,000 retail, mass merchant and
non-traditional (on-line stores, venues, etc.) outlets. Weekly data is
compiled and made available every Wednesday. Nielsen SoundScan is
sales source for the Billboard music charts.
If you're serious about learning "The A
To Z Of Music Licensing" from an insider in the music
business who has successfully licensed and sold his music, make sure to
listen to the audio clip to hear what this professional has to say!