Music copyright is governed in the UK under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 providing copyright owners the right to say yes or no to their creative work being used commercially or otherwise, and usually for a fee or other consideration. Legislation in other countries varies but the rules are similar.
With more and more creators of music wishing to know how to 'copyright' their work, protect their rights, promote their rights protect income and generally secure their intellectual property, the relevant information needs to be readily and easily accessible.
The Performing Right Society (PRS for Music) represents the interests of music publishers and songwriters in the UK and, through reciprocal arrangements with similar societies overseas, controls domestically the public performance and broadcast of most of the world's music.
As such, there should not be a problem in finding out relevant information, but, initially, one needs to ask the right questions.
What happens if I write a song? How do I 'copyright' it?
How can I earn royalties and what do I charge if someone wants to perform my song?
What if I write a song with someone else, can they do with their contribution whatever they like without asking me first?
What happens if I spend money in a studio and then the singer, who I paid to sing the songs, sells the tracks via a website or digital music distributor?
It would be good to hear from readers with any questions with a view to setting up a forum with BluePencil and Musicalities.
In the meantime, all the above - and much more - can be answered in one or more of the Music Copyright Seminars jointly run by the BluePencilSet and Musicalities Ltd, one of the UK's leading music copyright consultancies.