Copyright 101: Creation Of A Copyright

Now that you’ve written and recorded a song, how do you protect it? How do you copyright it?

The good news is that as long as it is your original song and you’ve written it down or recorded it, the song is entitled to copyright protection. Under the Copyright Law, a song is immediately entitled to copyright protection upon the satisfaction of the following criteria:

  1. It must be an “original work[] of authorship”; and
  2. It must be fixed “in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed,” such as written sheet music or a CD, MP3, or other recording. Continue reading “Copyright 101: Creation Of A Copyright”

Is “Promotional Use Only” A Defense?

So, here’s an interesting case pending in Federal Court in Texas:  EsNtion, a dance music record label, has sued TM Studios, the maker and distributor of PrimeCuts, HitDisc, and other “Promotional Use Only” CDs, alleging copyright infringement for copying and distributing EsNtion’s songs (US District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Civil Case No. 07-CV-2027-L). Continue reading “Is “Promotional Use Only” A Defense?”

Copyright 101: Every Recorded Song Has At Least Two Copyrights

It is a common misunderstanding that a song only has one copyright.  For anyone who creates music, uses existing music, or is otherwise involved in the music business, it is important to understand that there are actually at least 2 copyrights involved in every recorded song:  (1) the musical work copyright and (2) the sound recording copyright. Continue reading “Copyright 101: Every Recorded Song Has At Least Two Copyrights”

Welcome to DJ

Welcome to the DJ Blog.  This first post provides a brief overview of our new Blog.  Please check out this new website for more information about this Blog and other services available through this website and from entertainment and media practice of the law firm Brooks, Pierce, McLendon,  Humphrey, & Leonard, LLP.

The Blog is maintained by me, Coe Ramsey, a partner at Brooks Pierce.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, I was a DJ and re-mixer.  I continue to have a strong passion for DJing and music, and I am fortunate that I have been able to combine this passion with the practice of law.  From time to time, other members of the law firm will also contribute articles and engage in comment and discussion on the topics discussed here.

This Blog is dedicated to the discussion of general legal issues relating to the music entertainment business, with an emphasis on issues of interest to DJs, bands, producers, re-mixers, singers, songwriters, and other artists and music providers.  We encourage open discussion and comment on the issues covered here.

Blog posts will include articles on substantive areas of the law, including posts on basic music copyright law issues and issues relating to the operations of DJ businesses, bands, producers and other music businesses.  Blog posts will also cover current developments in music law and the music industry, such as developments in copyright litigation, legislation, online music usage, and new business models as the new digital delivery world evolves.

We hope that this Blog will serve as regular resource for DJs, musicians, and others in the music industry.  We welcome feedback, comments, and discussion as this Blog develops.

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