In as much as your music is meant to make you money, one of the surest ways to enable you to make that money is to have copyright on all your works, because there are a lot of pirates lurking in the shadows, waiting to rip you off and take your money as their own.
Anytime you record or write a song, you get exclusive rights to them. These rights ensure that no other person can use your songs or perform actions with them unless you give them the permission to do so.
This enables you to have enough power – as an indie artist, – and not many people know this. So it’s time you know and understand your rights.
There are two kinds of copyrights, the composition and the sound recording. The composition can be defined as the unique combination of notes – think written melody and chord changes. The sound recording is the unique combination of sounds, and it protects what you actually hear in a recording of a song. If you recorded two different versions of the same song – say acoustically and with a whole band – you would have two different sound recording copyrights.
So, what kind of rights do you actually get from copyright and what are they used for?
This covers you when you or someone else makes copies of your song. Say, for instance, you want to do a remix of your song using that same beat, you will still own the copyright to both versions of the song, and that is something that can help you make money on both fronts. This is a core right that you get when you create a song.
Making songs without distributing them is like making delicious puff-puff and locking them up in the cupboard (which issa very strange thing to do). When you make a song, you have the right to distribute them to the public. Streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, MTN Music +, etc. are all places you can distribute your music on to reach the world, and a company like FreeMe Digital offers you distribution services. You can also distribute your songs physically in the form of CDs and tapes. The Reproduction and Distribution rights have been the bread and butter of the recording industry.