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Copyrights to a song or any piece of sound recording are typically broken down into several ownership rights. They represent different roles in the making of that song, even if no one else was involved in the creation of your soundtrack. It just means you assume all these roles including owning the different copyrights every soundtrack comes with.

What most people don't know is that these different roles all get paid separate royalties from each other. Also meaning that when the use of your song is played once, it generates several different royalty streams. For example 1 stream play generates a minimum of 4 separate royalties. 


Writers Copyright

In music terminology, song writers are defined as whoever writes the lyrics to a song including whoever writes the underlying composition. To understand the term underlying, it is whoever is composing the melody or instrumental to your song, which includes instruments played by band members. All band members involved are defined as writers to the song, composing a written composites or writing lyrics to the songs composition. Simple terms, both writers to the LYRICS and songs MELODY are both first COPY - RIGHTS holders to the original work and songs composition.

Publishing Rights

Publishing rights are the rights usually transferred from the original copyright holder over to a publicist, whose task and responsibility is to exploit your music, which allows publicist to reproduce, publish and license your music to generate royalties and revenue for the original rights holder.

Like a book publisher after you’ve written your book, publishing copies of your original written works to generate book sales and revenue, for you being the author.

However it is common practice in the music industry, for recording artists to have all their music's publishing rights assigned to their publicist, relinquishing these rights in a publishing deal. Granting their publicist nearly 50% of royalties to every song they have them publishing.


Master Sound Recording Rights

A songs masters or master rights to a songs production are sometimes negotiated with the producer depending on the situation. If for example you pay for studio time usually an hourly rate, master rights to that song are completely yours, with only credits to your songs production going to that producer for your songs recording. However, in some cases if you and the producer have the same amount of input into the song, then its most likely the producer will own the masters to that recorded sound, while you own its compositions. Usually negotiated and documented on split-sheets.

On the other-hand if you’re an assigned recording artist with a record label, which states in your contract that they will cover all your recording costs and expenses and so forth. It is not actually a good thing, because the label will actually own the masters to that song or any song you record in the studio with them. Owning 50% rights to your entire music by default. 



Music Copyright Protection

When it comes to defining your music copyright and its rights holders, its pretty straight forward. YOUR MUSIC IS COPYRIGHTED FROM THE MOMENT OF CREATION. Which also means you don't have to register it and your not required to do so. However government bodies do advise that its best to register your music copyrights in the country where your content is being infringed on, but to be perfectly honest there is no government registries around the world that fully protects your music's copyright.

If your based in the US or you have registered music works with the copyrights office, it does not prove your ownership nor will the courts fully enforce penalties if your music copyright has been infringed on. Its just a date of when your music copyright was filed in there registry. The one thing that gets technical in the court of law under any jurisdiction? IS PROVING IT! Your music's copyright must be original and verdicts varies case by case depending on the "substantial part" of your music where infringement applies. 

How do we protect your music copyrights?

MEUTONE  ensures full protection to your music's copyrights, by using advance encryption to your music's sound recording, melodies or instrumental composites, as well as a written document file of your song lyrics. We include blockchain technology that will time-stamp proof of your music's copyright, well established with 3rd parties world-wide using a shared ledger that's indisputable. Here on our platform, all registered members will have all music copyright protection for free. We work with SongSecure bringing tonnes of experience and legal advice, to enable our artists and songwriters proper copyright protection of their music creative works.


Copyright Symbols

Music copyright symbols are used to notify users of your music like businesses. of your copyrights ownership (Composition rights holder). When you write a "C" with a circle around the letter, or use the word "copyright," you are giving notice to the public that the work is copyrighted and that you are the owner of the work. Next to the symbol, owners should include the year of first publication and the owner's full name. The copyright symbol lets us know who owns the whole album as a package including your album art and your music's metadata. Whilst the symbol of letter 'P' inside of a circle is used to provide notice of copyright in a sound recording (Master rights holder), embodied in a phono-record. Meaning the sound recording is copyrighted and tells us who owns the copyright for the collection of sound recordings.


So, depending on how you intend to have your song released out into mainstream music. The defining point to your music copyright, if you’re not promoting or distributing your music yourself, would be who you have employed or have assisting you to achieve this. Sometimes you automatically relinquish certain rights to your music without even knowing it. Perhaps being offered or proposed a music deal with promises to your music's exposure and fan-base build-up, creating new opportunities for your career as an artist, linking you up with their personal contacts whom are influential in the music industry. However, agreeing to do this with your song’s arrangements, you’re also giving them control to your music's handling. You may not realise it at the time when signing your deal, that you’re not only giving them the authority to make these promises happen for you, but your actually signing certain ownership rights to your music in exchange for their service or whatever their role may be for your music in the terms of your agreement, resulting in the majority of creators not owning 100% of their music rights.