We have all learned little tricks about the music industry has we have gone along in our career to help us get to the next level or to simply help protect us. Some of these myths that you have heard about the music industry may be true, but the few myths that we are going to share with you couldn’t be more wrong.
You’ve all heard that if you mail yourself your lyrics, they are considered to have a copyright. Sure, they may give you federal ownership to your songs, but they will not hold up in a court of law. By mailing yourself your own music, you are skipping the most important step that would be the part that actually protected you. You are missing the federal registration. You know that fee you were trying to avoid by just sending yourself mail? That fee is what gets you your federal registration and full protection to your rights.
You keep hearing the same song on every single radio station that you have tuned in your car. That artist must be rolling in the money faster than you can change the station. Wrong! Unless that artist wrote that song, they are barely making any money when their song is played on the radio. Performance royalties are only paid to the songwriter and the producer. If you keep hearing the latest single by that stupid boy band, they aren’t getting rich off of the radio air play. The lucky (or unlucky) person that wrote that song, is the one who is getting all of the checks.
Sampling is becoming more and more popular. It’s ok if it is only a couple of seconds, right? Nope, you are wrong again. Even the shortest sample can be considered copyright infringement. You are better off asking the artist is you can use their material and write up an agreement with them. The more documentation that you have, the better it will be for you in the long run. Don’t think that just because you are only borrowing 3 seconds of something that it is ok. Taking any amount of someone else’s music can get you in a lot of trouble. Just look at Vanilla Ice. That guy didn’t stand a chance.
Now you are a little more up to speed with the music industry.