Greetings world!
This week in my blog I want to open up a new world to you; A world that many artists and musicians fail to be utterly familiar with, although we really should be. It’s a world that can seem so foreign, that to the untrained ear this world even has its very own language. So what world do I speak of, do you ask? It is the infamous and very important world of “The LAW”. If you do not know by now, I am a songwriter/singer/producer, a musician. I find that a majority of individuals, who are taking their musicianship seriously and are in the process of turning it into their career, would have to agree with me when I say that the legal world plays a very big role in our world of music. So it is pertinent that we have a legit understanding of it all.

In this post I am going to go over a few basic legalities that all songwriters and singers should know concerning their artistry. I will also share with you a few articles regarding legal cases and rulings in court that have affected our world forever. First, one very important lesson that you need to learn about being an artist is to protect yourself! You need to be aware of the laws in our industry regarding your copyrights. If you are a songwriter, composer, producer or all of the above, it is very important that you seek to get your music officially copyrighted. You can do this online at for a small fee. Or you can at least opt for the poor mans copyright method. In learning about the laws regarding copyrights you will have an understanding of your value as the songwriter as you step into this industry. Intellectual property can be a touchy subject, but it is very strongly advise to do some hefty research on it. Copyright infringement is a liability issue that artists and songwriters need to be very well aware of, because it’s the possible infringement on our intellectual property rights. In 2001 the technology of peer-to-peer file sharing of digital music changed the music industry forever.

***Check out this case, which was a monumental mark in the music industry: A&M Records v Napster 2001-

Another topic to familiarize oneself with is the realm of music publishing, which in essence is the exploitation of copyrighted music and catalogues. Publishers do just that; they will publish your music in either have your song placed to an artist, or will have your work placed in television, film or even video games. As a songwriter this is where your money will come from. If your music does well, you can receive a great amount of royalties and be compensated by wonderful checks that will be received in the mail, for your work. But many times songwriters may get into a situation where they feel like the publisher or publishing company may have cheated them, and they will take the publisher to court. The Late Michael Jackson claimed that his publishers (Universal Music Group) owed him an extensive amount in royalty payments for some of his works recorded before the 1980’s but the case was thrown out because of the contract that Mr. Jackson had signed with Motown at the time before any of that music was recorded.
**Check out more in this article:

When you copyright a song and register it with a performance rights organization (BMI, ASCAP) that organization will keep track of how often and where your songs are played. They will then make sure you receive your share of royalties from these instances. The way these organizations are able to keep track of the music played is by the process of licensing music out to venues or certain areas that play music (including but not limited to malls, and shopping centers, amusement parks, restaurants and bars). All of these businesses must obtain a specific license to be able to play the music in which their buyers will hear. The performance rights companies will have the “music police” randomly go around to some of these venues and locations, and will do surprise license checks. They will ask the business to provide proof of permission to be able to play the music that they are playing. In a worst-case scenario you will end up with a situation like the one in this case below. The night club was sneak attacked by the music police sent out by BMI, and when questioned the owners did not have the proper licensing so they were up against a very upset company, and its represented songwriters.

Being knowledgeable about the laws within our industry is very important and well advised. If you are a songwriter, producer, and musician you need to learn some very important things to help give your career the best foot forward. I hope this was helpful and check out some of these links below. Hugs, Luvs, and Blessings from Above!

Check out more  great articles and sites for more information: