There are two sets of music rights – what we will refer to as the song rights and the recording rights...
• Every time you write some original lyrics you create a copyright – a literary work.
• Every time you compose some original music you create a copyright – a musical work.
• These together form the song rights – ie the copyright in the song.
• In the music industry we sometimes call these the author rights or publishing rights.
• Every time you record a track you create a separate copyright – a sound recording.
• These are the recording rights – ie the copyright in the recording.
• In the music industry we sometimes call these the phonographic rights or master rights.
So a track contains two sets of rights – song rights and recording rights.
WHO ARE THE MUSIC-MAKERS?
Music-makers are all the people who get involved in the creation of songs and recordings – sometimes one or the other, often both. You might think of yourself as a composer, lyricist, songwriter, beat-maker, singer, vocalist, rapper, MC, musician, instrumentalist, record producer, featured artist or pop star – we think of all of these people as music-makers. And therefore everything we say in this guide is relevant to you.
WHAT IS THE MUSIC RIGHTS INDUSTRY?
The music rights industry is all the people and companies that work on creating, managing, marketing and monetising music copyrights.
The music publishing industry is all the people and companies specifically involved in managing the song rights.
The record industry is all the people and companies specifically involved in managing the recording rights.
Although many people and many companies are involved in both songs and recordings, these two industries are still distinct.
Copyright in the UK begins with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988. It sets out and defines the different kinds of creative work that enjoy copyright protection. Which means it provides definitions of literary works (lyrics), musical works (compositions) and sound recordings…
“literary work means any work, other than a dramatic or musical work, which is written, spoken or sung”.
“musical work means a work consisting of music, exclusive of any words or action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music”.
“sound recording means a recording of sounds … or a recording of the whole or any part of a literary, dramatic or musical work … regardless of the medium on which the recording is made or the method by which the sounds are reproduced or produced”.