#02: The copyright controls

Copyright allows music-makers to control what happens to their music. They can control…

REPRODUCTION: the copying of the music.

DISTRIBUTION: distributing the copies.

RENTAL: renting out the copies.

ADAPTATION: reworking or remixing the music.

PERFORMANCE: performing the music in public.

COMMUNICATION: broadcasts or webcasts of music.

MAKING AVAILABLE: making the music available online.

Copyright is all about control.

It allows music-makers and their business partners to control what happens to the songs and recordings they create.

Copyright actually provides a number of controls. It means music-makers can control the copying, distribution, rental, adaptation, public performance, communication and making available of their music.

In the music industry we sometimes…

• group the reproduction and distribution controls together and call them the mechanical rights.

• group the performance and communication controls together and call them the neighbouring rights.

• group the performance, communication and making available controls together and call them the performing rights.

Copyright works like this…

1: If anyone else wants to copy, distribute, rent out, adapt, publicly perform, communicate or make available someone else’s music…

2: Well, the copyright owner controls all of those things – so they need to find the copyright owner and ask them for permission…

3: The copyright owner usually sells this permission – which is how copyright makes money – we call this selling of permission licensing.

As a copyright owner you have these controls for a set number of years.

In the UK, for songs the controls last for the lifetime of the creator or creators and then another 70 years.

For recordings the controls last for 70 years after first release.

The UK copyright system provides these controls within the UK.

However, all the copyright systems around the world are joined up.

So as a UK copyright owner you will be able to control your songs and recordings in other countries too – although the exact list of controls varies from country to country.

The different controls that come with the copyright are set out in Section 16 of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act. It refers to the controls as the “acts restricted by the copyright”.

It states the following…

“The owner of the copyright in a work has … the exclusive right to do the following acts in the United Kingdom –

• to copy the work;

• to issue copies of the work to the public;

• to rent or lend the work to the public;

• to perform, show or play the work in public;

• to communicate [broadcast or make available] the work to the public;

• to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to an adaptation”.