How stuff works - Music royalties
Probably one of the most simple summaries on music royalties has been by published on www.howstiffworks.com and written by non lawyer Lee Ann Obringer. Most of the references is US based but still relevant and a great overview all round. This is the introduction and there is a link to the full article below.
"Watch MTV or open a copy of Rolling Stone or Spin and you'll be checking out some musical members of the entertainment elite. The clothes, the jewelry, the cars, the clubs, the houses... One might wonder where, exactly, all that money is coming from. How much does the artist make from CD sales?
Bars, clubs and coffee houses across the country are overflowing with fresh, talented musicians who want to join the ranks of these performers. But really, what are the chances of making it to stardom and retiring on music royalties?
Making money in the music industry is tricky. Recording contracts are notoriously complicated, and every big recording artist has a small army of legal representatives to translate and negotiate these deals. In this article, we'll look into the world of music royalties and see how money is actually made in this industry.
Who Gets What?
The first thing we need to do is distinguish between recording-artist royalties and songwriter/publisher royalties.
In The Internet Debacle - An Alternative View, Janis Ian, a singer/songwriter, states:
"If we're not songwriters, and not hugely successful commercially (as in platinum-plus), we [recording artists] don't make a dime off our recordings.She's referring to the fact that recording artists and songwriters do not earn royalties in the same way. Recording artists earn royalties from the sale of their recordings on CDs, cassette tapes, and, in the good old days, vinyl. Recording artists don't earn royalties on public performances (when their music is played on the radio, on TV, or in bars and restaurants). This is a long-standing practice that's based on copyright law and the fact that when radio stations play the songs, more CDs and tapes are sold. Songwriters and publishers, however, do earn royalties in these instances -- as well as a small portion of the recording sales."
The only current instance in which artists earn royalties for "public performances" is when the song is played in a digital arena (like in a Webcast or on satellite radio), is non-interactive (meaning the listener doesn't pick and choose songs to hear), and the listener is a subscriber to the service. This came about with the Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recordings Act of 1995. This act gave performers of music their first performance royalties.
We'll go into more detail about the types of licenses and royalties later in this article. But first, let's look at song copyrights...".
This is just the intro to Obringers article, the other 75% and the full article you can get here along with many more.
copyright law in a nutshell
In Australia copyright subsists solely by virtue of the Copyright Act 1968 and the Designs Act 2003 which are both Commonwealth Laws (ie Federal Laws). There is no “common law” concept of copyright in Australia. The law is found in the legislation passed by the Federal Government and interpreted by the courts.
Copyright is as “the exclusive right to do certain acts relating to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings, cinematograph films, television or sound broadcasts and published editions of works.
The Copyright Act gives protection to an author of such works etc, except where that author has created such work for an employer or its assigned to another person or company.
Copyright is generally for the life of the author plus 70 years.
If the first publication of the work is anonymous or pseudonymous, copyright is for 70 years from date it was published.5.
If there where two similar works independently produced, the author who published first will not be able to prevent the other from publishing.
Copyright exists immediately upon the work being created, you don’t register copyright it is obtained at the creation of the work. Registration exists for this such as patents and trademarks.
For Copyright to provide protection the work must be original, in novel but not completely novel
The holder of copyright of works gives the copyright holder the right to reproduce, publish, perform in public, or communicate the work to the public and to allow others to do the same generally by way of a licence.
Infringement of copyright can come either directly or indirectly. Direct occurs when a someone , other than the copyright owner or the licensee holder uses the copyrighted works with out permission.
Indirect infringement occurs where a person, without the licence of the owner, imports into an article which would infringe copyright if it had been made in Australia . or sells or hires an article knowing that it infringes the copyright.
The main remedies available to an owner or exclusive licensee for an infringement of copyright are:
· an injunction;
· damages or an account of profits;
· additional (or exemplary) damages;
· delivery up of copies of the work or damages for its conversion or detention;5.
· an injunction ;
· delivery up and destruction of the infringing works
An infringer in some circumstances may also be subject to criminal penalties