How do you manage your rights? Are you a member of a collecting society, do you use Creative Commons licenses or VillaMusicRights licenses?
I'm a member of SOCAN - Canadian Composers society.
In the UK, the music licensing bodies are PPL, PRS and MCPS.
Each distribute monies using different criteria, and you can end up receiving something from more than one. Likewise, one bandmember may receive money from one and another may receive money from two of them (because one may just play, whilst another writes as well)
To work out who gets what, everybody who uses copyrighted music - including shops which play background music and offices which have the radio on - is supposed to keep a detailed record of what they use in case they are asked for it.
Relatively few are asked for this - because it would be impossible to deal with everybody's - and based upon the sample they do take, PPL, PRS and MCPS work out who gets what.
Unfortunately, if you are a new band with, say, some airplay on local radio, your public performances will probably be underestimated. You may not even be considered at all, because you don't show up in the records of the particular radio stations they pick, in which case you'll get nothing. So it's skewed towards established/famous bands and artists.
Having said all of this, if people are using your music you should get paid for it and PPL, PRS and MCPS are the only way to do this. They can also offer advice etc. So if you're an artist or band you should start thinking about this 'cos if people can use your stuff for free they will do.
Last edited by djdave; 29-05-2010 at 09:22.
a restless spirit
Copyright is extremely complicated and if you are going to play professionally I suggest you get some good reading material on the subject. Be prepared to spend a couple of weeks on it at least before you are familiar with all the pitfalls (There are many). And publishing is a minefield as well especially when it comes to music libraries using your material. Fortunately it is extremely easy to prove you own the copyright these days if you have used a DAW in your projects.
a restless spirit
Sorry forgot to add - make sure you have everything protected by copyright BEFORE you release anything on the Web or CD. Once it's available on the the net someone somewhere is going to exploit it. Make sure you have the proof that you own the copyright.