Music Copyright Infringement and Abuse

Music Copyright Infringement Band

Music copyright infringement has now become a considerable issue

With the use of sampling in music, the popularity of homemade YouTube videos, and the increasingly questionable abuse of fair use, music copyright infringement is becoming more and more common these days.  Add to that the rise in internet piracy, and music copyright infringement has now become a considerable issue.

But, the legal issues around proving copyright infringement are complicated.  If you feel that someone has misused material that you own the copyright for, it is recommended that you seek out an experienced music copyright attorney.  They will be able to give you the best advice for how to protect your music copyright and seek the compensation you may deserve.

 

What to Do in Cases of Copyright Infringement

In most cases, the simplest solution is to file a cease and desist order.  This is most common in cases where someone has used a song or trademark for their own purposes, such as a homemade YouTube video, without the permission of the music copyright or trademark owner.  In the specific case of YouTube, this is also called a “take-down” notice.  The basic principle is that the artist or artist’s attorney will notify the offending party that they are using material without the music copyright holder’s permission and instruct them to take down or remove the material from public view or else pay compensation to the music copyright holder.   Since a large amount of music copyright infringement, particularly on YouTube is not considered “damaging”, there rarely is compensation that can justify the expenses of legal action.  And, in some cases, the effect of taking legal action can have negative ramifications for the reputation of the artist, if the public may think that the legal action as an extreme over-reaction and abuse of their music copyright authority over a publicly perceived “minor” infraction.  An experienced music copyright attorney can give the best advice on how best to proceed in cases like these.

Copright Infringement

Consult with an experienced Music Copyright Attorney and protect yourself from Copyright Infringement

However, there are also examples where an artist’s copyrighted material has been used in a more egregious fashion that may result in compensation or damages.  A production company may use a song that is copyrighted without the permission of the music copyright holder for a commercial or television show.  In cases like these, they are obligated to pay royalties to the music copyright holder.  If they have misappropriated the song, then they are responsible for compensating the music copyright holder.  Another example is the increasingly popular trend of using artists using a song or part of a song created and copyrighted by another musician in creating their own song.  The rules of sampling copyrighted material are fairly clear these days.  So, if someone has used a song or part of a song for which you hold the music copyright, and particularly if the infringing artist has been generating money from the sale of distribution of that song, then you may be entitled to royalties.  If you feel that someone has been using your copyrighted material, then you should seek out an experienced music copyright attorney to help determine your best response.

And, finally, there is internet piracy.  With ease of digital distribution, it is becoming more and more common to see copyrighted material distributed freely without the permission of the music copyright holder.  RIAA has instituted some fairly strict regulation regarding internet piracy that is controversial and is still being debated to this date.  But, the general principle is still agreed upon, that the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material without the express permission of the music copyright holder is a violation of music copyright protection and subject to financial penalties and/or a jail sentence.

 

When Should I Consult with a Music Copyright Attorney?

If you feel that someone has violated your music copyright protection, then you should speak to an knowledgeable and experienced music copyright attorney to help determine the best course of action and ensure that you receive the compensation that you are due.  In many cases, a simple letter from an established attorney can lead to resolution.  But, in some cases, it may be necessary to file a music copyright lawsuit.  A knowledgeable music copyright attorney will be able to recognize and advise the best course of action to receive the compensation your are entitled to.