Entertainment Law FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions About Entertainment Law
Q: When do copyrights expire?
A: Copyright expire based upon when the work was originally registered or published. For any work that has been created after January 1, 1978, will be protected throughout the authors lifetime; this also includes an additional 70 years after the death of the author.

Q: What does copyright protect?

A: Copyright protects original works of authorship include musical, literacy and artistic works such as novels, poetry, movies and songs.

Q: What copyright does not protect?

A: The copyright law will not protect domain names, names, titles, slogans, short phrases, sightings, etc. For more info on copyright visit copyright.gov

Q: What is a music publisher?

A: Music publishers are the royalty collectors and your copyright administrators. A publisher responsibility includes plugging your songs, collecting royalties, and making copyright deals. Publishers’ main goal is to handle the music business aspect for the artist. They do this through music publishing contracts.

Q: What are the different types of music royalties?

A: Copyright expire based upon when the work was originally registered or published

  • I. Mechanical royalties; paid from record companies for record sold based on the exclusive to reproduce and distribute copyrighted works.
  • II. Public performance royalty; paid by music users for songs in the operation of their business and broadcasts
  • III. Synchronization fees; paid by music users for synchronizing music with their visual images
  • IV. Print music income; paid by music printers for sheet and folios for right to distribute copies of copyrighted materials.

Q: What is music publishing?

A: Music publishing mean distributing copies of a musical work to the public. These copies can be a CD or sheet music. This may be done though music distribution contracts.

Q: When should my music be published?

A: When your music has commercial potential, the potential to make profit from the marketplace, generally it is ready for publishing.

Q: What right does the Visual Artists Right Act protect?

A: VARA protects the right to claim authorship, the right to prevent any work author did not create, and the right to prevent distortion

Q: What is a ghostwriter?

A: Ghostwriters are professional writers who are paid for their writing and their work is credited to another person.

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