How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Delta-Lawyer Your Own Question
Delta-Lawyer, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  Patent Bar Certified
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
Delta-Lawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Copyright Infringement, I'm trying to break into the music

Customer Question

Copyright Infringement, I'm trying to break into the music business, how can I make sure I don't step across the hidden lines of that mystical world of legalism?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I hope this message finds you well. Relative to copyright infringement, the rule of thumb is do not sing another person's song for profit (either recording or public performance) without first having a license in place to cover the music. Relative to public performance, typically the establishment should have a master license for cover music from an outfit like BMG.

As to your original works, they are your original works and simply by your writing and/or performing them, they are copyrighted at common law. Moreover, you can federally copyright your own works by filing them on-line at the US Copyright Office for a nominal fee.

If you are concerned your original work may mimic the sound or arrangement of an existing work, there is no golden rule. Listen to the counsel of others. If someone say, hey that sounds like....., then do some investigating. If it does, arrange your song differently if possible.

Please rate my answer positively and let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

Best wishes going forward!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hope your doing well yourself. As for your answer it leaves me kind of bewildered, I have been rewriting a song for my own benefit and found in my dismay two or three songs inside it, the song was an old hymn, but the hard part was that was the one that was pirated from. Go figure? How can that be right?
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

As long as there is no intent and it is not rhythmically nearly identical, you are fine. The reason is that chords are going to be similar. Moreover, your original works often are derived from your influences. As long as it is not nearly identical and there is no intent, then you are good to go.

Please rate my answer positively and let me know if you have other questions. This area of the law is confusing for sure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To Delta-Lawyer, I hope you are doing well,
I read your answers and they are just fine and what I needed so I can do what I want and not get caught up in legal hassles, not as a mimic but as a real deal! And if I need anymore advice I will not hesitate to contact in the near future. As far as I'm concerned you answered my questions rather quickly under the circumstances it was on a weekend no less. Believe it or not I asked the same questions while in college and they said the same thing, but they were not lawyers.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Good deal. Please rate my answers positively (4 or 5 stars) so that I can receive credit for my work. Thanks!

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions