DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LAWYER.. SO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE REGARDING COPYRIGHT.
As a music producer, our copyright is EVERYTHING!
It’s how we make our money, it’s how we claim ownership, and it’s how we LICENSE the right to use our products.
NEVER just giveaway your copyright without understanding what you are truly giving away.
What We Cover in This Episode!
INFRINGING on someone’s copyright is extremely dangerous. Yes, sampling is a popular music production technique, but you will want to look into “sample clearance”.
If you are using drum kits, make sure that they are actually 100% Royalty free, as not every drum kit out there is these days! That’s why I always recommend the Xclusive-Audio Drum Bundle TRIO to you guys.. not only because of it having 2,300+ one-shot drum samples, but because it is 100% royalty free to use in your beats!
Are You Sure You’re Protecting Your Copyright?
So as mentioned, when you make the beat, it is YOUR COPYRIGHT.
Your evidence would be your .flp (FL Studio Project), which shows all the MIDI Notes, and how you made the original song. Yes, someone could technically try to “re-create” your beat as their own, but it’s VERY hard to 100% replicate something, as tweaking a knob exactly is nearly impossible on these VST synths.
You may have heard of the “poor man’s copyright” where they mail them self a copy of their released song, but I’d honestly say this was more important in the days of REAL RECORDING.. we beatmakers use MIDI, so replicating your track in-depth with the exact sounds would be very hard to achieve..
Do Beat Tags Actually Prevent Theft?
Producers use beat tags to prevent theft of their beat. If you catch someone using your beat without buying the proper rights (license), this is grounds to proceed legal action..
But, the beat WITHOUT a beat tag is still your copyright.. the beat tag is just one of those things like an extra layer of security to prevent theft, but if someone had amateur audio skills, they could still cut out your beat tag, and keep the beat looping over and over..
The fact is, it’s YOUR COPYRIGHT, and a beat tag doesn’t change that.. it just helps prevent theft, and helps your brand.
Should you still use beat tags? Yes, of course! They help your brand, and prevent theft by making someone do extra work to steal it.. but your copyright to that beat remains regardless of your beat tag over your beat or not.
Agreements Regarding Copyright Ownership..
The power of digital products is non-exclusivity. You can re-sell it over and over.. and if someone wants the exclusive-rights to something, that’s when the big money can come in.. but even then, exclusive-rights is very dangerous and can hinder your business because you may never benefit from it again.. unless you state it in the terms!
You must think about NOW and in the FUTURE to decide the offer presented is worth it to you. If you think $300 today is worth it, then that’s the decision you made! If you find out 3 years later that your work is generating $10,000+ a year.. it’s a lesson learned!
This is why giving away your copyright is extremely dangerous.. you always want to be somehow attached, whether it be they have to always show your brand name when it’s used, they pay on-going monies, or the exclusive buy-out offer is TREMENDOUSLY lucrative.
It’s Your Copyright.. Keep It!
So there you go!
Your music is your copyright.
Own it, and know the power of it.
If someone wants your copyright, that’s YOUR WORK. They have to pay to use it.
If you think it’s worthless, you could be regretting your decisions because of your lack of confidence in yourself. That’s the moral of the story.