Alright, this is a long post, so I'll give you a summary up front: Copyright for Producers is a guide written for up and coming producers that gives you the essential information on protecting your music, without being loaded down with legal jargon.
On Amazon, it's about $23 for a hard copy. Since I wrote it, I can give FP members a discount on the electronic copy: $10 here. Also, at the bottom of that page is a link to download a shorter (but still important) guide, Trademark for Producers, for free.
As with everything I write, if you're not satisfied in any way, shoot us an email and we'll refund your money- no questions asked.
More info below
The topic isn’t as sexy as music theory, but in some ways it could be even more important. If you want to have a financially successful career as a producer and avoid lawsuits, at some point you’ll have to understand:
How to protect your music from infringement
How to protect yourself, so you don’t accidentally put yourself in someone’s legal crosshairs
Every high-level producer has an intellectual property attorney that handles these issues, but as someone new in the industry you probably can’t spare $400/hour for a lawyer (yes, it really can cost that much).
Before writing this book, I did a lot of research to see if the information could be found online. What I found was very sad. There is some information out there, but most of it is downright wrong- for example, I did a Google search of, “Do you need permission to record a cover song?” I found several websites with users saying things like, “Of course you do, contact the songwriter.”
That’s simply not true. You can cover a song without an artist/writer’s permission, as long as you pay the appropriate (predetermined) royalty.
This is just one example, but unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet. If you’re making a track and play a wrong note, the worst thing that can happen is that you have a crappy song. If you make certain mistakes when it comes to copyrights and intellectual property, you could find yourself in serious financial trouble (just ask Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz).
Copyright for Producers explains the following:
The best ways to protect your music
Sampling (including sample clearing step-by-step)
How to use music and artwork legally and without paying royalties
The Producer-Label relationship with regards to copyright
…and more, of course. The good news is, I’ve taken university coursework in law and anecdotal experience to give you the information you need, and cut out the legal jargon. You could easily buy a few IP law textbooks and learn the same stuff, but it would be expensive and consume an incredible amount of time. You could just get a lawyer, but that would be even more pricey.
I can promise two things: the information in this book is accurate and up-to-date (articles on the internet usually aren’t), and you will encounter this stuff explained as you move forward in the music industry. This book isn’t meant to replace a good lawyer, but it will give you the basic chops you need when starting out. It is much better to know this information than to be in the dark.
The hardcopy sells on Amazon for ~$23, and the digital version is on my site for $14. Right now, for FP members, it’s $10 here: Copyright for Producers (FP discount).
Also, there is a short guide to trademarking, which is a bit different than copyright. It is free at the bottom of that page- no purchase required.
As always, if you read it and don’t feel like it was worth the $10, shoot an email to the address on the page and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked. It’s just two of us working on these books, and we have no interest in ripping off anyone. We’re producers ourselves, so we know where you’re coming from.