Copyright, overall, covers visual artists, musicians writers and video and film producers for the content that they own and have created. It exists in every type of creative works you can imagine and exists automatically as soon as you have created an original piece of work (“Arts Law : What is copyright?”, 2017). Copyright laws are in place to help artists earn money and hold ownership over their creative property. The laws protect the copyright owner for the entirety of their lifetime and for another 70 years after their death.
However, some things are not protected by copyright. These include, ideas, concepts, styles, techniques and information. For example, if I had an idea to create a track combining two very different genres and pulled this off, the individual track’s copyright would be mine however the idea to combine these two genres would be available to anyone who wanted to recreate something similar. Names, titles, slogans and people are also not protected by copyright laws.
There are cases in which copyright may be contested and in some circumstances, this will lead to each party arguing their ownership in front of a court. Under these circumstances, “the court considers all the relevant evidence, which will usually include evidence from the songwriter about how the song was written, and perhaps evidence from friends and acquaintances, and evidence in drafts and early recordings.” (“An Introduction to Copyright in Australia”, 2017). This will then lead to a decision being made on who put the most work into the content and that person will then hold the copyright to the work.
There are various agencies around the world that will look after royalties and the copyright of music specifically. One of these is the Australian not-for-profit APRA AMCOS, which consists of 95k members who are either songwriters, composers or music publishers. This “organisation licenses [other] organisations to play, perform, copy, record or make available our members’ music, and we distribute the royalties to our members. ” (“What We Do”, 2017). This means that your music, when picked up and played by various places around the world, is picked up on by the organisation and royalties are received based on how many times your track/s are played
An Introduction to Copyright in Australia. (2017). Copyright.org.au. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from https://www.copyright.org.au/acc_prod/ACC/Information_Sheets/An_Introduction_to_Copyright_in_Australia.aspx
Arts Law : What is copyright?. (2017). Artslaw.com.au. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from https://www.artslaw.com.au/legal/raw-law/what-is-copyright
The Bible and Copyright Law – CultureWatch. (2017). CultureWatch. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/06/23/bible-copyright-law/
What We Do. (2017). APRA AMCOS. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from http://apraamcos.com.au/about-us/what-we-do/