Mr. Alan Davis and Rainy Davis will succinctly elucidate the fundamentals of online digital music distribution and emphasize the significance of safeguarding your intellectual property prior to its commercial release.
Copyright Basics

When you craft a song, you’re not merely creating a beat. You’re composing a musical piece, often penning lyrics to accompany the melody. This is a song, a musical composition in its entirety.

This creative process automatically grants you certain rights. You’ll need to register a Performing Arts (PA) Copyright that covers your rights to what constitutes your intellectual property.

This copyright includes writer’s equity, publishing equity, mechanical equity, and administration rights. It’s an official document that you should file with the Government-overseen Copyright Office. Once accepted and approved by the copyright examiner, this document officially certifies that you have created and own specific rights to the intellectual property based on the song you’ve composed.

It’s beneficial for you to have this document, known in the United States as a PA Form (Performing Arts), which validates your ownership of the music you intend to release commercially. This is just one of several steps you should take to secure your rights before releasing your songs commercially and preparing for your future career.

Initially, you own one hundred percent of that song or beat until another writer contributes lyrics & melody. At this point, you should both equally share the copyright ownership rights (50 / 50) for the rest of your lives plus seventy-five years. You administer your 50% interest, and your co-writer manages their 50% interest in the copyright. The same principle applies if you start your song with words and a melody.

There are additional exceptions when more co-writers are involved. It’s crucial to agree on the percentage splits based on each songwriter’s contribution upfront.

This information is not intended as legal advice! You should always consult with and hire an entertainment attorney to gain a clear understanding of your role in the music business.