The music industry is one of the most vulnerable businesses when it comes to intellectual property rights. Every year musicians and songwriters are subject to claims of copyright infringement. Recently, the Canadian recording industry, which comprises of Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada and Universal Music Canada, faced a $6 billion copyright lawsuit for unlawfully using the composition of other artists. This case is just one among the many cases regarding the infringement of music intellectual property rights. According to a news report by The Globe and Mail, Canada has one of the most stringent anti-piracy rules in the world. But, the cases of infringement have still been on the rise.
Our focus here is to educate songwriters on ways to protect their intellectual property. Let’s discuss this further.
Register your Copyright
The best way to prevent infringement is to get your copyright registered at the Canadian copyrights office. In Canada, if you create an original piece of work, be it literary work, written text, musical compositions or artistic installations, due to its originality, it is automatically protected under the Canadian law. This verity sounds adequate until you face an intellectual property litigation. When your work is registered, you do not have to face any struggle to prove to the court that your work is original. A good first step towards protecting your intellectual property is to register it.
Ensure your Songwriter Credits
In the music industry, it is important to give the relevant artists their due credit. For example, if you are co-writing music, be sure to specify how revenues and credits will be allotted at the completion of the project. This is a crucial step for everyone, including song writers, in the music industry. Unclear terms of publishing and use can get you into trouble and result in unnecessary litigation. To avoid this, make sure you have all the terms in writing.
Check for Infringement with Sophisticated Software
As time progresses, so does technology. There are many advanced software programs that enable you to find out what portion of your work has been infringed upon. If you are associated with a big label, then this work is done for you through their resources. Major brands in the music industry have stringent practices in place to ensure that their work is not being used by third parties. But, if you are an independent songwriter, then you can look for software options online to help you protect your creation.
In the event of an infringement of your intellectual property rights, you may file a lawsuit and take punitive action. A good lawyer will assist you with this process.
To hire an experienced lawyer, get in touch with our team at Prowse Chowne.