In this section we look at the concept of copyright in the UK as related to musical works, the royalty system and how it works, what a publisher does.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS THE WRITER OF A MUSICAL WORK
The writer of a musical work is the creator (and the original owner) of a piece of copyright material.
It does not matter whether that musical work is a song with a lyric and melody or simply a rhythmic instrumental piece without words or tune. Provided that work is in some way a musical composition the writer of it is the owner of its copyright.
There are three basic qualifying criteria:
Originality – the work must be new and unique
- Set down in a permanent form – recorded on magnetic tape, saved on a computer disc, written, drawn or painted