Copyright 101

What exactly is a copyright? The simplest definition is it is a form of intellectual property protection enforceable under the law. Despite the term being used in the singular, “a copyright” is actually a bundle of rights granted to an author of an original creative work that has been fixed in a tangible medium, such as song recorded on a CD or audio file.

Jul 26, 2018

When Should You Consider Sync

Sync licensing is an important driver, both creatively and financially, for artists, composers and producers. At a basic level, granting a sync and master license means to allow a third party to use the copyright and sound recording of a musical work in timed relation with visual media (ie. TV, Film, Ads, Trailers, Video Games, etc..). In my experience, sync is an art form that can add a dynamic layer to an artist’s story while also providing a significant revenue stream.  

Jul 24, 2018

The Current State of Creative AI: What Songwriters Need to Know

The rise of creative AI understandably has some songwriters and publishers fearing for their future. Will AI-generated music ultimately compete with artists and songwriters for real-estate - and revenue - on terrestrial radio and streaming playlists? Will a fully AI-driven culture devalue human creativity altogether?

Jul 19, 2018

Electronica: Then & Now

Of all the musical styles jostling for their place in the spotlight, perhaps none is as all-encompassing as electronica. In many regards the first truly global genre, electronica isn’t bound by any specific language, cultural boundary or geographic limitation.

Jul 17, 2018

Financial Planning for Songwriters

Professional songwriters and musicians can potentially make more money today than ever before, however, that doesn't automatically mean they're going to be set for life. We've all seen the hard-luck stories of big stars who somehow wound up penniless after a series of setbacks. Over the years, how many top selling artists have declared bankruptcy - sometimes more than once - to manage debts that exceed their incomes?

Jul 10, 2018

Punk: Then & Now

Imagine, if you will, the musical landscape of 1976. Disco and soft rock rule the airwaves; in November of that year, Captain & Tennille’s “Muskrat Love,” strangely, will go to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mainstream music remains placid, pleasant, and unchallenging, save the occasional sprinklings of prog and harder-edged stuff. “Harder” meaning, in this case, Boston and Ted Nugent.

Now, picture a sonic hand grenade thrown into the center of this safe and serene environment: A deafening wave of crashing guitars and furious, bile-spewing singers set on destroying everything that’s come before it. We’re talking, of course, about punk rock.

Jun 21, 2018

Covering and Sampling: The Basics

Despite its deep roots in musical tradition, covering and sampling other artists’ work is a sticky topic. Some songwriters have no issue with drawing inspiration from existing songs and sounds, while others insist it’s “cheating” and prefer a more traditional approach to songwriting.

Apr 18, 2018