How Many Musicians Realize That Their Art is Intellectual Property?

When your music starts to get popular, intellectual property law could be a concern. Other people could try to copy your work without your permission. It is important to understand that your music, album covers and the words to your songs are intellectual property. Use these four tips to protect it.

License Your Album and Cover Art
When your band has promotional photos taken for publicizing singles, albums and concerts, it is important to recognize that this is a part of your intellectual property. If you have an arrangement with the photographer that he or she retains the rights, you will need his or her permission to use them for other reasons. Both your band and the photographer will need to protect the album cover art and photos as intellectual property.

Use Intellectual Property Law for Protection
Intellectual property law is designed to protect published work. Professionals, like those at Carter West, realize that this includes songs and musical scores. If you have created a poem or other information that is published with your music or art, intellectual property law will also cover it. These laws protect your rights to ownership if someone tries to use your work without your express permission.

Copyright Your Music Videos
You might not have realized that your music videos are also a part of your intellectual property. If you have created a music video and uploaded it to social media, YouTube or other venues, take care with how it is made available for use. Your band or record label may need to limit use or restrict the portions of it that are available to the public at no cost.

Set up a Use Agreement with Your Lawyer
If you decide to allow radio stations or other media outlets to use your music or display your album cover art, set up a use agreement with an intellectual property lawyer. A use agreement helps to establish payments for royalties for each event that your property is used. You could also work with the lawyer to establish promotional policies so that media outlets could play your song in order to publicize your concerts or other performances.

These four tips help to ensure that you get fairly compensated for the use of your written songs, music, images and other art. You can take steps to protect yourself and your band by working with an intellectual property lawyer. The lawyer could assist you in setting up trademarks, copyrights and use agreements that protect your personal financial interests.