Creating something is a rewarding and sometimes challenging process. From my own experience, the music I create comes from very deep within me. I draw upon my past experiences, musical influences and combine that to tell a story or evoke an emotion. For someone to use something that I uniquely created in a way that copies or plagiarizes my work (without permission) it would really piss me off. Since commencing my audio degree, I have gained a deeper appreciation for copyright laws and how they protect intellectual property and creators.
I recently attended an information session about copyright that was presented by APRA AMCOS. The session was very informative and if I am to be an audio engineer and studio owner/manager, then I needed to apply for an International Standard Recording Code (IRSC). The processes were simple, just send an email to the Australian Recording Industry Association and they sent back information on how to apply for the IRSC as a third party. I followed the next step and now Hired Gun Recording Studio is able to allocate IRSC for rights holders. This code identifies songs to APRA AMCOS so that they are able to collect royalties for the rights holders on their behalf.
hgrs.com.au trademarked logo
My logo was created by Freesoul Design Studio, a graphic designer that I have worked with numerous times before. He delivered my logo designs and I sought to have them trademarked to prevent anyone else stealing the logo. Trademarking was done by registering it through the Australian Government IP site using the online application. Shortly after applying for my trademark, I received notification that my application was registered. Within a week, received two letters from two separate companies claiming to be part of a World Trademark organization and they said that they would register my trademark internationally for a large sum of money. I was so very obviously a scam and I just ignored the letters. It makes you wonder how many people simply pay it without even checking.
So the title captured your attention? It was designed to do exactly that. If you are a performer or songwriter, then this post is definitely for you. Did you know that you can get royalties paid in addition to performance fees for gigs that you have played? Did you also know that in addition to the money you get from youtube advertising, there are additional royalties just waiting for you? If the answer is no, continue reading.
Music Copyright Collection Societies There are organisations that collect license fees from music users and pay royalties to artists and composers. There are affiliated music societies all over the globe that do this, and the one in Australia is called The Australian Performing Rights Association APRA AMCOS(APRA has a list of affiliate societies here). Their job is to help music creators get paid for the work that they do and facilitates music consumers a simple way to use and copy music legally. What APRA is and how they do what they do, is shown in the below video.
What to do next Go to the APRA AMCOS website (apraamcos.com.au) and create a profile. Once you have made a profile, it is just a matter of adding the details of your work to the profile. That was easy? Well not quite, there are a few hoops to jump through. When submitting works, you can only submit one at a time until they are reviewed individually. Then the best part: you list live performances that you have done because you can actually get paid royalties for playing your own music on top of theperformance fee you are already receiving.
What’s the catch? There is only one caveat, to be eligible to claim royalties, your works MUST be commercially released. This can be done by two avenues: you get signed to a label and they take care of this for you (at high cost), or, you can independently release your recorded music on a distribution platform such as Distrokid, CD Baby, Ditto Music, Record Union, MondoTunes and Reverbnation to name a few. For those of you who intend on distributing independently or finding out more about music distribution, here is a very good blog article: Everything Musicians Need to Know About Music Distribution.
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