Musicians are creators and copyright law says that creators have a right to gain economic value from their creation. For example, if you write a song, you can charge money to let a movie studio or a TV station use your song in their sound track. The law gives these rights as an incentive for creation. It is thought that when creativity is encouraged, the public will be benefited because more art will be available to the public.
Copyright law places very minimal conditions on protection of creativity:
- The creative work has to be fixed in a tangible medium. For example, if you compose music, the musical notations should be put down on paper or the music should be recorded on a cassette tape or CD.
- The work has to be original i.e. it should be created by the author and should contain at least a small amount of creativity. If a work is copied, it is not original.
- Protection is for a fixed duration.
Copyright law allows you to gain economic value by giving you a bundle of rights in your music. These rights are not absolute and are subject to the rights of other creators and the public. However, if somebody uses your music without your permission and their use does not come within the scope of the limitations provided by law, you are entitled to significant relief for violation of your rights.