Over the years, artists have lost their work due to theft. Sometimes the piece itself is stolen, or they lost the rights to their work. While some of these problems have been legitimate, sometimes there is an oversight on the artist’s part that could have contributed to many legal battles.
So how can you protect your ownership rights before going to any New York recording studios? Can you protect yourself in any way before entering the studio? You can seek legal advice and do the following things to protect your ownership rights.
File your PA
Copyright exists the moment you create something and fix it in a tangible form. Registering the work gives you the right to defend your intellectual rights. For example, you may be eligible for ‘statutory damages,’ and you can recover your attorney fees in a legal proceeding. Additionally, in a court of law, you will have an easier time proving ownership if you filed early enough. If you know the songs that you will record, submit a PA form for all of them at once to save on additional fees.
Agree with your team
If you have a band or a songwriter, it is essential to agree how ownership will be shared. Do you share equal copyright? If not, how do you define the ownership? It is best to discuss licensing decisions. Seek to ensure that everyone in your team is on the same page before you go to record any music. Waiting until the money starts coming in to discuss these issues never ends well.
Prepare work-for-hire agreements
If someone else is recording the song, you should consider if they will bring additional things to the table. Every person who contributes a creative element to your music could argue that they own a part of your work. The author, of course, gets copyright law by default, but there is a clause that exempts hired jobs. Your employer or the person commissioning some works gets considered as the author. Therefore, create a work-for-hire agreement. It will clarify ownership from the start.
If you do not want to lose work you have worked hard for, it is vital to cover all your bases even with your team. If you wait until you start earning from a song or album to agree on some of these things, you may end up in a legal war. You will get to enjoy the many benefits of recording your song at a professional studio without worrying about copyright ownership.