Tip of the Week: Get to grips with songwriting copyright

You’re an artist, right? Your forte is songwriting, yes? So you don’t need to worry yourself with the ins and outs of copyright? Wrong!

If you’re an emerging artist it’s vital that you understand the basics of copyright and take steps to protect yourself from being exploited.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money with a lawyer, but it does mean if you’re songwriting with anyone else, you need to get things in writing before you start working together. Don’t be afraid to speak up and insist that you sort the paperwork out before a songwriting session – it’s a sign that you’re a professional.

Before you start a collaborative session, you need to agree in black and white how the music copyright will be shared. (You never know your song could go on to be a major hit, and you don’t want to miss out on your fair share of that success.)

If you’re unsure of what the paperwork needs to include, the Musicians’ Union has a one-page template on their website.

For a quick 101 on copyright, and what you need to know, then read our interview with a top music lawyer HERE.