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About This Course

Who this course is for:

  • Musicians looking to understand how to protect their songs, albums, and tracks.
  • Musicians looking to understand a contract that might have been presented to them that involves copyright.
  • Artists who are looking for an understanding of copyright.

What you’ll learn: 

  • Fundamental principles of copyright
  • What makes something original
  • Copyright in the Constitution
  • Rights we get
  • Intellectual Property
  • Things Copyright doesn’t protect
  • Copyright Term (length)
  • Public Domain
  • How to get a Copyright
  • Work for Hire
  • First Sale Doctrine
  • Licensing Contracts for Music
  • Film, TV, and Game Licensing
  • Fair Use
  • Parody
  • Trademarks
  • How to get a Trademark
  • Performing Group Names (Band Names)
  • Titles – song titles
  • Right of Publicity
  • Contractual Rights
  • Exclusivity
  • Moral Rights
  • Creative Commons


  • There are no prerequisites for this course. Students need only to be interested in music copyright.
  • Don’t file a copyright before watching this class! Let me show you how to do it – it can be done at no cost.

Welcome to the “Musician’s Guide” Series!

This series is pulled directly from the courses I’ve created for my university position in Music Business. All of these courses are designed for the everyday musician – amateur or professional – who has little or no knowledge on the topic, but wants to master it.

This class is all about Copyright.

It is ideal for anyone who has had an interest in copyright, or a need to understand copyright. Especially:

  • Creators: If you are making music, you need to understand your rights.
  • Consumers: If you are working with music, and want to know if you can copy a song, delete a song, or make a mashup of a song, this course is for you!
  • Musicians: If you are going to be recorded, you should understand how things will work when the recording is released, and what rights you have to your performance.
  • Producers: If you are using samples in your tracks, you need to understand copyright!
  • Curious Minds: Anyone interested in how copyright law works, where it comes from, and where it might be going is invited to be a part of this class.

In this class, we start with the most basic question: How do we define music? Once we have a definition, we start to look at how music is protected with copyright, ways that it isn’t, and how to work with it for fun and profit. I’ll walk you through every step of the issue and explain the logic behind every concept.

The goal of this class is for you to understand how to make copyright protection work for you.

If you are ready to start making money from your music, and making sure it is protected, this class will start you on that journey. Get started today.

Our Promise to You

By the end of this course, you will have learned how to protect your music with copyright.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, simply contact us and we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

Get started today and learn more about copyright.

Course Curriculum

Section 1 - Introduction And Overview
Introduction 00:00:00
What We Are Covering Here 00:00:00
Tools You Will Need For This Class 00:00:00
Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer 00:00:00
Disclaimer: Territories 00:00:00
Section 2 - What Is Music?
Defining Music 00:00:00
Axis Of Awesome 00:00:00
Melody And Uniqueness 00:00:00
Originality 00:00:00
Independent Creation 00:00:00
Music Is Intangible 00:00:00
Definitions Of Music 00:00:00
The Legal Definition Of Music 00:00:00
Section 3 - What Is Copyright?
Copyright In The Constitution 00:00:00
Rights We Get 00:00:00
Intellectual Property 00:00:00
Copyright Does Not Protect 00:00:00
Section 4 - Copyright Basics
Term 00:00:00
Public Domain 00:00:00
Why Put Something In The Public Domain? 00:00:00
History Of Copyright 00:00:00
How To Get A Copyright 00:00:00
Section 5 - Work For Hire
What Is Work For Hire? 00:00:00
Work For Hire Copyright Term 00:00:00
Section 6 - Assignments
What These Are 00:00:00
First Sale Doctrine 00:00:00
Licensing 00:00:00
Film And TV Licensing 00:00:00
Licensing “Houses” 00:00:00
Section 7 - Collaboration
Collaboration And Copyright 00:00:00
Presumption Of Equal Ownership 00:00:00
How A Band Divides Copyright 00:00:00
Section 8 - Fair Use
The Fair Use Doctrine 00:00:00
Types Of Fair Use 00:00:00
The Four Factors 00:00:00
Example – Class Video 00:00:00
What A Lawyer Will Tell You About Fair Use 00:00:00
Section 9 - Parody
Misconceptions About Parody 00:00:00
Weird Al Yankovic 00:00:00
Section 10 - Trademarks
What Is A Mark? 00:00:00
What Is A Trade? 00:00:00
How To Get A Trademark 00:00:00
My Trademarks 00:00:00
Trademark Symbols 00:00:00
Section 11 - Performing Group Names (Band Names)
Uniqueness 00:00:00
Filing 00:00:00
What About My Own Name? 00:00:00
Section 12 - Trademark And Fair Use
Does Fair Use Still Apply? 00:00:00
Example Of Fair Use And Trademarks 00:00:00
Section 13 - Titles
Trademark And Titles Of Works (Song Titles) 00:00:00
Section 14 - Right Of Publicity
What Is Right Of Publicity? 00:00:00
Tom Waits Example 00:00:00
Bette Midler Example 00:00:00
Frank Zappa Example 00:00:00
Protections 00:00:00
Section 15 - Contractual Rights
Your Contractual Rights 00:00:00
Section 16 - Exclusivity
Selling A Beat 00:00:00
Territory 00:00:00
Product Or Service 00:00:00
Duration 00:00:00
Section 17 - Right Of First Negotiation/Refusal
Right Of First Refusal 00:00:00
Section 18 - Moral Rights
Moral Rights 00:00:00
Section 19 - Creative Commons/Copyleft
What Is Copyleft? 00:00:00
Core Principals 00:00:00
Get Creative Video 00:00:00
The C And CC 00:00:00
The Creative Commons Licenses 00:00:00
Databases Of Works 00:00:00
Section 20 - Wrap Up
What Comes Next? 00:00:00
Thanks For Watching! 00:00:00
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