Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Musicians Can Avoid Copyright Suits by Showing Sense and Respect; New York Times, 3/17/15

Jonathan Horn, New York Times; Musicians Can Avoid Copyright Suits by Showing Sense and Respect:
"Fortunately, there is a simple solution – seek and obtain any arguably necessary clearances and permissions. Do so in advance. It happens every day – and it works.
Artists and producers, show your affection for the music that came before you and your respect for those who created that music by erring on the side of caution. If you are not sure whether or not you need permission to use something, run it by your team. Ask your counsel. When in doubt, ask for a license!
If you've been asked to license your music, take to heart your responsibility to mentor and assist younger musicians. Be thoughtful and reasonable when evaluating requests for licenses – and instruct record labels and publishers who hold rights in your works to do likewise. It is a tangible way to connect generations. Extend yourself even when the discussion about permission comes later than it should (i.e., after a record has been released). Remember, too, that a new song can rekindle interest in the original and in the original artist. Finally, keep in mind that while you are on the receiving end today, you may be the one seeking permission tomorrow."

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