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3 Online Tools That Make Copyrights and Licensing Way Easier for Musicians (And Everyone Else)

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Our copyright system in the US isn’t exactly known for being high tech, or for making it easy for musicians and businesses to license music and to get the permissions to use music they didn’t write. But the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), the organization that helps musicians purchase rights to record cover songs, is doing its part to bring some copyright and licensing processes into the 21st century.

Though musicians aren’t the primary customers for some of the HFA high-tech tools, you can benefit from knowing more about them and making sure your music is available for others to license through these systems (more on how to do that below). Here are the three tools you should know about.

How to License Your Songs Under Creative Commons to Get More Exposure

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If you’re wondering whether a Creative Commons license is the right path for your song, read about the benefits and drawbacks in part one of this article.

As with any decision impacting your financial interests and the long-term path for your music, don’t make a permanent decision about licensing (such as licensing a song under Creative Commons) until you’ve weighed all of your options. Make sure to speak with a lawyer specializing in entertainment law if you have specific questions about your own music-licensing situation. Once you free a song using a permanent Creative Commons (CC) license, there's no going back, so look before you leap and continue reading for tips on how to obtain a CC license.

Should You Make Your Music Available Under Creative Commons?

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In a time where corporate greed is frequently a news topic, there are also movements pushing back against forcing people to pay for art and music in an effort to facilitate collaborations between creators and to keep art accessible to the public. So should you make your own music available under a free license? Here’s a quick overview of a few of the benefits and drawbacks of freeing your music.

Here's a Simple Rundown of the Tax Forms You Need to Pay Musicians

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Hiring studio musicians to help fill out the sound for your recording? Organizing a group to play for your wedding or a party? Whether you’re a musician hiring fellow musicians for a gig, or an event organizer hiring musicians to entertain your guests or clients, here are some tips to make your life – and the lives of your musicians – easier when it comes time for payment and tax season.

Taxes for Musicians: A Simple Guide to All the Forms You'll Need

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So you finally finished the last of your last holiday gigs and the New Year is here, which also means that it's tax season. You may soon be receiving a number of forms you'll be expected to use when filing your taxes before the April 15 deadline. But in case you think that the titles of the forms piling up on your desk sound more like a phone book than a way to get a refund, here are some basic explanations of the most common tax forms for musicians and when you'll need them.