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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
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Ask a Music Lawyer: When Is the Right Time to Register Your Songs With the Copyright Office?

Image via Shutterstock

A question often posed to me by songwriters is when to copyright their songs. Under United States law, a work is protected by copyright if meets sufficient standards of originality and is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” (17 U.S. Code § 102) If these requirements are met, then the work is technically protected under copyright law.

However, without federal copyright registration, the work will not receive the additional benefits of registration, such as the ability to sue for copyright infringement. Therefore, I always recommend that clients register their works with the Copyright Office.

Depending on the situation, though, the timing of when to actually register a work might vary. Here are a few guidelines to help you out.

This Infographic Explains Everything Songwriters Need to Know About How the Consent Decree Revision Impacts Them

Image via soundstr.com

This infographic originally appeared on Soundstr.


If you follow the news in the music industry, you might have been hearing about the consent decree lately. Even if you aren't exactly sure what it means, you may have been able to gather that the revisions made on the consent decree will greatly impact songwriters. There are some songwriters who are starting to sweat, and you may be as well.

If you're wondering what exactly the consent decree is... well, there's a lot to it. Its purpose is essentially to regulate how ASCAP and BMI operate and prevent the development of a monopoly in the industry. ASCAP and BMI are nonprofit companies, and the consent decree binds them to this agreement. However, there are other for-profit companies, SESAC and GMR, that aren't bound. 

Performing Rights Organizations: A Quick Crash Course for Songwriters

Image via pixabay.com

If you've gotten serious about your music, you may have heard someone mention performing rights organizations in passing (PROs, for short) – possibly even by name. Maybe you've always wondered what they were and have been embarrassed to ask. Fortunately, this article is here to help!

How Do Dry Music Venues Make Money? (And 10 Other Things You Should Know)

Photo by Austin Bauman via amplyfi.com

You’re looking to play in a new city and you find an awesome music venue… but there's no booze. What does that mean for your band? How do you get paid? Will your fans still come? Are there perks to playing an alcohol-free spot?

We got three expert talent buyers and venue owners from across the US to weigh in on the subject of booze-free music venues:

5 Things You’re Overpaying for as a Musician

Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

At some point, you’ve probably heard a financial expert on TV say that it’s better to save money than to earn more. If you earn more money, the government taxes the amount, but a dollar saved stays in your pocket.

As musicians, we’re in a field with a low profit margin as it is – especially when we consider how long we practiced for free to get good enough to be heard. Every dollar helps, and you’ve almost certainly been paying too much for the following five things.