With 15 second Instagram covers taking over the millennial scene, people are now, more than ever, playing, listening to, and discovering music online. If you are serious about starting a career in the music industry, however, there are a few things you need to consider first.
First, before signing any deal with any agency or corporation, make sure to have the contact or agreement overlooked by a lawyer. Most of the times, you’ll be signing away large portions of your life (and the most important part of your musical career). Often, without this extra set of eyes, most start-up musicians sign off their creative freedom to record labels and producers without even knowing it.
Second, if you choose to rise to fandom without the help of any external source (thanks to social media, self-promotion has become easier and more efficient than ever), make sure you are following the proper regulations. Most popularly, individuals will upload “10 second covers” on various social media platforms to cater to what’s trending or popular. Once a song has been previously recorded and commercially released, any artist may record a cover. However, you can only distribute this cover after obtaining a mechanical license from the rights holder, that is, the owner of the copyright in the composition. Mechanical royalties must then be paid to the publisher of the composition.
And last, if you do choose to make your original music and post or distribute it online… PLEASE copyright your work. Just as easily as you can share your work, someone else can copy it. If you’re serious about your music, you’ll take the extra step to protect your intellectual property.
Information gathered from IP Watchdog.