What is Copyright:
The definition of copyright is “the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work)” according to Merriam-webster.com. In other words, copyright is one word describing a number of laws on an artistic product such as music, painting, literature, etc… Those laws aim to protect the property of the original content creator from plagiarism and others stealing his work. Copyright is also an important tool for the financial side of the product, more specifically in the music industry, copyright rules over royalties. Royalties are a certain amount of money that the artist will perceive every time his song will be played on the radio in bars or other places where his music is played. Those royalties ensure the financial survival of the artist and only balances the equation as the bar, for example, would not be successful without any music and so it is only fair that some money is being given to the creator of that music.
Talking specifically about the music industry copyright is really powerful as an artist, to ensure your property on your song and to avoid having other people taking too much “inspiration” from your work, those people are getting accused and in most cases sued for plagiarism. Here are some of the most famous cases of plagiarism:
US$ 5.3 million lawsuit was against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. They accepted a trial court judge’s instructions to jurors to decide the case based only on the sheet music to the two songs, and not the recordings. The two songs resembled each other only in style, not substance, and that the decision was detrimental to the future of artists and creativity.
Miley Cyrus was hit with a US$300 million lawsuit after a Jamaican born singer Michael May claiming that about 50 percent of Cyrus hit comes from “We Run Things,” which was a No. 1 single in Jamaica. He accused Cyrus and Sony-owned RCA Records, her label, of misappropriating elements including the phrase “We run things. Things no run we,” which she sings as “We run things. Things don’t run we.” He added that Cyrus’ hit “owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly-lucrative success to plaintiff May’s protected, unique, creative and original content.
Furthermore, I believe that copyright in the music industry is a bigger threat the more famous the artist is, if an unknown person starting to play music starts using another artists song for a cover, the artist has no interest in taking action as no money will be made by the cover, however, if an artist already well established in the industry releases a song that resembles a little too much another well known artist they will for sure be taken to court as the product made from plagiarising will make a fair bit of money and the original creator is legally right to ask the product to be taken down are having royalties. The easiest way in this industry to avoid having any problems with copyright is to write a clear contract on the ins and outs of the final product, how many people are involved and the percentage of money each of those people will get.
Copyright is really important as it gives every right to the person that created a product and it avoids any plagiarism, However, in other areas, copyright is taken a bit too far and stops people from creating content in fear of being legally pursuit, a good example of that problem is the new law concerning any youtube videos created in the EU and the content creators are already struggling and now with this even stricter rules are being discouraged.