Course Description

Introduction to Music Copyright Law covers the basics of music copyright law including how to establish and register a copyright for your song or musical creation.  Attendees will explore the basic rights you get when you have a copyright and what those basic rights mean.

We will discuss music sampling and whether you need to get permission to use a sample.  We will listen to some famous uses of music sampling from the early days of it until today.

The second part of the class involves focusing on some of the most famous copyright cases where we will listen to the songs in question—the original song and the alleged copied one.  We will also explore some current cases.  You will learn the basic rules regarding proving a copyright infringement case and all the issues that arise from these cases, including what a plaintiff must prove to establish a copyright claim, along with defenses and damages in a copyright action.

Lastly, we will delve into future issues of music streaming, sampling, and why all songs seem to sound alike.  The course will also explore user-generated content take down notices under federal law; performing rights organizations role in music; why a picture may be worth more than a thousand words; and, the future of copyright lawsuits and why songs are built could lead to future controversies.