Keys For Commercial Music Releases
Your music means a lot to you. The following information will help you release your music for commercial distribution the right way.
Secure Copyrights And Licensing : Use Caution With SamplesThe first thing you need when releasing your music for commercial distribution is copyright and licensing ownership. Simply recording a song or album in and of itself does not give you full power to reap the commercial benefits of your work, at least not free and clear of legal disputes. Before registering the copyrights for your music, make sure that you have the authority to do so. Copyrights require "claimaints", that is, owners of the music. Don't wait until there is a big deal on the table to think about protecting your big deal! All contributing artists and composers of the lyrics and performance need credit. Make sure that you have the name of all persons involved on the song or album. To do this, you will be best served by recording each person's contribution to the song or album with "split sheets", signed by each contributor. Once this is complete, you should file for the copyright at "copyright.gov." Once filed, you now have the authority to release your music without worrying about another claimant that contends ownership of your work.
Get Permission From Copyright Owners For Songs With SamplesYou hear a song and think, "This beat is nice! I'm going to record over this beat with my own lyrics!" Not so fast! If you want to distribute your music commercially - meaning, for profit - you will need permission of the original copyright owner to do so. While definitely possible, this can be tricky as you will have to find the original copyright claimant and get their written permission to use their music for your gain. This can be expensive because song owners generally require a fee for such permission and a residual royalty. If this is problematic, then do yourself a favor and do not release music that you lack full permission to do so. Consider it an opportunity to tap into your creativity!
Your Music Should Be Fully Mixed and MasteredMusic Engineers are very helpful. After you record a song in the studio, make sure that you go the extra mile and have your music fully mixed and mastered. Failure to do so can really diminish the audio quality when played on electronic devices. It would be a shame to make a great song and the song not reach its full potential because it sounds "windy" when played on cellular phones and radios.
Have A High Definition Song Cover Image Without Trademarked LogosImage matters a lot in music! Great music needs a great image. Images should always be high definition. And this is very important - it's better to have a larger image than a smaller one! Smaller images may blur when expanded, but very rarely do larger images lose detail when scaled smaller. Additionally, avoid using trademarked images (images owned by others) in the album cover. This includes logos for clothing or the team logo of professional athletic teams. Play it safe when in question. If you sell your music and the accompanying image makes use of another's trademarked image, you will be liable for trademark infringement, and it is not a cheap violation. You work too hard making your music to see it hampered by trademarked images that can easily be replaced with your own originality.