Web tools

Music Skills

Inspirations

Music Box
Know your industry

Task 2: Keep it legal

Keep it legal is one of two tasks that support the unit of competency CUFIND201A Develop and apply creative arts industry knowledge.

In Keep it legal you’ll:

  • develop a list of sources where you can find out about laws and regulations affecting the music industry

  • respond to a range of music industry scenarios that present real issues around occupational health and safety, contracts and copyright

  • develop a checklist of safety tips.

This table shows which elements of competency and performance criteria relate to your task Keep it legal.

Elements of competency Performance criteria

1. Source and apply industry information

1.4 Comply with copyright requirements when accessing information.

2. Identify industry laws and regulations

2.1 Seek information on laws and regulations affecting the creative arts industries using appropriate sources.

2.2 Identify implications of breaching laws and regulations affecting the creative arts industries.

2.3 Apply information to ensure laws and regulations are not breached in day-to-day work activities.

3. Update and maintain industry knowledge

Keep it legal partially addresses:

3.2 Identify current issues of concern to the creative arts industries.

3.3 Share updated knowledge with colleagues.

Listen in

Lucy Egger

Lucy Egger is a musician and composer. Listen to Lucy talk about how legal issues can impact on your work in the music industry.

You need to have the Flash Player installed in your browser in order to use the audio player.

Transcript: legal issues

I’m still becoming acquainted with many of the legal issues in the music industry myself as I go along. I know that copyright obviously is a big issue, intellectual property is another term for that, but your copyrighting your work is very important and very easy to do. As I say, you just put your name on it, put the copyright symbol on it, ‘c’ in a little circle, the year and you do that whether you’re sending a sound file, digital file you know recording a CD or writing music on paper.

It’s worth checking out something like the APRA website or www.aria.com.au/, the Australian Recording Industry Association which also have lots of information about the legal issues.

My experience about certain legal rights, for example, I did a children’s album and as I was doing that there was a couple of songs that I wasn’t sure what their origins were and I found out that they weren’t sort of children’s songs that we all sing you know they belonged to someone. They’re actually under copyright, even ‘Happy Birthday’ is under copyright.

So, when it came to this children’s music there was a typical song we wanted to use, we wanted to change the words a bit, we decided not to go ahead because I would have to go to the creators of the song, ask for their permission and for anyone who represents them. I’d have to ask for their permission to be able to change the words to their original tune which was what we wanted to do. And that means getting their written permission and being able to do that and then obviously you pay them certain royalties along the way. I mean that’s something to consider when you’re sampling music you’ve got to be very careful about getting permission again.

Things like I was engaged to write music for a company, they were hiring me as a composer to write music for a corporate video but in signing that contract I’m actually signing away my copyright. And that was fine because it was a short piece of music and I’m not going to do anything with it ever again, it’s going to be used specifically for a corporate training video but that’s something you’ve got to consider if you’re signing a contract. Do you maintain your copyright status? What’s your ownership of your work in the end?

Next: Go to Your task to for more info

Or go to: Music skills to learn about legal issues | Inspiration for real life examples| Music Box web collection (opens in new window) for more resources.