• University of Glasgow

Music Copyright: Understanding UK Copyright Law When Working with Music

Understand UK music copyright law and how it applies to you as a creator, producer, marketer, distributor or licensee of music.

1,493 enrolled on this course

Music Copyright
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Explore UK music copyright law and how it can benefit musicians

This online course introduces you to the key aspects of UK music copyright law.

It answers questions such as: what is protected by copyright and what is not? In what circumstances can you reuse copyrighted material without permission or payment? How do collecting societies work? And how can you make money as a musician through licensing deals, self publishing or giving your music away?

Real-life musicians share their experiences throughout the course, offering advice on dealing with copyright, being copied by other artists and avoiding accidentally falling into a copy trap.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds SUBJECT 1: Hello, welcome to the course on music copyright. My name is Sukhpreet Singh, and I work at the CREATe Copyright Centre based at the University of Glasgow. I’m responsible for online masters programmes such as the PG certificate in IP innovation and the creative economy. I’m also a researcher of informal IP rights and media management.

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds KRIS ERICKSON: My name is Kris Erickson, and I’m a lecturer in intellectual property and innovation also at the University of Glasgow. My research with online creative communities looks at how they respond to corporate law and what sorts of incentives are most important to them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds SUKHPREET SINGH: At CREATe, we investigate the future of creative production through the lens of copyright law, and the impact this has on creative digital innovation The music business is changing fast due to radical pressures of technology and user behaviour. Some observe that it is fast amalgamating into the global data industry. In this scenario, what is the role of copyright in the creation, availability and consumption of music?

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds KRIS ERICKSON: In the first week, you’ll explore what copyright is, what it can protect and for how long, and what it doesn’t protect. You’ll hear from musicians talking about real copyright issues, such as how to borrow from someone else’s music when producing your own. You will learn about how to seek permission to reuse music and when, under certain conditions, you can use copyright works without permission; something known as copyright exceptions. In the second week, you’ll learn about how you can exploit your rights in the music you create. Artists can earn money through different licencing options and innovative business models. You’ll learn how copyright differentiates between different contributions in a work.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 seconds You’ll also explore ways in which you can reach a wider audience and make money from your creations, either through traditional routes such as the recording and publishing deals, or new or internet enabled models.

Skip to 2 minutes and 8 seconds SUKHPREET SINGH: During this course, you will interact with us as well as Bartolomeo Meletti, the creative director of copyrightuser.org, who would be happy to give you a helping hand with some of the tricky corners you might encounter. Upon completion of this course, you’ll have a better understanding of how UK copyright law shapes music production and its global distribution. You’ll find out more about free avenues to seek further information, such as snappy, easy to understand copyright commentary, and animations on copyrightuser.org, or access cutting edge research-based ideas and debates in music copyright through create.ac.uk.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 seconds You may also be interested in more formal learning opportunities, such as the online MSc in intellectual property innovation, and the creative economy offered by the University of Glasgow. I hope you enjoy the ride.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1: Introduction to UK copyright law (including: What does copyright protect? What does it not protect? How long does copyright protection last? What are some exceptions that allow limited use without seeking permission from copyright owners?; What is unlawful copying or copyright infringement (including real life experiences of musicians talking about their own non-specialist understanding of copyright law); Case study: breaking down different types of ‘copyright works’ in a single song which attract their own different type of copyright.

Week 2: Exploiting copyright [Allowing permission for others to exploit (and pass on share of revenues) by setting up a licensing deal; Giving it away free (creative commons approach) to get better exposure and brand worthiness, Self releasing using the internet without needing distribution deals or expensive agencies]; Understanding collecting societies [Ensuring you get a share of collected royalties]; Case study: How some SMEs are evolving a unique approach to copyright based business models; Exceptions [Using someone else’s copyright works for limited use under special circumstances]

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of UK copyright law, including basics of protected musical works, duration, and, copyright exceptions.
  • Explore how the market works using licensing deals and royalties through collecting societies.
  • Engage with newer concepts such as internet based self-publishing, and, using creative commons licenses.

Who is the course for?

The course is primarily aimed at musicians and current or aspiring music industry professionals. It covers the key aspects of copyright law that creators, producers, marketers and distributors of music need to know about.

It is also useful to anyone working in other creative industries that license music, such as advertising, film, television and digital media.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course, all you need is a decent computer and access to the internet (preferably broadband).

Who will you learn with?

I am the Lead Producer of CopyrightUser.org for CREATe (University of Glasgow). Currently I am being seconded to the British Film Institute as Copyright Education Creative Director.

Lecturer in Intellectual Property & Innovation at the University of Glasgow, with research interest in digital media, peer-production and open knowledge.

I am a Senior Lecturer at University of Glasgow based CREATe Centre running Masters courses in IP & Innovation. I research informal IP and media management. I speak English, Punjabi, Hindi & Assamese.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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