March 6, 2018

Decoded: A complete guide to branding yourself as a musical artist

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Decoded: A complete guide to branding yourself as a musical artist

In your capacity as performer, musician, lyricist, tour manager and business strategist you also need to fit in the small matter of becoming a branding expert.

Nobody said this was going to be easy!

Although some musicians might see creating a brand as a something akin to exam revision, we’ve created this guide to hopefully show you that the creative process of devising and developing a brand is nothing to be feared.

In fact, it should be as absorbing and artistic a process as song writing itself!

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

Why some artists shy away from branding

How to begin creating a brand as an artist

The ‘3 Es’ of branding (careful now!)

Key takeaways

But before we begin… what actually is a brand?

We interact with brands all the time. In its simplest form it’s a logo, along with a name, tagline, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes it from its rivals in the eyes of fans or customers.

However, many will tell you that a brand is much more than that. It’s engrained in our tribal psyche as human beings to gravitate towards badges, flags, symbols and ideas– to claim allegiance to a cause, and literally ‘nail our colours’ to the mast.

Brand is visual representation of identity and the best artists in history are all about identity and identifying with their audience. So, as a musical artist starting out in a career you are already a brand whether you like it or not.

The question is whether you are a good, bad or just plain ugly one (in many cases this is no bad thing; check out those early Rolling Stones album covers!)

Image Credit: BP & O
Why many artists shy away from branding

A common mistake some artists make is to confuse authenticity with branding. ‘But isn’t it supposed to be about the music’ is a common complaint when discussing a band’s image, for example.

There’s a fear that credibility can be lost by taking any focus away from the music and concentrating on image.

While there’s no doubt that style over substance always causes problems, even the most credible artists in history have cultivated a strong, defined image, story and visual identity (AKA a brand!).

The Sex Pistols are credited with turning the entire music industry on its head; a vital disrupting force that led to one of the most creative and exciting periods in music’s history.

They were also entirely manufactured by Vivienne Westwood and her then partner, Malcolm McClaren. Does this make their music less credible?

The best artists have always understood that being a successful artist is about more than having well-crafted songs. Remember Nelly’s face band-aid, Madonna’s cone bra and Lady Gaga’s crazy, well, everything? All those quirks and styles helped created their image and brand as an artist. (If you want help finding your trademark style, we’ve got you covered.)

Artist branding is about taking that music and channelling its energy through a consistent visual style and identity. In a way that, hopefully, builds the kind of tribal loyalty that causes normal people to sell everything the own and follow you on tour for the rest of their lives.

Your brand should be considered as much a part of who you are as your music. It should be respected and nurtured just like any other valued artistic element. A Spinnup act we think really nails this is Swedish songwriter/producer/performer duo Vaz, who put a huge amount of effort into their brand, from their album artwork, to artist imagery and outfit styling. Check out their Instagram to see what we mean.

How do you begin creating a brand as an artist?

Paul Wilkinson, former Creative Director at MTV, believes that the trick when starting out is to take inspiration from your idols:

“When most artists start out they tend to emulate the people they admire as they find their own voice. The best place to start is to think about who inspires you and look at what they’re doing. Don’t directly copy what they do, but study them carefully and introduce your own ideas. Keep it simple.”

Quite often there will be someone in your band or close to you that has a natural affinity for creating a visual identity. If not, it might be worth enlisting the support from someone who can.

Good artists collaborate, so find some inspiration from artists or designers who resonate with you and even see if one can help you begin to create a brand that will elevate your music to where it deserves to be.

“Try reaching out to your own fanbase,” says Paul. “If you have a few hundred followers ask them for feedback and see if any of them can do better. There’s bound to be someone amongst them who will step forward and offer good creative ideas. It’ll also help foster a sense of community, which is vital in the early days.”

One word of warning. When starting out remember that everything you post online will still be there a few years down the line, so take this stuff seriously from the start.

“Everything stays online these days,” says branding expert Bridgette of Zambesi Digital, “so think carefully before you put anything out there.”

“Are you going to be embarrassed in a few years’ time? Is it going to come back to bite you?”

Don’t get caught up in the moment. Guard your image jealously.

Image credit: Toward Music

What are the ‘3 Es’ of branding?

The 3 Es of Branding are often highlighted by branding agencies when helping companies to devise a new brand identity.

The Es stand for Enabling, Elevating and Enriching – and don’t just apply to the logo design and colour palettes, but are used to inform everything from imagery choices to the tone of voice.

We aren’t saying that these principals will always be applicable to every artist, but they help to give you an idea of how a professional agency might approach branding an artist.

  1. Enabling

In other words, whatever brand you choose should feel simple, effortless and accessible for anyone who is attracted to it either directly or through your music

  1. Elevating

Your brand should aim to create an experience through the senses. Think about textures, colours, environment and storytelling.

  1. Enriching

Fans should be able to feel part of what your brand represent. It should resonate with them and create that sense of tribe and community that they seek.

Think of what you can provide your fanbase with that will help this. What tangible objects can you give out at gigs? What different ways are there to interact with them?

When you get these three elements right it can create a catalytic effect that delivers real magic – which is all your audience is really looking for.

Key takeaways

  • Keep it simple
  • Study your idols; be inspired by them
  • Collaborate!
  • Take your time, get it right – you wouldn’t put out a half-arsed song!
  • Be careful what you post on social media – will you still be proud of this in 5 years’ time?

Branding is a living, breathing thing, so expect it to evolve over the years as you become more successful. Coldplay, for example, evolved from a simple scruffy busker look to the colourful and distinctive visual identity they enjoy today.

The most important thing is to take it seriously, and not dismiss it as some sort of inauthentic corporate exercise. It’s really all about visual communication and a chance to stand out from the crowd. And remember, enjoy it and your fans will too!

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Decoded: Data for independent artists

Making the most of your data as an unsigned artist; the complete guide for 2018

As a fledgling artist in today’s music industry you have a lot on your plate. Booking gigs, building a fanbase, liaising with the press, making sure your drummer turns up to rehearsals, and the small matter of crafting drop-dead-gorgeous tracks that stun the world into awed reverie. You probably think that adding ‘data-management’ to that list is a little unreasonable.

We do sympathise, but if you want to forge a music career today, whether as an independent artist or by signing a record deal with a label, it’s vital to have a good handle on your data.

To help you get to grips with this most un-artistic of topics, we’ve created this detailed guide to the state-of-play in 2018.

It covers everything that’s happening in the music businesses with regards to your data, how it’s being used to influence major decisions, and what you can be doing – right now – to ‘own’ your data and make it work harder for you.

Regardless of where you are now in your career, the more you understand your data and how to use it your advantage, the bigger and better things can become in the months and years ahead.

How your data is being used in 2018

Like it or not, data is now a key part of who you are as an artist. It influences how you are perceived by your peers, can open and close doors and windows of opportunity, and could ultimately hold the key to all your hopes and dreams around your career.

No biggie then!

The mountain of data produced by streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, combined with social media mentions and YouTube views, has created an avalanche of information.

It’s being used every day to make important business decisions, from which tracks get released and where artists tour, down to simple design and merch ideas like which lyrics get printed on a t-shirt.

2016/17 – a watershed moment for the music industry

One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the explosion of streaming.

After years of struggling sales and fretting about the disruptive influence of digital technology, the music industry posted double digit growth for the first time in over a decade, and this is almost entirely down to streaming’s exponential growth.

Streaming now accounts for more than 50% of all UK music consumption. Meanwhile, in one day alone, more music is streamed in the US than downloaded in an entire year.

Although Spotify has been around a while now – it launched in 2008, followed by Deezer in 2009 and Apple Music in 2015 – something happened recently that’s tipped streaming over the edge.

This means that your streaming data, more than social media and YouTube, is probably the biggest indicator for any record company, artist management, tour organiser or venue promoter of your perceived value as an artist.

It’s so important we recently overhauled our entire Stats & Activity page to include a brand-new trends graphs to show our artists more streaming data than ever.

Whereas we used to show your Spotify streams a few days after the first stream of your track, we now show streaming data from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Google Play AND download stats from iTunes and Amazon all in the one place.

We also tripled the amount of historical data available, showing three months’ worth of figures rather than one.


Generation Z; why ‘Young Millennials’ love Spotify and why you should care

One of the big drivers behind streaming has been the coming of age of the ‘Young Millennials’.

Unlike their more piratically-minded older siblings, the latest crop of 16-19-year olds are overwhelmingly positive about paying for music and have made Spotify their platform of choice.

A recent survey found that 67% of them think music is worth paying for, compared to 56% of music lovers overall.

It also found that this age group are overwhelmingly found on Spotify. 53% of 16-19-year olds regularly use Spotify to listen to music, compared to 47% who use YouTube.

If you suspect that 16-19-year olds are going to be your biggest fans, you need to be thinking of Spotify as your main platform for of choice.

Think about boosting your presence by pushing fans there from your social media platforms. It might go without saying, but you should also keep optimising your Spotify Artists Page.

Keep your bio regularly updated, keep posting playlists and make sure you select the right ‘artists pick’ track. We’ve got a great Spotify For Artists Guide that tells you how to manage all of that.

If you are focussing on a record deal, it also means that it makes sense to focus the bulk of your efforts on nurturing your streaming platforms rather than selling digital downloads.

Does this mean that Scouts only care about streaming numbers?

A&R Scouts stake their reputation on an artist when they get behind them. Although your data stats are going to have an influence on how you are perceived across the industry, scouts are still going to make a gut-based decision about you as an artist, and your music.

Although they can bring you to people’s attention they are not the be-all-and-end-all. However, you should be should be nurturing them like a new-born baby.

“Data is invaluable to independent artists who want to create a career from their music, enabling strategic and well developed artistic and financial decisions to be made,” says Spinnup UK Scout Trenton. “At the heart of this however is the actual music, which is without a doubt the most important thing for scouts. Yes, data is useful for driving and maximising independent music, but there is still a huge importance on great artists and the creation of great music in the industry.”

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What about independent artists?

The good news is that big data isn’t just useful to music business executives.

It’s never been easier to build a fanbase, and artists who make an independent living are expected to grow massively over the coming years.

The real value of your data lies in getting a sense of the types of content that resonate with your audience.

Do some platforms work better for you than others? Do some tracks resonate differently on YouTube than, say, Soundcloud?

Understanding this data allows artists to make better strategic decisions and waste less time and effort trying to second guess what will or won’t work.

It also allows you to manage multiple touchpoints with your fans more effectively, especially as you get busier over time.

At Spinnup we’ve included huge amounts of social media stats, so you can track the number of fans and followers you have multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and YouTube.

We’ve also added Plays and Views from SoundCloud and YouTube as well as downloads from iTunes and Amazon.

Good data allows you to connect all the dots and makes sure you are making the most of your key channels; those platforms where new fans are waiting to discover your music.

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Action Plan; 5 things you need to be doing with your data right now

1: Own it!

If you don’t know you can’t act. You need to commit to taking ownership. Don’t rely on someone else to do it for you, especially in the early stages of your career.

2: Use a data management tool

Keeping on top of your data can be time consuming, particularly if you have to log-in to multiple platforms to get it. Make sure you pick a tool that covers the ‘4 Vs’:

  • Volume – it can handle an explosion of data
  • Variety – it can pull in data from multiple sources
  • Velocity – it can keep you updated in real time
  • Veracity – it provides a picture you can trust

Added to that should be accessibility. Having your data at your fingertips, while you’re out gigging or recording, will help you make real time decisions while you’re on the move.

3: Book tours and gigs in the right places; break new ground

Now you know where you’re popular, you can start booking gigs where it matters. We’re creating a new feature right now that will break down your streams by geography – so you could soon be booking that tour of Serbia!

4: Build partnerships

Smart artists are looking to partner with others, so they can swap support slots where they are not so popular and cross-pollinate audiences.

EDM artists have been doing this for years when releasing tracks. Partnering with artists with big followings in different territories gives them a platform and lets them piggy-back on their partner’s popularity. It’s why you see so many tracks FEAT. multiple artists.

5: Boost your channels where it makes sense to do so

If you see a sudden boost in popularity on a certain platform, use your social media presence to push your fans to that channel.

Conversely, don’t waste limited resources promoting yourself on channels where there’s little or no movement.

Remember, this is about creating and nurturing multiple touch points with your fans. It’s a great opportunity that artists from previous generations could have only dreamed of.

Yes, it’s another thing on your endless to-do-list but do it well and you’ll be well-ahead of the game.

Good luck and remember to keep checking back with our blog for more advice and tips on how to do keep working on your music career!

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Where does copyright come from?

Understanding copyright:

• What is copyright?
• Where did it originate from?
• In the age of Soundcloud, sampling and remixing, does copyright still matter?

Over the decades, a number of artists and musicians have been caught up in messy legal disputes due to issues related to copyright infringement.

As Picasso once said, “good artists copy, great artists steal,” but it’s not exactly fair for artists to benefit or profit from work derived from someone else’s, is it?

There are two schools of thought in relation to music copyright: according to certain music scholars, musical copyright should no longer be considered important as it was initially established to protect literary works. On the other hand, other researchers argue that copyright protection in the current digital era is more important than ever before and needs to be protected for the sake of artists.

Are these claims true? What is copyright anyway?

Do we really need to protect music using copyright in our digitally advanced 21st century?

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To find answers and understand the role of copyright, let’s rewind and take a historical journey to the 18th century, when copyright was first established.

It all began when the statute of Anne of 1710 was created to protect the tangible literary, musical and artistic works of creators enabling authors to exploit their works and receive incentives during their lifetime plus 70 years after their death. Fast forward 300+ years to today and you will find that the same rules apply.

When first establishing copyright policies, the government looked to protect the rights of authors, however also wanted to use copyright as a way of encouraging “citizens to make and share their creative works with the public, thereby enriching society”. This later led to the principle of ‘fair use’, that included a set of criteria which made copying ‘acceptable’ to a certain extent.

However nowadays

The principle of ‘fair use’ is commonly disregarded with technology making illegal music copying significantly easy. According to the MUSO Global Piracy Insight Annual Report of 2017, an approximate 191 billion visits are made to websites which stream pirated music content online. That’s 25 pirated music streams for every single person on earth.

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Not only is this a threat to the identity of artists, but it is also a threat to the value of their recorded music works. With numerous cases of infringement surging, a question we may ask ourselves is how do we use copyright to protect musical works and compositions?

It is useful to know…

That a song or musical composition does not need to be officially registered at the copyright office to be protected; once it is written down or recorded, it automatically receives the copyright protection status. However, when releasing a song or an album it is highly recommended that the musical work is registered at the national copyright office; this will easily enable the owner to sue in a case of copyright infringement. The practice of unlicensed sampling is also a frequent occurrence within the contemporary music industry. The simple act of coping the riff or several seconds of song without an official licence can get one into big trouble; at worst sued for millions of pounds for copyright infringement.

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So, what can you do if you feel as though your song has been copied without permission?

Before pointing any fingers, you will have to prove that you retain a valid copyright licence for your work. Gather in-depth evidence, proving that the infringer allegedly copied your work and if possible find a lawyer to help you build your case. Another route to take is to notify search engines like YouTube about the alleged infringement by submitting a copyright take down notice, which, if thoroughly investigated could led to the removal of the infringer’s work.


We can say that copyright laws created hundreds of years ago were very important and continue to be a relevant and valuable tool in the world of music today. Copyright is a right for all artists, and creatives should feel motivated to create new works knowing that their rights will be protected and respected, and be profitable for them within an international market ruled by an international law.

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Protecting yourself as an artist – Decoded

Prior to the release of her pop album ‘1989’, Taylor Swift publicised her latest bid to protect herself from being exploited by third party organisations. The move to trademark certain phrases such as “this sick beat”, “nice to meet you, where you been?” and “party like it’s 1989” has once again highlighted the importance of intellectual property in the music industry.

In her own words, there is no naïve country girl here. We all know how essential it is to prevent plagiarism of our own material, but how far does this go? Artists need to be aware of the legal issues around songs, lyrics and artwork, and copyright is the foundation of the music industry. Intellectual property laws can seem overwhelmingly complex however these laws exist for your protection. So, as a Spinnup artist, how can you protect yourself and why is it so important?

1. Your music: Picture this. You’ve finally released the song you’ve been dying for the world to hear and you’re starting to map out your career. As you are eagerly awaiting the response from the musicsphere, you find that another artist has copied your work and is selling it as their own. Copyright laws exist for this reason – to stop people copying your work, distributing it, renting it, performing it and putting it online. For more information, click here.   

2. Your band members: In the eyes of the music industry, band member agreements are always a good idea. Issues such as which rights belong to who, how royalties will be distributed if the band were to separate and incorporation contracts can be addressed and agreed upon in writing in order to avoid arguments later down the line.

3. Your image: Artists should also consider how the use of their lyrics or imagery on merchandise, for instance, can exploit their image. Paris Hilton famously trademarked her “that’s hot” phrase after a three-year dispute over Hallmark selling a greeting card bearing those two words alongside her photograph. Musicians have to be much more rigorous in protecting their image, work and trademarks so they don’t become an advocate of a product they don’t endorse or associate with. Rihanna famously won a court battle against Topshop for selling T-shirts with her face on the front therefore battling the right to control her own image. Click here for the full article.

Be savvy, protect yourself from exploitation and always get proper professional advice when dealing with any legal issues. For more information on copyright laws, check out the following online resources:

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Recording – Decoded

A successful recording artist has to record music by definition. Without recording, you are just an artist and probably not a very successful one. Recording the songs that you have spent months or years crafting and trying to do them the ultimate justice in days or maybe weeks can be daunting. Being pragmatic in the early stages can make process and result so much more satisfying. 

If you are a solo artist and have written all your songs alone with only your instrument and recording is your first experience of playing with other musicians, you will want to prepare hard and have a very clear idea of how you want your record to sound. Speak to your producer and come up with a shared vision. A good plan might be to create a ‘mood board’ on Spotify. Collect inspirations to formulate ideas of how you would like your record sonically so you go into the studio with some idea of direction.

When you have a stronger idea of how you want the record to sound, you can start planning instrumentation and therefore the amount of musicians you will need to get in.  This will effect the recording set ups and the type of studio you need to record. This is why it is key to know your songs’ arrangements before you book the studio. The Polyphonic Spree could not have recorded in a small vocal booth.

The engineer will be there to, quite literally, engineer the sound to your liking. Most studios that you book will have their own engineer and therefore will be especially suited to the environment. However you may choose to go for an engineer you know or who specialises in your kind of music.

The studio is a very expensive place to be so make sure when you get in there you are ready to play those songs at the absolute top of your game. The recording studio is no place to rehearse, you are hemorrhaging money if you do that. Little mistakes your engineer can ‘fix’ or you can just leave them in if you like the messy, authentic Neil Young sound. Besides, fixing mistakes always sounds a little worse, so either get the part right or leave the mistake. With recording, like anything else in the world, preparation and hard work will see you through, it isn’t too much more complicated than that.

When taking any exciting steps forward you must also try to be wary of scams. For further reading see here.

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Mastering – Decoded

Mastering is the final step in the process, when your music bridges that gap from the studio to the public domain, it’s a magical feeling. To get your masters back and hear how it’s made all the difference in the world and at the same time seemingly little, it’s an invigorating time for any artist. You must be careful when you send your tracks off to be mastered that you don’t make the mistakes that have spoiled so many peoples hard work in the past. Remember these few key things before sending your tracks away to be mastered.

Avoiding over compression is essential, it is an irreversible mistake that mastering cannot fix. Always export you files in 24bit resolution, 16bit will sound dreadful. When mixing your tracks leave approximately 1/2 to 1db headroom in your files, whatever you do, make sure you don’t go into the red, no mastering engineer wants to deal with that.

An important thing to remember before you send your tracks away is don’t be a hero. Do not attempt in anyway to master the tracks yourself, before they are mastered professionally. If you have had to give reference files of your tracks to people and used digital limiting to make them louder, keep in mind that when you send them to be mastered, make sure you send both mixes, both with and without digital limiting. It will allow he or she who is mastering to hear how loud it should be, but still have the original mix to work with.

When you are sending the files to be mastered it’s a good idea to send them in one batch. This way there is no chance of inconsistencies between tracks. If you send your EP or album in separate batches it’s impossible to predict track to track juxtapositions and can lead to a lot of remastering needing to be done later in the process.

Success doesn’t have a magic formula but successful people do have certain things in common. Read more here.

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Artist Management – Decoded

As an emerging musician with ambition you will have researched, read and asked around about how it happened for other people. This means you will be familiar with the need of artists to have managers. This bond can take many different shapes, almost essentially so. Just as every marriage and friendship is different, so is the artist-manager bond as well. But how does somebody become your manager? You just ask the local bar owner, he gets you to sign a napkin and now he owns your caravan? No.

Make sure that when you are on the look out for a manager you actually need one. Looking for one too early could be vanity or procrastination or just not knowing, but get on with the first part of your career yourself and don’t rush anything. At the very beginning what is there that a manager can really do? You can manage writing your songs and posting on Facebook by yourself.

When you have written a bunch of good songs that you’re happy with and you are out gigging regularly it might be time that you became open to the idea of signing with management. A manager is crucially the person who ties all the elements together, they will have to have the charm, patience and organistation to deal with the record company, the publisher, live agents and more as well as having to make sure you are ok.


When you are taking meetings with various people and discussing what you want and what you see the future being, it might be a good idea to simplify the process by writing a short document that goes over money, division of labour, and the length of the agreement. Have it written down, in plain English, or Swedish or any real language as you will run into legal difficulty with made up languages. This should help prevent any arguments in the future. Also your manager should think similarly to you about the way you would like to go about music, your strategy and generally the route you’ll take. Although don’t be put off by some disagreements, it would be boring to hire a yes man.


Most management contracts are one year with an option at the end of that year to renew. This gives both parties a chance to find out if the working relationship is good for them. A manager should not be able to renew after a year without your consent. Be careful you do not get caught like this or you might be stuck with that awful person.


You can expect the average manager to take 15 – 20% of your earnings. This includes money from label advances, album sales and in some cases merchandise and songwriting royalties as well. Make sure you are informed and happy with your contract before you sign it – seek advice from a lawyer, as you cannot be too careful before signing any contract. Keep in mind a manager is not the same as a lawyer or an accountant as some people have confused in the past. You will want to keep all these people’s responsibilities very separate so as to avoid any potential trouble and conflicts of interest.


Lots of people see their manager as a member of the band. The artist-manager relationship will be one of the closest you have, so choose wisely. Ask around and most importantly trust your instinct. It’s cleverer than you think.

Popularity goes in circles. Things go out of fashion and then come back around. Here are 5 genres of music that are overdue a comeback.

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Intellectual property – Decoded

You make music – congratulations you are now intimately connected with and a part of the world that lawyers call ‘Intellectual Property’! Didn’t realise that? Well you are. And that is a good thing. Allow us to explain.

What is intellectual property? According to no less authority than the World Intellectual Property Organization:

“Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.”

So if you have an idea, a song for example, and that idea has a commercial usage, ie selling a recording of that song, then the concept of intellectual property and the laws around it come into play. If that sounds rather scary, it shouldn’t – for musicians, artists and songwriters who create original music, intellectual property law exists to safeguard their rights and how their creations are used commercially.


There are two main areas of intellectual property and they are both relevant to artists and writers:


·         Copyright. You’ve probably heard of this one – copyright covers artistic and literary works, in other words songs, melodies, lyrics and recordings. In most European languages other than English, copyright is known as Author’s rights.


·         Industrial intellectual property. This includes areas like inventions, patents, designs, trademarks and names. So from an artists’ perspective that covers things like your band name and logo.


Both types of intellectual property enjoy legal protections to stop them being taken and exploited by people who don’t own them. For designs and trademarks, as long as they are new and original they are legally protected. The legal protection coves any usage of the idea without the authorisation of the owner. This means that your band name and your logo, as long as they are original, cannot be used by anyone else, on a T-shirt for example.


For copyright, the key difference is that the law covers the expression of an idea. So an idea isn’t covered by copyright law until it is somehow expressed, for example written down or recorded. At that point the expression of the idea, eg the recording, is legally protected, and only the owner of the copyright can authorise any copying of the idea.


If a country’s legal system incorporates the concept of ‘Author’s rights’, for example in many Continental European countries, then there are certain rights that the Author always retains. The Author can issue or sell a license to copy their idea – for example to a record company so that they can issue and sell recordings – but the Author keeps hold of other rights, such as the right to prevent a distorted reproduction for example.


The other key point to be aware of when it comes to intellectual property is how long the legal protection lasts. For designs and trademarks, protection generally lasts indefinitely if they continue to be actively used by the owner of the marks. Copyright however varies by country, for example US copyright law offers a longer term of protection than most European countries, and the protection also varies depending on how the idea is expressed. In general recordings are protected for a fixed period of time (eg 70 years in the case of many European countries) while lyrics are protected for the lifetime of the author or authors plus a fixed period of time after they pass away.


Intellectual property can seem very legal and complex, but as an artist these laws exist for your protection. If you want to investigate more or see how any ideas of yours might be protected you should always speak to a qualified legal advisor.

Things like this can be pretty hard to get to grips with. When you have a manager they will deal with this confusing stuff for you. Make sure you have the right manager for you.

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