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Making it in the Music Business: The Business and Legal Guide for Songwriters and Performers by Lee Wilson

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In the world of music, copyright infringement looms like an ogre on the horizon. Songwriters often mistakenly report sightings of the beast while failing to notice that they’re sheltering it in their own backyards. Since the only thing worse than having to sue someone for copyright infringement is being sued yourself, if you’re a songwriter you must know not only how to protect your own rights but also how to avoid trampling those of others. To determine whether your rights have been infringed or your song infringes someone else’s song, you must first have a good understanding of what rights copyright gives to copyright owners.

As you’ve seen, copyright owners have certain “exclusive rights of copyright”; that is, there are certain rights relating ...

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