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The New Songwriter's Guide to Music Publishing, 3rd Edition by Randy Poe

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FOUR

The Intricacies ofCopyright Protection

Works Made for Hire

A copyright is created via the process of authorship. The Copyright Act says that ownership of a copyright ‘‘vests initially in the author or authors of the work.’’ What all of this means is that the person who writes the song is the initial copyright owner.

The law goes on to say that ‘‘the authors of a joint work are co-owners of copyright in the work.’’ In other words, unless the writers have an agreement to the contrary, each writer who contributes to the creation of a particular song is an equal co-owner of that song.

Are there exceptions to these rules? As you have probably surmised by now, exceptions exist throughout the copyright law. In the case of copyright ownership, there ...

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