Thursday, September 28

Following Music Laws With John Branca UCLA


Music is so widely available today that it’s hard to go anywhere without hearing a tune. From driving to work to standing in line at the grocery store to waiting for your tires to get changed, you’re surrounded by music. With songs saturating every aspect of modern life, it’s easy to forget that there are lots of laws surrounding its creation and distribution. Follow these tips to keep your music use legal.

Learn From Experts

When you’re wondering whether a music download or purchase is legal, don’t automatically trust sources you find on the Internet. Instead, choose an expert with legal credentials and experience representing different musicians. For example, content produced by or involving John Branca is sure to be reliable. Branca is an entertainment lawyer who has represented Fleetwood Mac, the Beach Boys, and other popular artists. Because of his extensive career in the music industry and legal degree, he is able to give an accurate assessment of the law.

Go Straight to the Law

If you still can’t find the answers you need, check the music laws for yourself. Most US laws are available online, although their texts are sometimes hard to interpret without the help of a lawyer such as Branca. One relevant law is the Copyright Act of 1976, which protects musicians’ rights to their music for up 70 years after they die. For example, if a song was written in 1950 but the artist did not die until 1990, that song is not in the public domain until 2060.

Intellectual property laws are also important. when you’re deciding whether music is fair use. These laws have precedents from before the US was founded, but the Massachusetts Circuit Court’s 1845 case Davoll et al. v. Brown was the first American ruling explicitly defending intellectual property.

Stick to Reputable Sites

When in doubt, you can feel confident in your music choices by sticking to reputable sources such as Spotify, Apple, and YouTube Music. These streaming services vet the music they provide, checking for copyright infringement. Avoid streaming or downloading music from sites that are not well-known or that have lots of ads. The odds of breaking music laws are higher with these sites, and you might also accidentally download a virus.

Keeping up with music law is hard when music is everywhere you go. Follow these tips to make sure your favorite artists get the financial benefits they’ve earned.