Originally Published June 2022
As an artist, your intellectual property (IP) is one of your most valuable assets. It is what make you unique and allows you to create and sell your work. But how can you make money off of your IP? And, more importantly, how can you protect it from infringement? In this article, we'll explore ways to make money with your IP and ways to defend your copyright. So, whether you're just starting out as an artist or are looking to expand your business, keep reading for tips on how to protect and exploit your IP.
If you're an independent artist, then you know that making money can be tough. But did you know that you can make money from your intellectual property (IP) without even selling a single thing?
It’s important to protect your work and understand the benefits of copyrighting your Intellectual Property. The process of claiming copyrights can be daunting, but by working with a publisher you can maximize the potential for royalties and explore other options and opportunities for marketability.
BMI, ASCAP, and THE MLC collect royalties on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the US and sometimes reciporically around the world. They then distribute those royalties to their members. BMI and ASCAP are both performing rights organizations (PROs), while THE MLC is a mechanical licensing collective (MLC). BMI and ASCAP collect performance royalties when music is played on the radio, TV, or live at a venue. They also collects performance royalties for streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. THE MLC collects mechanical royalties for digital interactive streams, such as those on YouTube Music and Apple Music and Spotify. When a song is reproduced in physical or digital form, the owner of the song (usually the music publisher) is paid a mechanical royalty by THE Record Company or Harry Fox Agency or other CMO. All have different rules and regulations regarding how they collect and distribute royalties. As a result, it's important to understand the terms of your agreement with each organization.
Have you claimed copyrights on all of your Intellectual Property? What are some next steps you could take to further protect and promote your creations?
So, what do you do if you’re an author or artist who created something that someone else is using without your permission? The first step is to contact the infringer and ask them to stop. If they don’t comply, you can file a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court. In order to win, you’ll need to prove that the infringing work is substantially similar to your copyrighted work and that the infringer copied protected elements of your work. You may also be able to collect damages for any lost profits or revenue caused by the infringement. Finally, it’s important to remember that just because you have a copyright doesn’t mean you can stop others from using your work – it simply means that they must get that right from you or other lawful means.