A Review of the United States Music Copyright Laws

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In this globalization century, more and more people use the internet to communicate. The emergence of digital music bring a lot convenience for the people lives, but we did not pay much attention to protecting the intellectual property rights. Therefore, the development of music has been plagued by the problem of digital music rights. Then the question arises: should we enjoy music freely? There is no doubt that we should protect the music copyright for our better music experience. Although the music copyright laws in U.S have a better-operating model, there are still have an incomplete system in other countries. The reason I wrote this paper is to raise people’s awareness of music copyright protection. Along with human creativity and inventiveness, intellectual property is all around us, and it is important for us to protect it.

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There are thousands of people are still enjoy in pirated goods, which is harmful for the music industry. Many argue that the music is just little tiny things, people should not paying much attention at the copyrights of enjoyment. These people are making light of the music copyrights that they even do not care the music is legal or not. Since the advent of the file-sharing program Napster in June of 1999, copyright infringement has plagued the recorded music industry. Although, there is no big difference between genuine and pirated products. But from the evidence on piracy and the influence on the profits of record industry, it brings a lot of harm to the industry. The copyrights should be protected unconditionally, because it is the basic respect for the people who create the works. Why has copyright protection for artists become more vulnerable than before? There is a strong reason that technological improved, it is really easy to share file online in anywhere at any time. Up to now, the internet has the biggest impact on the sharing of the sound itself. We should be noted at the outset that copyright protection for a composition is distinct from copyright protection for a recording. (Arias, J.J & Ellis, C. 2013)

Protect copyright can help the producer to create more works. When a songwriter creates a work, it becomes the property of that author. For works that have more than one writers, the copyright is belong to them as a group unless they made an agreement to divide their copyright. Copyright protected the author’s moral and economic rights. Economic rights guarantee the copyright owner can get profits from their creation; ‘moral rights are a set of rights that are separate from the author’s copyright on a piece.’ In fact, moral rights not only exist, but also have full meanings and take on a particular character. Under most copyright laws, the copyright owner has right to decide to use it for work or other things that can make money, in another way, the owners can authorize the rights that relation to work to prevent others gaining prestige from the copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder. (Bicklein, D. & Kienstra, K, 2015) Take U.S music industry as an example, American’s copyright laws developed very well, this is the reason why thousands of good music and producers occur every year. Because people can see what will happen to them when they put their all efforts to the work, good protection of the music recording industry can give other positive influence on their dream of music. It can make the people who have talent but timid to participate in this industry.

If we protect copyright effectively, it can guarantee the quality of the music. China is a great example that can explain this phenomenon. China is the first population of the world which can consider as the most potential music market under the music industry poorly developed. The main reason is that it is been a long time for Chinese accepted piracy and infringement and cannot be said to be very exclusive offensive, but never get bored. Who want spend money on something complete free? Under the circumstance that intellectual property were accepted by more and more people, sharing music online is gradually replace by a formal business model. This is the event on which China made great progress, the Chinese music industry will move on as American has done in the past and move towards maturity. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, because the lunch cost will bear by the cook. It is unfair for them and they will strike one day. If we have a music market which is respect copyright, we will see a lot of high-quality music on the music-streaming software. Like Spotify, apple music, tidal and other foreign well-known software do not provide services in China is because they simply do not choose to enter Chinese market, the main problems is they cannot compete with the music service providers which does not respect copyrights.

In conclusion, the benefit of the intellectual property rights is to encourage the private production to produce more high-quality music. If we protect copyright well, we can enjoy more and more good music. However, establishing these rights entails transaction costs which may increase when there is a change in technology. (Arias, J.J, 2013) We need support genuine and make the music producer have income, then, they will concentrate on bringing more high-quality music. On the other hand, if we can achieve success in the field of music, we also can make the copyright system more complete.

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