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Copyright Infringement In The Music Industry

Online Music Infringers Are On the Rise: Here’s How You Can Protect Your Music (In 3 Easy Steps)

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

24 August 20233 min read

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Copyright Infringement in the Music Industry

Unfortunately, if you’ve uploaded music online, there’s a good chance (particularly if you’re pretty popular) that someone will illegally sell or freely distribute your music. Copyright infringement in the music industry is at an all-time high. And there’s no sympathy for the creative process.

However, you’re not out of options. And if you’d like to learn what those are, read on as we take you through how to copyright your sound recordings and offer other helpful advice to keep these infringers at bay.

Let’s get started:

Step 1: select the right online music platform

Here’s the thing, some platforms in the music business just aren’t very secure. 

This is why it’s paramount that you choose the right one. And don’t worry; you’re not that limited; there are quite a few excellent online music publishers that you consider, including:

  • Spotify
  • Soundcloud
  • YouTube Music
  • Tidal

Keep in mind that this is hardly a comprehensive list, and you can consider a different platform by considering the following three criteria:

  1. Reputation: It’s essential to do your homework. So if the platform has quite a few positive reviews and is well-received by the music community, it’s likely a safe bet.
  2. Longevity: If the platform has been around for a while, and has quite a few users, then it’s probably a better choice than a platform released just this year. 
  3. Terms of service: Read the platform’s terms of service carefully to determine how it handles copyright infringement. 

Step 2: manage your digital rights

While selecting a decent platform to upload your song onto is a good step in the right direction, it certainly isn’t the whole picture. 

Have you ever heard of a Digital Rights Management (DRM) service?

DRM technology can encrypt your content and prevent access to anyone but authorized users. Quite a few options are available online, and selecting the right one should depend solely on your needs

Other than this, it may be a good idea to do some online monitoring to determine whether your content may already be infringed upon. You might be able to contact the infringing person if you find content online that you didn’t upload. 

Simply providing evidence of your ownership and requesting that they remove the upload might do the trick. 

If that doesn’t work, you can also try reporting the infringement directly to the platform on which it’s occurring (such as YouTube if you find it there).

Step 3: copyrighting your music

The final (arguably most important) step is getting copyright protection for your sound recording. This can be a lengthy process at the Copyright Office, but getting exclusive rights over your music is well worth it. Learning more about copyright law will also put you in good stead.

Make sure to keep accurate records of your music to provide evidence of ownership and effectively timeline any changes you might make. 

As the copyright owner, you can even add a copyright notice. This will help deter infringers by showing that your work is protected by copyright. 

Staying digitally savvy

It’s more important than ever to be digitally savvy. By following the above tips, you can hopefully prevent and (should it happen) effectively attend to infringement issues.


What is an example of copyright infringement in music?

One of the main examples of copyright infringement in music is simply illegally downloading copyrighted material. Unless the artist gave explicit permission for the song to be on that website, then it would be a copyright violation.

What is the impact of copyright?

Copyright owners get comprehensive legal protection from the Copyright Office. This means that not only does it offer federal protection, but a number of legal remedies are also made available to you. 

Why is copyright infringement a problem?

Copyright infringement undermines the protection that is afforded to creators of creative works. It can lead to a tarnished reputation, loss of sales, and much more. 

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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.