Music Copyright Explained

Helping music-makers and other creators get to grips with music copyright

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. Among other things, it has an objective to provide robust and independent research to inform the development of policy and the role that IP plays across the UK economy.

As part of that remit, the IPO has commissioned CMU Insights to create and deliver a user-friendly guide to music copyright for all creators and people working in the music industry.

The licensing of music by and for creators can be complex and the growth in the number of digital consumption methods has added further confusion. This has led to a lack of information – and sometimes misinformation – in the market place.

The consequence of this is that many creators in the music community are unaware of the copyright they are creating, how to formalise and manage those rights, and the companies and organisations they can and should work with to ensure they are correctly credited and compensated whenever their music is used by third parties.

Meanwhile many creators outside the music community are confused about how they should go about licensing music. This can result in music being used online without licence and creators missing out on opportunities to generate extra income from their songs and recordings.

The Music Copyright Explained project and resulting guide will seek to address these issues, making it easier for everyone to navigate and understand how music copyright works in the UK and beyond.

Look out for details about the outputs of this project later this year.