Live Recording Rights

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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Live Recording Rights

Post by live_engineer »


I recently recorded a live set of a band, unfortunately, due to it being a "free" event - contracts weren't brought into the situation.

The gig went fine, and the band asked for rough mixes to see the quality of the recording and also to assess how to proceed. The mixes came back as being "unsatisfactory" and could they have the masters as they were entitled to them.

The recording was done on my equipment and using my expertise, and I was asked to produce a recording of the evening.

Am I right in my research to think that I am the owner of the masters as I facilitated the recording, and haven't been paid ?

I can provide more information if required.

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Post by CopyrightAid »

You are correct that copyright in the sound recording (phonographic copyright - (p) ) will unless there is a contract to the contrary belong to the person / company that made the recording.

Naturally you can't do much with the recording without the band's consent (the underlying music is of course theirs) - but on the flip side, I do not see that they are 'entitled' to your recordings.

Note: there are two different types copyright that apply here (I found a page that explains this if not clear - ... _copyright)

The relevant parts of the Act are:
Authorship and ownership of copyright

Section 9: Authorship of work.

9.-(1) In this Part "author", in relation to a work, means the person who creates it.

(2) That person shall be taken to be-

(aa) in the case of a sound recording, the producer;

Section 11: First ownership of copyright.

11.-(1) The author of a work is the first owner of any copyright in it, subject to the following provisions.

(2) Where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or a film, is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work subject to any agreement to the contrary.
source = ... ht-.asp#s9

i.e. as you created the recording you are the copyright owner of that recording.
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