Bondi Wave on Copyright

How many types of copyright are there attached to one song? The first speaker at the Sydney Bondi Wave music industry lectures helped answer that: Ian McDonald, copyright consultant, who basically gave a run-down of the different kinds of copyright and how they can be exploited.

This included ‘mechanical’ rights, performance rights, moral rights (which can never be alienated from the creator) and publication rights (for broadcasting on the internet and blogging etc…)

Being a copyright lawyer he had a very deep understanding of the need for creative types to treat their intellectual property with the utmost importance and to be prepared to consider whether they assign their rights or licence their rights should the opportunity arise.

Towards the end there was ten minutes of question time in which I took the opportunity to ask him about Creative Commons and whether the Australian legal system recognizes it ( What triggered me asking this was his strong advice that we put the copyright signal with our name and date on our creative works) . I gathered from the gist of his reply that the answer is ‘no’ and he said he personally wasn’t a fan of the CC movement. He also urged for those considering it to read the legal version and not just the popular descriptions of how Creative Commons works.

It’s definitely given me food for thought -as a blogger I’ve been a supporter of using CC, which I think works well if you are just a blogger and small-time creator. I suppose it matters in the off-chance you create something that becomes hugely popular and an issue arises that requires the law. Still, half the problem of the shrinking recording industry is that the law isn’t enforceable (enough) to prevent the infringement of copyright.

Next post I’ll discuss the lectures about the ARIA awards and Australian Internet Radio.


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