Adrian Rogowski (say row-gof-skee; noun) is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a member of the Cape Bar. Since 2013, Adrian has moved towards intellectual property law, focusing specifically on music law. In 2015, he completed his Master of Laws in Intellectual Property (graduating cum laude). His thesis focused on music law under the supervision of South Africa’s most respected copyright law expert, Professor Owen Dean.

Here is a common situation: Your band has been rehearsing a new song, it’s not yet recorded, it is just some ideas you have been jamming. Who is the copyright owner . . .? No one.

Fine. But let’s say someone sitting in on the rehearsal is recording you on their phone. Who owns the copyrights now? Well, now some of the members of the band own the copyrights in the music, and the person who recorded the song owns the copyright in that recording. To make matters interesting, only the person who recorded your song may use that recording.

But this doesn’t make sense, right?

Here is another scenario:  You hum a nice melody and lyrics. Somebody hears you, writes it down, and records it. It was all your ideas, but now they get all the copyrights, and you left with nothing. Doesn’t seem fair does it?

Have a look at this infographic to see who is the copyright owner in these scenarios. It might make more sense after having read it.

copyright owner - MuzoPlanet