Here are three things I will never forget when it comes to Intellectual Property Rights, as explained to us by Ms. Naomi Korn in her workshop.
No. 1: You probably knew this but just didn’t do it (to dancers):
You must obtain permission from the owner of the copyright of any music you wish to play in a public place or to perform to music in a public place. You must also get additional permission to post the footage on youtube, instagram, or Facebook (or any social media).
No. 2: I bet you didn’t know this (to all artists):
When you post anything that you own the copyright to on social media (a drawing of yours, a dance clip of yours, an excerpt from a book you wrote, or a sculpture that you created that took 4 years to complete…) you lose the copy right to your creation. The moment it goes up on your feed, you are giving away your copyright to social media.
No. 3: Who knew this? (to everyone):
Think twice before you sign a contract that asks you to waive your moral rights. If you do, you’re agreeing to giving away all your rights.
As a performing artist and an entrepreneur-in-the-making, the things we learned in the IPR workshop were vital. Respecting other artists’ rights as well as understanding my own to protect myself as a business owner was not something I thought was an important part of running a business. But I see now how crucial it is to be aware of all artists’ rights and how the law governs the creative industry.
Every action we take creates a ripple affect. Copyright is something not to be taken lightly as it could lead to a serious law suit if violated. Make sure you use media that you own the right to, if not, seek permission. It’s as simple as that. As Ms. Korn stated during her workshop, “Intellectual Property Rights is about recognition, respect and ethics.” (Korn, 2017)
If you have an idea that you haven’t formed yet, but need financial backing and worried about the possibility of the potential investor taking your idea and running with it, you can have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. Create a contract that includes confidentiality clauses to protect your ideas or work that hasn’t been created yet. And have the potential investor sign it! If they refuse to sign it, then that’s shady so you probably wouldn’t want them to hear or see what you got anyway.
Exercise common sense, understand your own rights as an owner of the copy right to your work, and respect other artists’ works and recognise the effort that they put into creating it. It’s not hard to do if you have self-respect as an artist.
If you’re not sure where to go to seek permission to play music and perform to it anywhere other than your house, visit Performer’s Rights Society’s website (https://www.prsformusic.com).
Notes taken from Intellectual Property Rights workshop by Naomi Korn, 3 Oct 2017.
https://www.prsformusic.com (Accessed 9 Oct 2017).