Copyright Assignment Agreement can be defined as an agreement for a Musical Work, entered between Assignor (Song Writer) and Assignee (Video/CD/Album, Motion Picture Producer etc.). The Assignor transfers or sells his music rights including title, copyright and interest to the assignee, in exchange of certain monetary consideration, without royalty sharing. These types of Agreements are commonly drawn in Short Form.
The basic feature of the Agreement includes, following main provisions, along with other numerous clauses:
• Contact details of the parties
• Date and location
• Musical right transfer provisions
• Clauses for Representations and Warranties
• Compensation and Mode of Payments
• Non Royalty sharing Provisions
• Signature of both parties
The signing of the contract by both parties makes it legally binding on them and can protect the assignee from any future Copyright Violations claims.
It is also common practice among the music writer to transfer his/her musical rights, due to the financial constraints, inability to release their own songs and desire to find larger audience for their songs. Thus, once the ownership right to the music is transferred to the Assignee, through the contract, the transferee becomes the sole owner of the musical work. He also holds the similar rights as held by the original music writer and enjoys all responsibilities, protections and other rights of a Copyright holder.
There are certain below given instances where, the copyright factor in Musical Work is not applicable and third party can use music for their own use:
• When, music composer/writer hunts for wider audience and recognition for his song. In such case, he/she allows others to use his work, without any Royalty fees or Copyright Agreement.
• The expiry of the Copyright
• Tender permission to use his music
• When his musical work falls in public domain
It is also advisable for the Assignee that, he should file Copyright Assignment Agreement with US Copyright Office, for extra protection from any future Copyright violation or infringement claim by music writer/composer or his representatives.