Tag Archives: Indie

You & The SR Copyright

The Copyright in Sound Recording (SR) serves as a Blanket of Sorts for Your Created Work. And by ‘Work’ I mean Your Song, Poem, Speech, Rap, Spoken Word or Audio Book.

If Your Song is Original and You Created The Music, Lyrics, Melody, Arrangement AND Also Recorded these Elements, You are Eligible to File an SR which covers Your Song in Its Entirety, as opposed to having to separately file a Performance Arts (PA) to Cover the Music & Lyrics.

If You have Covered Someone Else’s song and Plan to Release It to the Public in some format, you’d do well to file for an SR copyright of Your Version beforehand. Just make sure you have appropriately secured licensing from the original copyright owner, either through Harry Fox or EZ Song Licensing.

The SR secures ownership of the fixed instrumentation and sounds irregardless of the Original  Author’s contribution to Music and/or Lyrics. I Just completed an SR for My Production of Eric Tyus‘ version of the Sounds of Blackness‘ classic”Everything Is Gonna Be Alright.”

These days it’s important for the EntreMusician to know the subtle nuances of the SR Copyright on their Original Work. This obviously includes Poets, Motivational Speakers, Preachers, Teachers, Rappers, etc., where so much of our public work is subject to being recorded, sampled, set to music, imported into video, remixed and released to Sound Cloud and Other Apps often without our knowledge.

If You were to Give a Speech or Recite Your Poetry on a College Campus or in front of an Audience and the University or Someone were to Record It on their System, Mobile or other device, that person (or the University) would be Entitled to Ownership through the Library of Congress by filing an SR unless Forbidden to do so by Prior Written Agreement. Undoubtedly, the same holds true for EntreMusicians at their Gigs and Concerts – which is why most people utter firm expletives when “NO RECORDING” signs are posted at Shows, but proceed to record anyway…

Both the Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band encouraged Mass Audience Recording & Reproduction of their Concerts and found them to be Excellent Promotional Tools which help Spread their Music like dandelions across a deserted field and many other artists followed suit, some opting to release their own “Official Bootlegs” to boost their fan base.

Plenty still choose to Protect the Dignity of their Live Presentations by Forbidding any Unauthorized Recording, Duplication and Sales of their Appearances in any form. But Everyone knows that Technology Stampedes Sacred Rights and bolsters the Mantra of Free Music for All! This has lead to Intense Conversation which suggests that the Ultimate Role of Copyright is Null & Void, since Everything Everywhere is Available to Everyone within a few clicks.

I Would Love to Know Your Opinion, Especially if You are a Content Creator of any Creative Classification. Are You of the Mindset that Your Conceptions should enjoy the Protection Copyright Provides or that from now on All things Should Be Out on Open Source?

Please Leave a Comment, I’d Love to Explore this Conversation Deeper. If You Have Not Already Done So, Download My Free E-Book, 50 Ways to Transform Your Fans into Family.” 


I Was Not Listening to Any Music while Composing & Posting This Piece, but all kinds of Random Songs are running through my head..

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When It’s Finally Time to Give Up On Your Dream…

Americans this week Celebrated the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr as a National Holiday. What is most intriguing about His Story is the Sacrifice He was Willing to Pay for the Manifestation of his Ideals, which ultimately and tragically outlives him.

Our Country, the luminous recipients of this Young Man’s Exalted Dream, in spite of the Current Political Turmoil and Present Challenges Cannot Deny an Improved America and the Monumental Gains we have made since the late 1950’s. Because of Dr. King’s Willingness to become the Spokesperson for Righteousness, Equality & Justice amid Bigotry, Racism & Violence, You and I Enjoy Opportunities our Grandparents Never Imagined, irregardless of Race, Color & Creed.

As EntreMusicians who Continually Vacillate between Quitting Our Craft and Staying the Course, we can absorb volumes from this Impartial Pioneer, who Did Not Refuse Jail, Beatings, Water Hoses, Police Dogs, Betrayal, FBI Surveillance and Increasingly Unabashed Hatred with Every Victory He Managed to Secure!

Step by Step, Song by Song, Project to Project we Advance Onward toward Our Personal & Professional Initiatives. Failure is Certain. Setbacks are Assured. Lack Of Resources, Lack of Respect, Closed Doors, Missed Opportunities, Miscalculations and Outright Bone Headed Mistakes Line the Pavement of Our  Desolate Journey. Instances of Having to Begin Again and Again Evolve into recurring Nightmares that take us to the Very Edge of Who We Are.

But We Can Not Quit. We Must Not Give Up. There’s No Towel to Throw. There’s No Plan B.

It’s Not Time Yet!

They Will Say You’re Too Old, Too Poor, Too Slow, Too Fast, Over Qualified, Under Qualified, Too Fat, Too Thin, Too Dark, Too Pale, Unreasonable, Illogical, Crazy, Stupid and Toss More than Cursed Words and Tomatoes at You!

Keep Playing, Keep Planning, Keep Dreaming, Keep Climbing, Keep Pursuing, Keep Writing, Keep Singing, Keep Hoping, Keep Believing.

You Might Be Able to Quit When You’re Dead! When Your Heart Stops Beating, Your Brainwaves Cease and Your Lungs fail to Breathe. Then Maybe, Just Maybe, right after You’re Buried and Your Family is Scrambling Toward the Mashed Potatoes should you think about Laying Your Precious Dream Aside…

Because maybe, perhaps, by chance, possibly somewhere along the way you’ve Inspired Someone to Pick Up The Torch and Fan the Flame of Creativity that Ignites the Next Generation to Pursue the Promise of Music, of Joy, of Celebration of True Spirit, Of Heart, Of Peace and, Of Love…which Never Dies



While Composing this blog entry, I was listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” which help galvanize the country to compel President Ronald Reagan to sign the bill that made MLK Day a National Holiday in November, 1983.

What Do You Want Your Song To Do???



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The Plan in Perspective

I have a friend named Joe (real name) who started a New Gym in Youngstown Ohio 18 Months Ago. Geographically, Joe’s Gym is about 2.8 miles away from that Other, Better Established, Open 24/7, Only $10 a Month Gym that Most Everyone Frequents. Joe’s Gym is only open from 5:30am to 9:00pm, has far less equipment & space and his Monthly Memberships begins at 5x more than that other place. Yet Joe has a startling slew of clients and continues to add Specialized Sessions & Trainers to his Growing Roster.

The Secret to Joe’s Success is Joe.His Gym Provides Intentionally Focused Workouts in an Exceptional Environment that Provides Optimum Results to its Members. Joe’s Gym is called The Train Station.

I often think of Joe as I talk to Musicians and Software Developers about this Unfolding Plan I’ve proposed. In case You are Unaware, I began a Post several weeks ago concerning EntreMusicians readdressing the Direct Sales & Digital Distribution of their Art. I continued to Add Thoughts & Emotions and will continue to discuss & work with EntreMusicians to formulate a workable plan. The Conversation is Growing!

In short, I Believe that ALL EntreMusicians must utilize their ability to Stream their Content Directly to Their Own Tribes on a Subscription Basis, without the need of a Billion Dollar Corporation paying them less than a penny per stream. The Technology is Available, but must be Personalized in a format best suited for both Artist & End User. 

Dr. Nelson Harrison, a very forward thinker and founder of The Pittsburgh Jazz Network has proposed an Alternative through Millennium Music Media which I am currently checking into and awaiting a callback from a known Artist Currently on their roster.

Joe’s Success in Starting  & Growing The Train Station is in His Initiative to Customize a Service & System the Larger Gyms simply cannot and markets his personal touch accordingly, without railing against them – and Word of Mouth is growing.

Every EntreMusician Must Go and Do Likewise. The Excuses are Over. Other Options Are Available. The Ultimate Option remains in Controlling & Distributing Our Own Songs on Our Individually Owned Platforms and Doing the Hard Work of Marketing Ourselves Appropriately. That’s The Truth of Being Independent Artists.

I wasn’t playing any music while blogging, but I’ve just finished practicing the drums to the “Dreamland” CD by YellowJackets. William Kennedy, ALWAYS WOW!! 

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I’ve only touched upon this very topic the week before last, but something happened Wednesday Evening, while working with my co-producer and engineer that bears somewhat of a reprise.

We were in the studio remixing a tune I had released in 2002, I’ve changed it from a vocal performance to a funk jazz piece with prominent piano. I wanted Him to hear the original version for a reference, but didn’t have the CD. So I fired up my iPad and hit the net, searched for ‘SounDoctrine – Keep Movin’ and immediately noted more than 100 different sites that either housed the song in its entirety, in 30 second increments, or referenced the track in some way.

Yes, the larger Musician portion of me was flattered that the tune had made an imprint and was readily accessible to a very large international audience (there were many French and Asian links). But my Entrepreneur began to question if my royalty statements governing this tune were factual and correct. How would I ever know? Should I just be grateful for this exposure and shut up? My mortgage and utilities are paid. But, Is there a better way to keep track of future royalties? Should I limit the availability of future releases to more manageable online distribution networks or is this jus the way things will be forever?

Certainly, if these sites, most of whom I never heard of, have my music uploaded on their servers, I should at least KNOW about them and be PAID accordingly…right?

I randomly clicked through the lesser known pages and on to the MP3 players and each of them worked just fine. Shutting down Napster didn’t do a doggone thing. It’s completely wide open now and has been since the two Shawns did their thing!

So my fellow EntreMusicians, Whaddaya Think? Write, Produce and Record a Song. Hire the best Musicians, Vocalists and Engineers. Upload the tune on iTunes and Elsewhere and Kiss Your Control Goodbye? Or Do You Purchase Your Own Compatible Server and Become the Only Online Store where Your Product is Purchased?

Tell Me How You Really Feel?

I am listening to Derrick Hodge’s “Live Today” while constructing and posting today’s post.

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Little Green Monsters

How Many Times have I stated that being an independent Entrepreneurial Musician is extremely difficult? I’ve lost count now. And although you knew this going in, what you may not have anticipated was that oftentimes, after literally sweating your butt off: planning, rehearsing, following up, booking the venues, recording the projects, tweeting, shedding, more follow up and having all your little ducks in a row while holding down three part-time jobs, that somewhere someone with less talent and far less character moves ahead and onto a platform in your genre that you were aspiring to.

Worse and closer to home is swallowing the bitter pill of your hardworking band showcasing and opening for a headliner who steals your lead singer right from under you in the middle of your 23 week tour, leaving you to scramble and hustle for a replacement while that singer goes onto greener pastures…and more money.

Then there was the tale of the producer who collaborated on a tune with a singer/songwriter who brought in a mere idea. After Mr./Ms. Producer crafts the song in a masterpiece, a bitter dispute ensues about ‘who did what’ once the song was recorded and shopped to promising prospects.

The scenarios are endless. I am sure you can fill in the blank here __________________________.

And although this blog is not Necessarily about crossing our tees and dotting our eyes (i’s) on an agreement, life still happens and we are left open to emotional wounds that, without some real discipline and fortitude will lead to the little monsters of envy coming in to steal more of our joy than the original offense.

Envy has a way of blinding us to the real issues at hand. More than likely, because of our optimism, we may have been ignoring signs that something had the potential of going wrong with the other person or situation. When it did or finally does blow, the disappointment is escalated beyond our reasoning to see things clearer.

Envy sows venomous seeds of hatred, unforgiveness and distrust that stifle our ability to move on and enter new agreements with others who really do have our best interests at heart.

Because Envy skips like a scratched CD, we repeatedly replay the offensive scene over and again. We’re distracted. Our attention is averted from making the music we should be and the “Why Me?” or “Why Not Me?” take center stage and becomes another thief in the scenario.

By no means am I trying to discount what hurts. I’ve had my seasons of shiny shed tears. Recently, I listened to a radio interview of a young musician I helped give a good start to – I paid him well and hired him often, yet when he put his own thing together, he never reciprocated. On the radio he commented on and thanked everyone he’s ever played with – except yours truly. Life Happens!

I can either harbor ill feelings or help myself (or write a country western tune about the experience and probably make some real moola!!) – Bottom Line is we cannot allow the little monsters (Envy – not the people!) to take anything from us. We must swallow hard, learn the lesson and move on.

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Faith Works

Let’s face it.

Deep Down, We ALL have a System of Faith. Even those who live under a personal discipline to believe in Nothing – or in No One. All of us exercise our Faith every single day without giving it a second thought. And it’s amazing the things we trust our lives to.

Right now, I happen to work in a place where cars are made. The trucks bring in the parts. Big Parts. Tiny Parts. Rubber Parts. Plastic Parts. Steel Parts. People on the inside of this plant, hook, tie, weld, snap, wrap, pound, bend, sew and mend these parts together. You should see some of the people who do this. You wouldn’t believe it and I don’t want to scare you. Some of them may or may not drink or smoke their lunch. Supervisors are on multiple prescription meds. And they operate heavy machinery. And a wide variety of sharp, powered tools. There are unions that protect them, but I digress…
We operate the cars these people glue together. Often at very high speeds. More Often stopping on a dime, placing our faith and children’s lives on the probability that the car may stop on time. Or that one of those air pillows may protect us when someone else doesn’t.
Have you ever been on an elevator alone?
How Many Hundreds of parts make it soar up and down?
Ever Been Stuck in One???
How about the subway?
How about a New York Subway at 4 AM after a Gig?
You & I are people of Incredible Faith, admittedly or not…
What We Choose to Believe Defines Us. Where we are at this moment is a result of what we have chosen to believe. About Life, About God. About Ourselves.
Do You Believe that You Can & Will Succeed in this Music Industry?
Will You Exercise Your Inherent, Incredible Faith that no matter How Long it takes or What You Must Endure in the interim that You are Going to Win, that Your Music will be the Soundtrack of Someone’s life, if not that of an entire generation?
As I write this, I am sitting in this very car plant. I may or may not be on my break. I am wearing a uniform. The name of someone else’s company is sewn into the shirt and hat. I have a badge and a photo ID. I also have a dream. I’ve had this dream all of my life. I’ve made several attempts toward making it a reality. I’ve had Tremendous Success. I’ve suffered Great Set Backs. I’ll make many more attempts. I have Faith.
I Will Succeed.
How About You?
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