Most songwriters know that melodies and lyrics are the two major components of songs that you can’t take from another copyright-protected song to use in your own. The original writer of the melodies and lyrics own the copyright — even if they never registered that copyright — unless that copyright has expired. Songwriters are very […]
If you like starting your songwriting process with chords, you’re usually OK to take pretty much any chord progression you hear in anyone else’s song. That’s because chord progressions, on their own, are not protected by copyright. But having said that, there’s a caution here that you should consider when you do, in fact, use someone else’s […]
I get a lot of emails as well as blog comments that pertain to copyright. There’s a lot of confusion about what it is, because copyright is a legal term — the kind of thing that lawyers get paid to understand. So you’d be excused for not knowing everything about it if you aren’t a […]
Composers sometimes get the “I think I’ve heard this before” fear. It’s a very real issue because successful songs are a mix of innovative ideas with established songwriting practice. And with the balance firmly toward predictable, songwriting can present you with the nagging fear that you might have accidentally plagiarized your new song.