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Copyright may have begun with the idea that it was important to protect the rights of book authors and their families But for many years now copyright laws have also protected songwriters composers and performers When it comes to recorded music copyright is pretty complicated The law wasnt intended to be that way Truth be told its largely a matter of historical accident precedent and timing Because copyrights attached to written sheet music were around well before the invention of records tapes and CDs a system which developed to protect songwriters and composers now coexists with another system meant to protect electronic recordings of their songs and compositions So for any given recording there are at least TWO copyrighted works involved First theres the copyright in the musical work That is the lyrics and musical notes as theyre written on paper This copyright is typically owned by the songwriter or music publisher Then theres the copyright in the sound recording which is a recording of a performer singing or playing the particular song This copyright is usually owned by the record company So the only LEGAL way to reproduce a piece of recorded music -- uploading downloading copying from a CD whatever - is to get permission from the owners of these different copyrights Its called obtaining a license As with most new technologies the Internet doesnt just draw outside the lines of the conventional music industry it offers the opportunity for truly revolutionary changes But even in this new digital world artists and record companies still have and deserve the right to protect their music Many of the same laws apply in cyberspace such as copyright and several new measures were enacted in the last few years to address issues that could not previously have been identified This section reviews the legal issues surrounding the downloading and webcasting of music
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