What is Music Law?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2020
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Music law pertains to the supervision of the music industry when it comes to all legal procedures. Just like any other industry, the music business is also guided by a set of laws and guidelines aimed to protect all contributors. The law also provides organized and equal procedures for everyone who wants to pursue a career in music.

The music law is applicable to music artists, songwriters, composers, and performing bands; it is also relevant to non-artistic participants such as producers and talent managers. It can include companies like music publishers and record labels. The music law can overlap with other aspects of the entertainment industry, such as dancing, choreography, and film making, especially when music videos and concerts are produced. Television and movie industries are also partly included during compiling of soundtracks and scores. Even video game developers who make use of an artist’s musical creation are also subjected under this type of law.

Aside from the people and businesses it covers, the music law also includes many law and other legal matters. Intellectual property law is considered very important when it comes to creating songs, films, and dance moves that all relate to the music industry. The intellectual property law can also protect an artist’s trademark, such as a signature pose or a singing style, and his public image. This law covers even stage and lighting designs provided by production designers.


The music law also consists of immigration laws, especially for concert events, out-of-the-country music videos, and promotional tours. Artists and everyone else involved should make sure that all paperwork and licenses are sorted out. Immigration laws also make sure that artists are healthy and secure enough to travel abroad.

An artist’s exposure to the public can make him subject to tabloid rumors, paparazzi, and rivalry threats. These can lead to a negative image. Under the music law, these “celebrities” can take legal action against whomever has done them wrong. Many have already sued some tabloids and press people for the invasion of privacy and defamation.

Not only are artists treated as creators, but the music law also considers them businesses. Many music celebrities have their own line of merchandises, such as albums, concert tickets, and souvenirs. The music law requires performing artists to obtain a business license for tax purposes; otherwise, this may lead to some violation of tax laws. For the many people who want to “break into” the music business, but are not knowledgeable on its legal facets, many law firms can provide legal services and advice specifically for this purpose.


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