Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. How can I get publicity for my band or gig?
Aside hiring a publicist for launches, you can establish a relationship with media by organising to pop in and say a quick hello and drop in a press kit. As an example, you can visit local radio. Research what kind of people support your genre of music, and then get yourself and your band/music out there so people know who you are. You can do this by attending conferences and introducing yourself and joining committees. Be organised - have everything in place, from your web-site, to your demo.
Q. What does a band manager do? Why should I get one?
Band managers 'navigate' careers and it can be hard to 'get one'. People fall into management position from being passionate about your release, music and loving you as a person. If you are 'hot property?, getting offered main supports, festivals, record deals and what not, management is awesome because they pull everything together, negotiate money, the best gigs to do for your career and planning. This allows you to concentrate on writing, getting to know your fans and rehearsing.
Q. How can I build a fan base?
Email, meet and greeting people at the merchandise desk after your gig, going to other bands gigs you want to play with and giving them your demo.
Q. How do I book my own gigs?
Carefully! Don?t play too much, don?t play the 'wrong gigs' or invite your fans to those wrong gigs ? for example if you?re an indie band playing with metal bands. It?s good to concentrate on the line-up with yourself in the first or middle spot (depending on your profile). Then, approach a venue with your bio and demo for dates.
Q. What is involved in preparing for a gig?
Rehearsal, appropriate set list with songs that suit the night, the room and the other bands you're playing with. Eat well, sleep well, get your promotion all sorted weeks in advance, do a big friendly email out. Check your instruments, re-skin drums, re-string guitars and always carry spare leads and fuse for amps. Do your general research - know the venue, know you're bands on the line-up, make contact with everyone so the night is a joint effort.
Q. Why is performance insurance so important?
These days with public liability it's important to have you and your band covered so that if anything goes wrong and you are held accountable, you have some back-up financial resources ... as well as equipment covered (in case of theft) and car insurance. Have everything in place so if you're out on tour there's back-up in place, performance insurance from APRA is important, it's good to file into APRA your set lists as the gigs happen.
Q. What makes a gig successful?
The right attitude by venue/band and punters, making your space a happy productive one, getting a room full of people enjoying music and wanting more ... I'd like to add here 'less is more'. A short set with an encore is much better that over-playing to a tired audience.
Q. Do I have to complete tertiary studies to be in Event Management?
Not necessarily, it's a hands on job you learn in your field of being a manager, however - there's plenty of documentation that goes with rock-n-roll so I'd recommend finishing anything you start - including school to give you that commitment in life.
Q. What does copyright protect?
A. Copyright protects literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It also protects sound recordings, films and broadcasts. A song may have more than one copyright. The lyrics will be protected as a literary work and the music as a musical work. A recording of the song will also be separately protected as a sound recording.
Q. Do I have to register for copyright?
A. No, you do not need to register your work, pay any fees or fill in any forms for it to be protected. Copyright protection is automatic in New Zealand. As soon as you write down your lyrics or music (chord progression), or tape it onto a CD or tape, it will be protected by copyright. The only requirement is that the work is original (ie it is not copied) and the result of some skill or effort on your part.
Q. What rights do music copyright owners have?
A. Copyright owners in music and lyrics have a number of exclusive rights. Anyone who wants to use a protected work in any of the ways outlined below will usually need the copyright owner's permission. He or she may also have to pay a royalty.
Copyright owners have the right to:
- Reproduce the work: This includes recording the music or lyrics onto a CD, a film soundtrack, or onto a computer disk. It also includes reproducing the music or lyrics as sheet music.
- Publish the work: This means making your work available to the public for the first time.
- Perform the work in public: This includes playing the work live at a venue, playing a recording of the work in a venue, business or work place, and showing a film containing the work.
- Make an adaptation of the work: This includes arranging or transcribing music, or translating lyrics.
In the music industry, these rights are usually grouped in the following way:
The mechanical right: This is the right to record a work on record, cassette or CD. This is usually administered by either the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) or by music publishers.
The synchronisation right: This is the right to use music on the soundtrack of a film or video and is usually administered in the same way as the mechanical right.
The performing right: This is the right to perform a work in public or to communicate a work to the public.
Q. How long does copyright last?
A. In New Zealand, generally copyright in music and lyrics lasts for the life of the copyright owner (composer or songwriter), plus 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the composer or songwriter dies.
Q. Do I need a copyright notice on my work?
A. You do not need a copyright notice on your work for it to be protected, however it is advisable to warn people that you own the rights in the work. The notice is the copyright symbol ©, your name (and the names of other co-creators), and the year in which the work was created. For example: © John Brown, Jenny Black, Jackie Green 2007. You should mark all copies (print and recorded) with this notice.
Q. How can I prove that I am the copyright owner?
A. It is rare that disputes arise about who owns the copyright in a work, but if this occurs, you need to be able to prove that you created the work. The best evidence of this would be early drafts or recordings of the work as well as diaries detailing its development.
Q. Who owns copyright?
A. Generally the composer or author of music or lyrics is the first owner of copyright in the work. However, if you create music or lyrics as part of your employment, your employer is usually the first owner of copyright. Commissioned works : If you are commissioned to write music or lyrics, the person who commissioned you does not automatically owns the rights in the work, unless there is an agreement to this effect. They will, however, have a right to use the work for the purpose for which it was commissioned. In these circumstances it is advisable to clarify the rights of both parties in a written agreement. Works created in collaboration : If you collaborate with others in writing music or lyrics, it is also advisable to have a written agreement clarifying who owns the rights in the resulting work. Failure to do this may result in lengthy and difficult disputes further down the track. Sound recordings: The person who pays for the sound recording to be made will usually be the first owner of copyright in the recording.
Q. What happens when copyright expires?
A. When copyright in a work expires, it is in the public domain and anyone can use it without having to obtain permission or pay a fee.
Q. How can I find out if a song is still in copyright or not?
A. There are a number of websites that can advise whether a song's copyright has expired, and has entered public domain. Duration of copyright in New Zealand is for the lifetime of and 50 years after the copyright owner has died. If you need confirmation please contact us.
Q. What about copyright in other countries?
A. Most countries have copyright laws similar to New Zealand. If your work is protected here, it will also be protected in most other territories. This is because most countries (including New Zealand ) have signed international treaties and conventions requiring signatories to provide minimum standards of protection for copyright material from all countries party to the treaty. New Zealand copyright works are protected in over 133 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States . Similarly, works from these and other territories will also be protected in New Zealand . It is important to note, however, that the term of protection may differ in other territories, and you may wish to seek specific advice on this matter.
Q. What about copyright on the Internet?
A. Many people assume that material on the Internet is copyright free, however it is protected in just the same way as material available through other more traditional channels. A song stored, for example, in an mp3 on a web site is protected in the same way as a recording on a CD. If you want to copy that CD, play it in public or communicate it to the public (by broadcast or via the Internet for example), you need permission from the copyright owner. Similarly, you will also need permission if you want to download the mp3 file onto your own computer, make a copy for a friend or put it on another site. The Copyright Act states that a person who authorises a copyright infringement may also be liable for that infringement. A web site or bulletin board operator may therefore be liable for any infringements that occur as a result of users of their site uploading or downloading their material. The New Zealand courts have held that a person who sanctions, countenances or approves of an infringing activity may be liable for authorising that activity.
Q. What about the rights re sound recordings?
A. There is a separate copyright in the sound recording of a musical work (with or without lyrics). The person or company that owns the rights in the recording owns the right to copy it, record it, perform it, communicate it to the public or rent it out.
Q. What are moral rights?
A. Moral rights belong to the creator of a work regardless of whether he or she owns copyright in the work. Briefly the rights are the right to be attributed or credited correctly on the work and the right to object to the derogatory treatment of the work.