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How to own your Masters and own your Publishing in the music business.

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

How to own your Masters and own your Publishing in the music business. In this episode I breakdown how to own your masters as well as how to own your publishing by starting with the basics, the copyright. You cannot own any Masters or music publishing without ownership of the actual copyright that is associated with the two. Check it out!


If you want to know how to own your own master and publishing rights and the intellectual property of it you must always start with the copyright.

What I have listed below is more of a list of bullet points that will help you recognize what is necessary to own your masters when it comes to copyright.

Now, while owning your masters as an artist seems like a glorious achievement it is better to be left in fantasyland, as owning 100% of your masters will never continue as you proceed in growing your recording business.


Initial Ownership

The source of copyright ownership is the author of the work, and that, in the case of a “joint work,” the co-authors of the work are likewise co-owners of the copyright. A work is joint if the authors collaborated with each other or if each of the authors prepared his or her contribution with the knowledge and intention that it would be merged with the contributions of other authors as inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.

Works Made For Hire

In the case of works made for hire the employer is considered the author of the work and is regarded as the initial owner of copyright unless there has been an agreement otherwise. Any agreement under which the employees to own rights should be in writing and signed by the parties.


As a general rule, the author is the party who actually creates the work, that is, the person who translates an idea into a fixed, tangible expression entitled to copyright protection.