Copyright at Christmas

Mariah Carey’s Christmas hit “All I want for Christmas is You” has recently been declared as the most downloaded Christmas song on the streaming service Spotify.

It beat such “classics” as Last Christmas by Wham and other traditional hits by Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams and Brenda Lee. If this doesn’t amaze the reader I’m sure Mariah doesn’t really mind as she makes millions on the royalties from the song every year.

Since 1994 the song alone has earned Mariah over $60 million in royalties. Apparently she wrote the song with producer Walter Afansieff in just 15 minutes.

Of course, the reason why Mariah makes so much money from the song is because she co-wrote it, which means she owns the copyright in the song.

The real money to be made for artists in terms of the songs they record is from the writing of the music they make. Producing a covers album, for example, will make a certain amount of money for the artist but the real money on the recording goes to whoever actually writes the songs.

The advice given, I’m sure, to many artists over the years to write a Christmas song has proven for many more lucrative than anything else they may have written. Just think of this when you are out somewhere and the same songs are playing on a loop in the background. Also spare a thought for the employees having to listen to the same songs over and over again!

This situation is an example of why it is so important to be able to prove copyright in any original compositions.

If any of your clients mention in passing that they play a bit of guitar or that they mess around a bit on the piano, ask them if they have written any songs themselves. If they say yes, mention copyright, ask to see the lyrics, suggest a few amendments and you never know. …

 

Happy Christmas to you all

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Campbell Bewley Group has been a client of MacLachlan & Donaldson for many years which is a testament to the very professional advice and service we continue to receive.

    Campbell Bewley Group Limited

    View all Testimonials
  • Follow us on Twitter