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Derivative Work

A work derived from another work, such as a translation, musical arrangement, sound recording, or motion picture version.

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Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

That portion of the Copyright Act that implements two international treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The DMCA also creates limits of the liability for copyright infringement of Internet service providers under certain conditions, as well as addresses other matters.

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Direct License

In reference to performing rights, a license obtained by a music user directly from the copyright owner allowing the user to publicly perform the licensed work.

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Exclusive Rights

The right of a copyright owner to exclusively authorize recording, performance, dramatization or other uses of his works, as set forth in the Copyright Act.

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Exclusive Songwriter Agreement

A contract between a publisher and a songwriter in which the songwriter assigns all songs written during the term of the contract to the publisher in return for a percentage of royalty income. Such an agreement usually involves advances paid by the publisher to the songwriter.

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When used in relation to publishing, “exploit” refers to encouraging the licensing and commercial use of a particular copyright.

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Extended Renewal Term

The term of copyright for works registered under the 1909 Copyright Act was extended, under the 1976 Copyright Act and subsequent amendments, so that copyrights, if renewed, will be protected for 95 years—an additional 39 years from the time of the original copyright. Under the prior copyright law of 1909, the term of copyright was two 28-year terms, or a total of 56 years.

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Favored Nations Clause

A term commonly used in the entertainment/music industry to protect one’s established salary or royalty rate. A favored nations clause may provide, for example, that no one can be paid more than the contracting party for talent or material similarly used, and if someone is, the contracting party will receive the same treatment.

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Feature Work

On television, a performance that constitutes the main focus of audience attention at the time of the performance. The vocalists and/or instrumentalists, respectively, must be on camera except where the music is used as part of a choreographic routine that constitutes the main focus of attention. On radio, a performance that is the sole sound broadcast at the time of the performance.

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Grand Rights

“Grand rights” is the term used to describe “dramatic” performing rights. This would cover performances of musical comedies (Broadway and off-Broadway), operas, operettas, ballets, as well as renditions of independent musical compositions in a dramatic setting where there is narration, a plot and/or costumes and scenery. The copyright owner has the exclusive right to issue licenses and collect fees for grand rights. The use of a musical work in a non-dramatic public performance is not a grand right: it is a “small” performing right licensed through a performing rights organization.

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