Music Publishing Podcast

Nuts and bolts discussions on the business and practical aspects of being a composer in the 21st century, with host Dennis Tobenski.
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Music Publishing Podcast


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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 31, 2016

Copyright is the bedrock of every artist’s career – it secures rights and offers protections that allow us to build careers on solid ground without undue worry of our works being stolen or exploited without our knowledge or consent. The Founding Fathers of the United Stated thought it so important that they wrote it into Article I of the Constitution. Every artist should have a working knowledge of current copyright law – they should know the basic rights and protections that they’re afforded, and how they can remedy any infringement on their rights.

It’s with this in mind that I invited my friend Marc Ostrow, an entertainment/IP lawyer and songwriter, to be on the show.

In our conversation, we talked about:

  • basic tenets of copyright
  • the limits of what is copyrightable
  • the Poor Man’s Copyright
  • the benefits of and incentives to registering your copyrights
  • fighting infringements
  • folio registrations*
  • working with living poets vs. dead poets’ estates
  • Performing Rights Organizations
    • selecting
    • collecting performance royalties
    • what PROs don’t do
  • estate planning for artists
  • international copyright issues
  • why you should get permission <strong>before</strong> setting a text
  • First Sale Doctrine
  • licensing vs. selling
  • copying licenses
  • Fair Use
    • Fair Use is not a right; it is a defense against an infringement accusation*
    • the four factors of fair use
    • transformative use vs. derivative works
    • the false “rules of thumb” of fair use
  • our cats

(* – these are important points!)

Marc is slated to come back in July to go into more depth with Fair Use and the seemingly endless misconceptions that people seem to have about it.

Marc Ostrow
Marc’s blog
The Copyright Handbook
Donald S. Passman: All You Need to Know About the Music Business
Steve Gordon: The Future of the Music Business

May 25, 2016

Composer Chris Cresswell and I have known each other for a couple of years, and we never fail to to have long, rambling, fun conversations. Today was no different in this trans-Atlantic chat about self-doubt, finding joy in composing, and mental health for artists.

In this episode:

  • Wearing many hats
  • Finding joy in creating
  • How practical considerations can inform your compositional practice
  • Comparing yourself to other composers
  • Cutting yourself some slack
  • Creating a life that is healthy and sustainable, and also nourishes your art
  • Success and mental health
  • Feeding the whole person
  • How Dennis and Chris try to cope

Dale Trumbore’s NewMusicBox articles
Nico Muhly: Thoughts on Being Well
Jackie Battenfield: The Artist’s Guide

May 23, 2016

Third time's a charm! After a sudden scheduling conflict and a Google Hangouts technological nightmare, Jenn Jolley and I finally sat down to talk about her music, her blog, and the opera company that she helped to found.

In this episode, we touched on:

  • Rejection
  • How processing our emotions is time invested in our art
  • Using rejection to springboard into new projects
  • Competitions and how they're run
  • NANOWorks
  • Building an organization that serves the wider community
  • The difficulty of securing second and third performances
  • The realities of running an ensemble or arts organization
  • Taking stock of your situation and re-evaluating your goals
  • When practical considerations inform your writing
  • The need for more operatic roles for women
  • Composer collectives
  • Resource sharing

NANOWorks Opera
AJD•ective New Music

May 23, 2016

To kick off the Music Publishing Podcast, I sat down to chat with Alex Shapiro, a fantastic composer and friend who writes and speaks regularly about composers’ career issues, and is a Writer Member of the ASCAP Board of Directors.

Appropriately enough, we sat down on April 15 – usually tax day, except that we got a reprieve this year to procrastinate for a few more days.

In our wide-ranging conversation, we talked about:

  • Choosing your own path
  • Redefining success
  • The dissolution of the old composing camps
  • The Magic Bakery
  • The future of copyright in the digital age
  • Self-worth and Self-deprecation
  • Finding a balance in the kinds of work you do
  • Encouraging students to find their own stylistic path
  • The importance of kindness and generosity
May 23, 2016

So you're in the concert music world, and you're looking to improve your career.

Maybe you're a composer who's heard a bit about self-publishing, but you're not totally sure what that fully means, or what you should be doing.

Maybe you're a performer who'e pretty good at getting gigs, and you're starting to think about making a recording, but aren't sure of where to start.

Or maybe you're thinking of starting your own concert series or putting together an ensemble or getting a little opera company off the ground, but feel daunted by the logistics of it.

Enter the Music Publishing Podcast.

In Ep. 0, meet composer, vocalist, and MPP host Dennis Tobenski, and learn what the show is about.