Many people are enticed to join the music industry due to the high popularity they get and the massive income accompanying the same. As such, it is important for the persons to understand the accompanied legalities and regulations that may influence their activities and production of their contents. Moreover, if one is found guilty of using other people’s information and content as their own, it can result in undue pressure and fines, and thus it is important that the musicians beware of these rights and legal regulations that are bound to music creation. This paper addresses the copyright laws of the music composition and how it may affect the composition of music. The paper outlines the intellectual personality theory and provides both its weaknesses and strengths as can be depicted from the music composition copyright laws.

Copyright Law

            Authors and content creators are encouraged to continue their production through the development of the copyright laws that grant them the exclusive right to make and conduct business with the copies of their own work, and the right to display to the public their work. These rights usually are subjected to the limited time of about 70 years after the death of the author (Arewa, B. 2016). The primary purpose of the copyright law is to ensure that art and science progress forward through securing the rights to the creators to work with their creation over specified periods.

Intellectual Property theory: Personality Theory

            Intellectual property is referred to as the intangible creations that are made up within the mind, which can be protected by the law. Moreover, the same can be viewed as information, which bears a sense of commercial value. Thus, the intellectual property encompasses any proprietary product of the mind and stuff that can be protected by copyrights, trademarks, and patents. For this study, personality theory states that the property belonging to any individual is an extension of the individual’s personality. Thus, the rights on the property owned by one party, either tangible or intangible, are thus controlled exclusively by the creator of the property. The personality theory ensures that the content creator and owner’s will is the primary motivation behind the rights that can be exercised upon the creation. This ensures that the work of the author cannot be copied or presented without the permission of the author. With this, the creator is protected from anyone who may wish to benefit from the work that is not his or hers.

Insight of the copyright law and the Music Composition

According to Trimble, M. (2017), the law on musical composition prohibits anyone from using the words and content of any other musical tune, poetry or music lyrics that have been previously composed and produced. Thus, for musical creation, the content must be one’s own and should be registered with the copyright to ensure that any person trying to duplicate the same is apprehended for plagiarism and the use of other people’s content as if they were their own. The copyright laws are enforced from the commencement of the fixation when the lyrics have already been put down on paper or stored in a computer. According to Arewa, B. (2016), the copyright office protects the musician’s content even if they had not registered with the office in charge of the copyright issues, but it is important for the registration since it provides the creator of the content to seek the attorney’s fees along with the statutory damages.

Strength and Weakness of the Personality Theory


One of the major strengths of the theory is that it ensures the content creator actually benefits from their work. This is because any other person cannot use the creator’s work and thus they can produce as much content as possible and use the same business-wise to gain profits from the same. According to Bently, L., and Sherman, B. (2014), the author is given his or her privacy and therefore can be able to select who can use their work and to what extent they can utilize and gain from the author’s original work. In addition to privacy, the theory ensures that the author’s identity is known by promoting the same on their pieces of work. For the music section, the name of the author is reflected in the music video and this identifies the author and advertises them to the public (Lemley, M., 2016). In addition, if the creator gives another person the mandate to use their work, the creator’s name must appear and must be recognized as the content creator.


Allowing the authors of content to have the right to control their ideas ensures that there is less social utility and input. This can result in poor quality of the content especially in the music industry and thus reduce the popularity of the author. In addition, the content produced will not meet the demands of the public, as their views have not been taken into consideration. If the personality theory was to be implemented on every creation, then all the inventions and creations would be deemed illegal. This is because most of the current inventions are derived from earlier works done by someone else (Bently, L. & Sherman, B., 2014). Therefore, the information from the early creations is used to produce more inventions and hence the theory would cause the diminishing of the vast inventions. Moreover, their theory promotes monopoly in the field and thus reduces the chances of other people from being inventive and creative due to prohibition from advancing with other people’s works.


Along with the protection of the author’s content and provision of the rights to maintain their works, it is important for these people to be in a position to identify those whom they can select to use their information in their works too. Through the personality theory, the selection is possible and thus most music creators should seek permission before using other author’s content. However, this leads to monopoly and thus some of the authors can use the opportunity to solicit for funds from the persons who may need their permission to use their content. In addition, the authors having the total control minimizes the social impact on their content and thus there is a likelihood that there will be content that will not meet the demands of the public.


Arewa, B., 2016. Copyright and Cognition: Musical Practice and Music Perception. John’s L. Rev.90, p.565.

Bently, L. and Sherman, B., 2014. Intellectual property law. Oxford University Press, USA.

Lemley, M., 2016. Beyond Preemption: The Federal Law and Policy of Intellectual Property Licensing.

Trimble, M., 2017. US State Copyright Laws: Challenge and Potential.

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