Ever wondered what a derivative work is in music?
This article serves to help you fully grasp this copyright concept.
Simply, a derivative work is one that has been derived from another.
Here are some examples of derivative works sourced from copyright.gov.
As per copyright law, the owner of the original work has exclusive right to create derivatives, meaning they must authorise any other party’s derivative of their work.
Copyright law vests the original work’s copyright owner with the exclusive right to prepare derivative works. Therefore, the owner in the preexisting work must authorize the creation of a derivative work in order for it to be separately owned by another.https://wagenmakerlaw.com/blog/nonprofit%E2%80%99s-guide-copyright-law-derivative-works
Here are some examples sourced from CDBaby.com
The difference is subtle, but quite well defined.
A cover song is a song you didn’t write, nor did you make any significant alterations to the work.
A derivative takes material from another song to create a new composition.
Cover vs Derivative Works: A Super Important, Tiny Little Detail
Arrangements and Derivative Works
What IS a cover song? — CDBaby
A Nonprofit’s Guide to Copyright Law for Derivative Works
Understanding the Importance of Derivative Works — Finnegan
What Are Derivative Works Under Copyright Law? — LegalZoom
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