The sale of music rights and royalties has been a growing trend in the music industry, with high-profile artists like Katy Perry, Paul Simon,
Dr. Dre selling the rights to their music to investment firms. These deals mark the culmination of a long-standing transformation in music copyright that has evolved over the past century.
Music copyright began with the passage of copyright laws in 1790 but did not extend to musical compositions until 1831.
Initially, copyright protection only covered the publication of lyrics and notes as sheet music.
When someone purchased sheet music, they effectively bought the right to perform the music,
However, this was a one-time transaction, allowing the buyer to perform the music an unlimited number of times.
This created challenges for composers, as they received royalties from the initial sale of sheet music but not from subsequent performances.
Even with successful compositions, composers did not benefit financially from live performances or new methods of reproducing music.
The introduction of phonographs, gramophones, and player pianos presented new challenges to traditional copyright law.
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