The internet is a double edged sword because it has made things easier whilst making other things relatively difficult.
One of its more negative effects is on the music industry; in that, it has made people stealing other peoples intellectual property relatively easy due to illegal downloads.
One of the affected parties are beat makers and I often run into questions along the lines of:
“How can I protect my beats from being stolen”
This question gives enough insight into what is going on in the music industry today. Which is why knowing how to counteract theft of intellectual property can be beneficial to you as a beat maker.
With that said, this post will walk you through the measures you can take to protect your beats from being stolen.
These various measures are what I personally over the years have found to be effective.
So keep reading this post and learn how you can protect your beats from being stolen.
Copyright your work
If you’re a beat maker that wishes to publicly publish your music either online or otherwise, then copyright can serve you well.
Copyrighting your music can help you have full control over your music and be able to do call upon the law when somebody either reproduces your work or simply steals it.
The fact is that, it is pretty easy for people to get ahold of your beats now that the internet is prevalent has become part of our everyday lives….plus, selling and advertising your beats as a producer will heavily rely on the power of the internet to effectively broadcast your material and get it to possible clients.
Therefore copyrighting your beats can be a safety measure against illegal use of your intellectual property.
Register with PRO’s
PRO stands for performing rights organisations. These organisations are in place to help you keep track of your music and collect royalties on your behalf for any possible licensing.
Registering your work with PROs like these in this article can help you get what’s rightfully yours and take advantage of the fact that your beats will be tracked and royalties will be collected if the music is played on platforms like non interactive radio and public radio.
Use Content ID to your advantage
Content ID is simply a system that enables copyright owners to identify YouTube videos that include content they own. …
As the copyright owner, you provide YouTube with a reference copy of your eligible content. YouTube then uses the reference to scan all uploaded videos for matching content.
Services like Identifyy can help you set up content ID in order to claim for ownership on any videos that may have your beats in them.
Using a service like Identifyy will be of much help to you if you plan on using YouTube as one of the ways in which your beats will be distributed.
Don’t post on YouTube
This may sound counterintuitive but if you don’t want people stealing your beats then you should avoid posting them on YouTube.
Granted, YouTube is an excellent platform for independent creators and can definitely bring in lots of business for you as a beat maker but it can also be the reason why people illegally rip your beats off the platform and use them illegally.
Therefore you can use other ways of distributing and promoting your music. You can use platforms like Spotify to have your music and beats only available for streaming and no downloading.
Plus, Digital Streaming platform’s will pay you per stream of your beats.
If you’re unfamiliar with Digital Streaming Platforms (DSPs) and don’t know how to put your music on them…. read this article as it discusses various platforms you can use to get your music across most DSPs.
This is usually overlooked but can be of great benefit and give your lawyer a good argument should somebody use your beat illegally.
Once you upload your beats on YouTube you should then include a good description detailing that your beats should not be illegally used without your consent.
This can help keep beat thieves away.
Producer tags are popular especially in genres like hiphop where it is almost always necessary to have a vocal tag saying the producers name to know that they produced the beat.
People have found effective ways to use and place tags strategically on a beat, making it almost impossible for people to sing or rap over them.
One popular tag that has proven quite effective in keeping people from using beats illegally is a voice tag saying “why didn’t you pay for this beat though?” … its strategic and will keep people away because it is annoying and embarrassing to have a song made with a tag that keeps saying you didn’t pay for the beat.
Use Beatstars to sell or your own website
Another countermeasure to keep your beats from being illegally used or stolen is to use Beatstars or your own website to sell beats.
Beatstars is a beat selling platform that allows you as the producer to upload content and sell it.
The good part is that, beat stars will only have your beats available for streaming so that no one can illegally download them unless they pay for it.
You can also explicitly indicate which beats you want to put up as free downloads on the Beatstars platform which gives you even more control over your content.
If you’re debating on whether you should use Beatstars or your own website to sell beats this post can help you decide.
Work with Physical clients
Another great way of protecting your beats against being stolen is by ramping on working with physical clients than relying on the online market place.
The good part about developing good physical clientele is that they can easily turn into an effective client base that can guarantee repeat business.
If you can utilize both the online and physical market, you can strike a good balance so long as you take the necessary precautions against the theft of your beats.