Lost Commandment: Thou shalt not get caught – Copyright Infringement

In light of the recent case between Katy Perry and Christian Rapper Flame (Marcus Gray), copyright protection/infringement is resurfacing. There is a such thing of infringing upon another artist’s music believe or not. This is why it is necessary to go through the process of protecting your music. Neglecting this step is detrimental to your music career.

Now, I’m going to make this coffee black with no sugar added. Matter of fact, this is an espresso shot. Listen, copyright infringement depends on what the court deemed as Fair Use. If you used the “Poor man copyright” method (mailing yourself a copy of your work), your chances of recouping is slim to none. Copyright laws are legally binding and must be adhered to.

As a general rule, I would say get permission from the creators of the work. Don’t take it for granted and think nobody will find out. It doesn’t matter how much or how little of the song or beat you have used. The court looks for what was your purpose in using it.

This Digital Age has forced the powers that be to tighten laws. For Katy Perry’s neglectfulness, she will pay out to Marcus Gray to the tune of approximately $550,000, according to FOX News. Not only does Ms. Perry bear the brunt of this infringement, but so does her record label Capital Records. They will make it rain $1.2 million. All of this for slowing down the music track and tweaking a few instruments. Has creativity died? That is another subject altogether.

Copyright infringement is costly. Thou shalt NOT copyright infringe. Point blank period. Do your research. Visit the Copyright.gov and Library of Congress websites for more information.


Music Coffee Life is a collection of thoughts, advice, and facts with a comedic spin that can be used as a resource for music industry professionals. There are no wrong or right ways, however, there is a process. Respecting the process and making sure you’re putting in the effort is key to a successful career in music.

One piece of advice that I think is needful is to be yourself. There are plenty of people in this world, but no one can be you.

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