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Anti-Piracy for Composers and Lyricists

Anti-Piracy for Composers and Lyricists

In an effort to combat the growing problem of piracy of sheet music on the internet, a group of us at the Dramatists Guild has formed the "Anti-Piracy Committee". Andrew Lippa and I co-chair the committee, with members Georgia Stitt, Stephen Flaherty, Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk and Sean Patrick Flahaven. Director of Business Affairs, David Faux, has also been with us throughout our committee work to give legal advice.

In studying this issue from every possible angle, we have determined that the first thing each writer can do to help his or her own cause is to give the public a good, legal alternative to stealing their songs online. If our songs are not available legally on the internet and can only be purchased in music stores or by mail, we may be adding to the problem. And if a song of ours is in demand but not available at all, we may inadvertently be contributing to a climate that breeds piracy.

Many Guild composers and lyricists already have their songs for sale online, and if you do, please be sure to incorporate this information in your online member profile. The Guild is currently engaged in compiling these profiles, and you have been or will soon be contacted to provide this information. But for those of you whose songs aren't yet available online, you will find below a variety of alternatives the committee has studied and found to be useful, including an extensive guide to self-publishing.

We strongly encourage our members to look into these alternatives or any others you may find that seem practical, legitimate and useful. In fact, if you know of additional avenues we have not listed, by all means let us know and we will research them.

Our aim is to create a clearing-house of sorts, so that the public can go online to the Guild's website to search an author or song or show title and find out how to purchase any of our member's songs legally on the internet.

The anti-piracy committee has a number of public events planned for the winter and spring of 2011-2012 aimed at heightening awareness of this issue and at informing the public about this new service the Guild is providing. In this campaign, we'll be reaching out to educators, vocal coaches, actors, theater lovers and students.

But before we do any of this, we need to find out from our members where their songs can be purchased online, and to have as many Guild members who don't currently offer their work for sale on the internet do so.

- Craig Carnelia

"Getting on the Same Page with Our Industry Colleagues" by Craig Carnelia
- The Dramatist May/June 2014

"Guild Launches New Link to Sink Piracy" by Craig Carnelia
- The Dramatist Nov/Dec 2011

A Guide to Music Publishing

by Sean Patrick Flahaven, Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk and Georgia Stitt

Music publishing is a business that many, even in the entertainment industry, don't fully understand. Until the gramophone, music publishing was the fairly straightforward business of physically printing and promoting sheet music and performing songs. Now, in addition to traditional publishing companies, there are a range of other options for contemporary songwriters to release and monetize their work.

This guide offers an overview of several publishing options that are available depending on your individual needs and the stage of your career. For writers who are starting out or want to manage their catalogs themselves, Self-Publishing is easier than ever. For emerging and mid-career writers, Digital-Only Publishingcompanies offer opportunities that didn't exist a few years ago. For more established writers, the guide also contains information on the worlds of Traditional Print Publishing and Full-Service Music Publishing.

Click here for publishing options

Click here for tips on selling sheet

Anti-Piracy Agreements


Click the image to the left for the Anti-Piracy Agreement for Rehearsals. Click the image to the right for the Anti-Piracy Agreement for Auditions

Anti-Piracy Events

Anti-Piracy Blast - Monday, April 21, 2014

PHOTO CALL: Stephen Flaherty, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jason Robert Brown and More Sound Off on Sheet Music Piracy

Collateral Damage: Stephen Schwartz, Alan Menken, Lin-Manuel Miranda Campaign Against Sheet Music Piracy

Someone Wrote That Song… An Anti-Piracy Crusade