The Music Graveyard

The Music Graveyard

Where does our music go after we go?

A few days ago I received an email from Distrokid founder, Philip Kaplan. I cringed at the subject line: “You’re all going to die!” Huh!?!?  Good grief, what an attention catcher!  So I followed the link to his article, where he announced a new music feature they’re offering called Leave a Legacy.

Basically it is a service that you can purchase (they have 2 – 1-time only pricing payments) guaranteeing after you die, your music will stay in the stores forever, and they’ll continue to pass 100% of your earnings to your kin.  Of course there is some fine print you’ll need to look into, but it got me thinking…What is going to happen to my music after I pass away?

I know, I know – the thought is a bit morbid.

Honestly I never even thought about it either.  Personally, I have music on about 100 different websites, possibly more.  Between my band Spicy Folk, solo projects, and collaborations, my music is all over the web!  While not all of it is up for sale, a big percent of it is – so what will happen to those songs when I kick the bucket, and who will reap the benefits, if any?

According to a 2011 article by New Media Rights called, “What happens to a copyright when the copyright owner dies?” they state, “When an author dies, the ownership of the copyright changes. Copyright is personal property, so the person who created the work could choose whom to pass the ownership of the copyright to. Copyright is treated no differently than other property. So ownership in a copyright can be passed to an heir or to a third party via a will. “

In other words – you may want to think about including your digital music in your will if you want your next of kin to inherit your musical work(s) along with any ‘potential’ profit that music might generate after you’re gone.  Sounds like a good plan!

Is it even worth it?

Hmmm, good question.  If you think about it, there have been quite a few musicians that became famous & ‘rich’ after they were dead. Take Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time.  He became massively famous after a revival of interest in his music in the 1800s.  However, he was little-known while alive and was mostly recognized for performing on the organ.  Imagine that??  So yeah, I would say including your music in your will is definitely worth looking into.  Ya never know, you may be the next Bach!

So what are your plans for your music once your time on this earth expires?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

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