Nothing ushers in the holiday season quite like holiday music, and it is especially exciting to hear each year’s remakes. A song like The Little Drummer Boy, for example, was originally written in 1941 by Katherine Kennicott Davis and first recorded in 1951 by the Trapp Family Singers. Since that time, there have been over 220 versions recorded in seven different languages. A handful of the artists that have recorded their own versions of the song include Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Ray Charles, and even Alicia Keys.

Think also of the other classics, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. This is precisely why copyright valuations are so important—and it was our firm that had the opportunity to value these three familiar melodies. Without a copyright valuation, the creators of these classics would have missed out on a staggering opportunity.

Copyrights protect intellectual property (IP) that might include original literary, musical, dramatic, or other artistic works. Copyright protection grants exclusive ownership rights, safeguarding the work and ensuring that if someone wants to reproduce, perform, or use a work in any form, the copyright owners are able to approve or deny such requests and, in the event that access to the work is granted, copyright owners are paid appropriately. This is known as a royalty, and whether it is in the event of a holiday song remake or a film adaptation of a novel, these can prove very lucrative for the original artist. Likewise, copyright infringement is punishable by law and therefore protects the artist against theft or unapproved uses of their work.

Copyrighting relies on an appraisal process to ensure accurate and fair copyright valuations. By taking into account historical and projected financial data, as well as market-based information on sales, licensing transactions, royalty rates, and other data for comparable copyrights and underlying assets, artists can ensure that they are paid fairly for their work. A copyright valuation uses projected cash flows and valuation models to determine the fair market value of the copyrights, ensuring that the appraisal is defensible and that copyright owners have all the necessary information on hand should the need to sue for damages arise.

Songs generate income each time they are played on the radio, streamed on a device, or used in a commercial, TV show, or movie. They also generate income every time they are covered by other artists. An iconic song can generate impressive revenue streams for decades to come, well beyond the life of the author. It pays to ensure your intellectual property is adequately protected by seeking a copyright valuation.