Today, we turn the spotlight over to one of our Community Partners, the Sphinx Organization. The Sphinx Organization is a nonprofit that works to address the underrepresentation of people of color in classical music. After reading their spotlight blog, we encourage you to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
What is the history of your organization, and what is its mission?
The Sphinx Organization was founded to address the underrepresentation of people of color in classical music. Our mission is to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts. We aim to build a more inclusive environment in classical music for Black and Latino musicians by providing educational and artistic opportunities, supporting their career development, and elevating their contributions to the community.
How do you support members of the creative community, and how can a creator get involved with your organization?
Sphinx supports members of the creative community through a variety of programs, including competitions, educational initiatives, scholarships, and performance opportunities. Creators can get involved by participating in these programs, attending events, or applying for various openings that we regularly post on our website and social media channels. We welcome a diverse array of talents seeking to make their mark in the world of classical music.
What inspired your organization to become a Copyright Alliance community partner?
Becoming a Copyright Alliance Community Partner was inspired by our commitment to safeguarding the creative works of underrepresented communities. We recognize that copyright protection is crucial in maintaining artistic integrity, encouraging creativity, and ensuring economic sustainability for creators. This partnership amplifies our advocacy for the rights of creators in the classical music realm.
How have copyright and related issues affected your organization and its creator base?
Copyright issues significantly impact our organization and its creators, primarily when it comes to fair compensation and recognition. Unauthorized use of recorded performances, compositions, and sheet music undermines our artists’ rights and devalues their contributions. We continually strive to educate our community on these matters and advocate for stronger protections.
What is one thing you wish creators understood more clearly about copyright?
We wish creators understood that copyright is automatically in force upon the creation of their work. It’s not just a legal framework but an essential asset that they own, which can provide ongoing recognition and financial returns. Understanding copyright is about recognizing the value of one’s creative expression.
What advice would you give aspiring creators just starting out and unsure of how to protect their work?
For those starting out, we advise documenting your creative process, formally registering your works with the Copyright Office, and understanding the basics of copyright law. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice to ensure your work is adequately protected and to explore all avenues for your creations, from licensing agreements to collaborative contracts.
What are some current debates or issues surrounding copyright law that your organization is paying attention to, and what is your stance on them?
We’re closely following discussions around digital transmission and fair use, especially concerning online platforms and educational institutions. Our stance is that while we appreciate the accessibility the internet provides, it should not come at the expense of creators’ rights. We advocate for policies that balance technological advances with robust copyright protection.
What are some common misconceptions that creators have about copyright, and how does your organization address them?
One common misconception is that if a piece of music is available online, it’s free to use or that attribution alone is enough without proper licensing. We address these through educational outreach, explaining the nuances of copyright law, and providing resources for our community to protect their works and understand their rights fully.
If you aren’t already a member of the Copyright Alliance, you can join today by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form! Members gain access to monthly newsletters, educational webinars, and so much more — all for free!