Music Glossary J

Music Glossary J

Music Glossary J is a collection of music industry terms, words, and phrases, that begin with the letter “J”, from J-card to Joint Work/Co-write.

Music Glossary J

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Music Glossary J Terms


The front paper sleeve inserts for a slim jewel case. It is used to hold the package artwork of a CD.


This is a type of physical connection used for audio signals.

Jewel Case/Jewel Box

The plastic case that holds one or more CDs.


A short musical piece is used on the radio to identify a station or program, or for advertising.

Joint Online License /JOL

A Joint Online License is a license from the MCPS and PRS collection agencies, combined to cover the performance and duplication of tracks, online, for use on commercial sites like iTunes.

Joint Recording

A recording that features more than one artist (e.g., “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie or “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder).

Joint Venture Deal

An agreement between a record label and A&R company providing A&R services.

Typically, the record label:

  1. Advances some or all of the costs of recording, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, and marketing for records by one or more artists, including:

    1. artist royalties and royalties to be paid to producers
    2. mechanical royalties and net receipts
    3. tour support
  2. Agrees to pay a percentage to the A&R company. This is typically 50% of the net proceeds from record sales.
    • In multiple artist deals, the agreement may prohibit or limit the record label’s right to cross-collateralize costs to different artists.

Joint Work/Co-Write

To be labeled a ‘joint work’, a work must be created by more than one author, where it is intended that their respected efforts be combined, creating a complete, joint work.

In the USA, where there is no written agreement between the authors, each author is considered to own an equal share of the joint work. This has important implications:

  1. In a co-writing agreement between two songwriters, one a music writer and the other a lyricist, where the music writer writes the music and the lyricist writes the words, each will own 50% of the joint work.
  2. If the music writer collaborates with a new lyricist to write new lyrics for their music, this new song is considered a derivative of the original joint work.
    • This means that the songwriter of the original lyrics will own a portion of the new song copyright.
      • This is true even though:
        1. They have had no involvement in creating the lyrics for the derivative work
        2. None of their lyrics are used within the derivative work.

Going beyond traditional songwriting roles, with no agreement between an artist and producer(s), sound recordings can also be considered joint works. This means the copyright for such song recordings would be owned by both the artist and the producer(s).

In the USA, joint copyright owners have the right to license the copyrighted item to third parties when there is no governing agreement.

Other points to note:

  • A copyright owner cannot infringe their own copyright.
  • Licensors are only obligated to account to joint owner(s)
  • If an artist or songwriter co-writes a song, then each party could feasibly license the first use of the song within the USA without the knowledge or consent of the other copyright owners. This could be a nightmare for the artist who planned to be the first artist to record the song.
  • Individually, joint owners can issue a synchronization license for the entire song provided the license usage stays within the USA. Obviously, an artist would not want to discover that their song is being used in a T.V. production without their knowledge. Many foreign territories need all joint copyright owners to issue single or multiple licenses together.

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