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Copyright Question


Ed Stanley

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Greetings. This is my first post here although I have regularly participated in the keyboard forum. I suspect that this subject has been discussed here before and is common knoweldge to most of the regulars here but I am in the process of recording some demos of original songs and it occurs to me that I should obtain copyright protection for them. The problem is I don't have a clue. Another problem is that I cannot write in standard notation. I have been told that you can submit audio recordings. Can anyone offer any info / advice or steer me to some? Thanks.
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Actually, you can now file copyrights online. It's actually cheaper that way. Check out copyright.gov and click the big link for electronic copyright online. I did a batch of songs* and got the certificate in the mail within weeks. I didn't even submit charts, just uploaded MP3s of each song.

 

*You can submit several songs at once if they are all by the same author(s) as a "collection." They don't get individually listed, but it saves you some big bucks.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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  • 2 months later...

It's always best to register things when they become defined.

That will not preclude you from copyrighting further developments or variations.

 

Keep in mind, however, that these days copyright is inherent in the creation af any work of art.

Be sure to label any copies (in any form) with © & ID of creator(s)/copyright holder(s) &, if possible, contact info.

That doesn't alleviate the need to eventually register for full legal protection options but it does give you substantiation if items come into someone else's possession. They can't claim they had no way of knowing to whom the work belonged.

Keep in mind that except for mass piracy, the government doesn't enforce any of these laws; that's handled in civil litigation (copyright holder sues infringer).

 

Also be aware that while you can copyright items both in printed or recorded form there are further considerations: recordings are actually a different item.

By that I mean that if you compose something, that can be copyrighted.

If you record it for sale, that can be copyrighted.

If someone else records it, they can copyright their recording. They still owe the copyright holder of the composition a royalty but they collect royalties on their recording.

Same if you record someone else's work.

You can even copyright significantly different versions (arrangements) of works by others, whether in the public domain or a work owned by someone.

If someone copies your arrangement, & you've copyrighted it, you may be a winner. :D

 

Lastly, copyright laws vary, sometimes significantly, from country to country.

At some point it's worth looking into those differences to see how to protect works that may be marketed internationally...especially as we move further into digital/online sales, etc.

 

d=halfnote
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  • 2 months later...
As d has said, there's lots of things to consider with copywriting these days, however if you're looking for a fast and cheap way to do so, simply mail a copy of your song along with any lyrics and additional information to yourself, making sure it's stamped with the date at the post office. Then if you ever need to prove you're the owner of your song you can do so. Hope this helps.
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To be fair Gismo, you're probably right on this one! Hadn't thought of that! Not sure what type of music you're making Ed but there's a competition I came across the other day to produce a remix of David Bowie's song Fashion, it's been run by Z Records in connection with the release of a new remix album from Joey Negro and the Sunburst Band! Major prize as the winning remix gets released! Just click on the facebook link which is my signature for all the details! good luck!

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg177/cjkmerriman/remixbanner.png

 

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The copyright office has made it pretty simple to copyright your music online. I just helped a friend of mine register about 8 songs the other day.

 

I recommend waiting until you have a buttload of songs before registering so you can save some money!!!

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I've even heard that if you post something on YouTube, technically it's copyrighted, because it's time stamped. And that's basically all the government's copyright does... it time stamps it, so that if someone else comes along, you can always point to the version in the copyright office and say you did it first, via its date... but I don't know how valid the YouTube thing is... it's just something I've heard rumblings about : )

so don't quote me on that

http://www.SuccessForYourSongs.com/ A Resource for Songwriters & Performers
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Actually, you can now file copyrights online. It's actually cheaper that way. Check out copyright.gov and click the big link for electronic copyright online. I did a batch of songs* and got the certificate in the mail within weeks. I didn't even submit charts, just uploaded MP3s of each song.

 

*You can submit several songs at once if they are all by the same author(s) as a "collection." They don't get individually listed, but it saves you some big bucks.

 

How much does it cost????

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I've even heard that if you post something on YouTube, technically it's copyrighted, because it's time stamped.

What happens if YouTube removes your content? I'd rather have a real copyright.

 

Without opening a can of worms here, it's ironically amusing that anyone would even think to use YouTube for copyright protection. ;)

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