It's Copyright —
understand the concept of a song copyright, it's important
to first understand what the term actually means.
term "copyright" is often misunderstood. For instance,
type in "How to copywrite songs" in Google and you'll
get lots of results containing the word "copywrite."
illustrates the problem. The correct phrase isn't How
to copywrite songs, the correct phrase is How to
copyright songs. The word is spelled copyright
if these so-called "information" sources can't even
spell the word correctly, they probably can't be counted on
To Copyright Your Songs:
Practical View Of Copyrights
often worry their songs will be stolen. Sometimes
they are so worried, they don't show people their songs, submit
songs to publishers or enter song contests.
some point in the songwriting process, this kind of reluctant
concern becomes counterproductive even a bit paranoid.
who take time to understand basic copyright law usually come
to this conclusion: There is no reason to miss opportunities
in the music business out of fear that someone will steal
RULES OF COPYRIGHTS
it comes to copyright protection, the main thing to remember
is this: The revised Copyright Law of 1976 states that a songwriter
legally owns the copyright to his/her song the moment
the song is written.
you need to do to
establish a legal copyright is affix a copyright notice
on your recording or lyrics.
The term "affix" simply means you write your name
and the year the song was written next to the copyright symbol.
format looks like this: ©
YOUR NAME 2011
all there is to it. In fact, it's not even necessary to include
a copyright notice on subsequent recordings. The writer still
has copyright protection.
copyright law provides clear protections at the time of creation,
experienced songwriters often wait to file formal copyrights
(with the U.S. Office of Copyrights) until their songs are
polished, rewritten, completed and ready to be published or
a song is completed and ready to show, it's also ready to
be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
TO ORDER COPYRIGHT FORMS
order copyright forms from the U.S. Copyright Office, call
the Federal Information Office toll-free at 1-800-688-9889
ask specific questions about the copyright process, call the
Copyright Office at 202-707-5959 or 202 707-9100. (These numbers
are not toll-free).
Online you can visit the U.S.
Copyright Office website to download the appropriate
PA: For published or unpublished works.
Form SR: For sound recordings.
are provided at the website. The PA Form is used for copyrighting
songs. The SR Form is used for copyrighting sound recordings.
Tip: The copyright registration fee (currently $45)
covers either one song OR an entire collection of songs. So
instead of copyrighting each song separately, you can save
money by copyrighting many songs at the same time and registering
"Collections" of your songs. For example: "10
Songs by (Your Name) 2012."
You cannot copyright an idea or a song title. Anyone can write
a song about love or happiness or a lost dog. They just can't
write the same song —
lyric or melody.}
This article on copyrights is presented as practical information,
not legal advice.
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