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Home / Music / Music artists: How to copyright your work
Music artists: How to copyright your work Print E-mail

Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:00

Written by David Samuel

How do musicians copyright their work?  Well, I am going to give a new perspective on this topic of discussion, because the main reason we are talking about this is to protect your work.  Right?   

Nevertheless to copyright your work just go to copyright.gov and fill out a form.

But what you need to know more about is what is called date of creation. Even if a song has a copyright and someone can come along and prove an earlier date of creation they could win in a court of law.  Do I have your attention yet?  The copyright laws changed sometime in the nineties.  The law became more efficient in that as soon as something is created it automatically became copy-written.  Just like when an artist throws his paint on the canvas it is copy-written.

Well, for an artist as soon as you write a lyric on a napkin from a restaurant that is like a drop of paint on a canvas for you.  You need to keep all your napkins, scratch pieces of paper and journals with dates upon them in a folder and make a file.  These should all go into a safe place for what we are calling the case for your date of creation.  The good thing is that most of us are using computers now and even when we are laying down what I call scratch pad ideas there is a time stamp on it.  I keep all these files backed up because this is the real copyright. 

You need to make it very difficult for someone to prove they wrote or composed that piece of music before you did and the more stuff you have the better.  This worked with an artist who had a song stolen that I read about googling this info, but because she had all the info I am talking about she won her case.

There is also what is called the poor man's copyright where you take your finished recording put it in the mail and mail it to yourself.  The U.S. Postal service official stamp is dated and as long as you don't open that piece of mail when it comes back to you it is the most solid copyright there is.  I would put that in with the file I mentioned above and then take your finished recordings and have them sent off to be copy-written through the site I mentioned at the beginning of this article.

 

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