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unusual issue on copyriting and online distribution

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  • unusual issue on copyriting and online distribution

    So this question is a bit weird- it involves protecting your work but keeping some level of anonymity...

    I'm helping my buddy who's in a metal band to copyrite his songs. He wants to put them up online (youtube etc) but doesn't want people ripping him off... hence the copyrite desire. It's a somewhat rational fear since his music is unusual and lyrics fairly crazy, so I understand his anxiety (even though I realize he probably shouldnt worry at all). Think Gwar, sort of.

    His music is imho fairly ridiculous. It's really left-field, whacky, and the guy is an ACCOUNTANT!! He plays the odd gig at night and is all corporate during the day. He is living this weird dual life and doesn't want his name on record for his own damn songs! For example, one is called (I am slightly altering this so he doesn't search for my post) "Butt Plug in the Bathtub"

    So how do we go about copyriting his stuff without giving up his anonymity? He is afraid his boss or whoever can search public records and see his name under these crazy headings. From what I understand, people can search for your name and titles but - they can't actually listen to the track in question?

    My own suggestion is to officially register the tracks under titles like "song 1" "song 2" so they're under record, but nondescript, and this info. would only have to be drawn upon in the ultra-rare event he was copied from.

    I'd really appreciate any suggestons. I'm really new to this and he is treating me like I know it all

  • #2
    If his songwriting is something he's ashamed of, he shouldn't be doing it. Kind of like someone not wanting people to know about their kinky porn collection.

    Also, he can't have a very good relationship with his boss if he's afraid his boss will search public records to dig up dirt on him.

    Strange...

    John
    Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

    Comment


    • #3
      I appreciate the feedback, but the point isn't that he's ashamed of his "songwriting", he is proud of it enough to want to post it up online. But there is definitely a divide nowadays between your "professional" and "private" life - haven't you heard of people getting fired because they have a risque photo on facebook or an inappropriate comment on twitter??

      He wants to keep his artistic side apart from his professional side... so with that in mind I'd appreciate any advice on the actual copyrite procedures.

      Comment


      • #4
        With all due respect... if I had a job that controlled my personal life to that degree; they could take the job and shove it. Or I'd wait until they fired me and sue their asses off.

        We are still living in the "land of the free" aren't we?

        Anyway, he could go by an alias.

        John
        Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

        Comment


        • #5
          Stage name ftw. I never use my real name on my music. Just make sure he copyrights his stage name too

          Comment


          • #6
            With all due respect... if I had a job that controlled my personal life to that degree; they could take the job and shove it. Or I'd wait until they fired me and sue their asses off.

            We are still living in the "land of the free" aren't we?

            Anyway, he could go by an alias.

            John


            Good luck with that, guy. 49 states are "at will" employment states. It means you can quit whenever you please with no notice, and your employer can fire your ass for any reason, or no reason at all, with no notice....UNLESS you are specifically protected by a contract or other legal provision. I believe Wyoming, or maybe Montana, specifies cause for dismissal.

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            • #7
              Good luck with that, guy. 49 states are "at will" employment states. It means you can quit whenever you please with no notice, and your employer can fire your ass for any reason, or no reason at all, with no notice....UNLESS you are specifically protected by a contract or other legal provision. I believe Wyoming, or maybe Montana, specifies cause for dismissal.


              Not quite that simple. Charges of wrongful termination can be filed against any employer.

              John
              Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

              Comment


              • #8
                Stage name ftw. I never use my real name on my music. Just make sure he copyrights his stage name too


                Are you sure? Doesn't your real name show up with the copyright office no matter what?

                Does anyone here have experience copyrighting their songs?

                Comment


                • #9

                  Does anyone here have experience copyrighting their songs?


                  Look, copyrighting your songs ain't hard. You basically ask for the paperwork from the Copyright Office, fill it out, send them a check, and off you go.

                  www.copyright.gov

                  I think that the stage name thing is the way to go, but I don't know about "copyrighting" a stage name. Trademark, Brand, Copyright all have different legal connotations and applications. I don't know about that other than what a friend did. He wrote an album under an alias, and made a checking account with a DBA, and worked everything out with his PRO, which I think was SESAC.

                  Secondly, the boss would have to do a pretty extensive search to find an artist's pseudonym. He'd actually have to know where to look. While it is a matter of public record, those records are not very accessible unless you know how to get to them.
                  "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work" - Gustave Flaubert

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey I wanted to add to this. If you have a collection of songs and send a CD in, and title it "Music Piece 2010" or whatever, THEN what happens? Can people listen to it? Do you have to get it out via some legal process for copyright infringement?

                    My buddy is chompin at the bit and I keep telling him not to pay a lawyer till we double check.

                    I'm thinking if he copyrights his nasty metal under "Music 2010" or whatever nobody would know the difference - unless they can somehow access the source material. So can they?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So this question is a bit weird- it involves protecting your work but keeping some level of anonymity...

                      I'm helping my buddy who's in a metal band to copyrite his songs. He wants to put them up online (youtube etc) but doesn't want people ripping him off... hence the copyrite desire. It's a somewhat rational fear since his music is unusual and lyrics fairly crazy, so I understand his anxiety (even though I realize he probably shouldnt worry at all). Think Gwar, sort of.

                      His music is imho fairly ridiculous. It's really left-field, whacky, and the guy is an ACCOUNTANT!! He plays the odd gig at night and is all corporate during the day. He is living this weird dual life and doesn't want his name on record for his own damn songs! For example, one is called (I am slightly altering this so he doesn't search for my post) "Butt Plug in the Bathtub"

                      So how do we go about copyriting his stuff without giving up his anonymity? He is afraid his boss or whoever can search public records and see his name under these crazy headings. From what I understand, people can search for your name and titles but - they can't actually listen to the track in question?

                      My own suggestion is to officially register the tracks under titles like "song 1" "song 2" so they're under record, but nondescript, and this info. would only have to be drawn upon in the ultra-rare event he was copied from.

                      I'd really appreciate any suggestons. I'm really new to this and he is treating me like I know it all

                      He can copyright the material under his name, a pseudonym, his cat's name...the copyright office doesn't care. ( to SG Bard: you can't copyright a stage name )
                      Technically, the moment he records the songs or writes them down, a copyright exists, but in order to have legal protection, one must register the copyright with the government.
                      He certainly should not worry about anyone searching him out via the copyright registration.
                      Yes, he can register a compilation as such, with the individual song titles inclusive, for one fee ($35 online).
                      What you send to the Copyright Office stays at the Copyright Office. They do not post your material, they do nothing with it but file it away. He can distribute it any way he would like.
                      Right next door, in the Mus Biz, we have a stickie thread for these types of questions...
                      "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                      Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

                      "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

                      Solipsism is the new empiricism. -Alan Burdick

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