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Any better way to protect the copyrights of your own music?

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  • Any better way to protect the copyrights of your own music?

    Not sure if this is the right section. Was considering to protect the copyrights of some of my recent material. Is there a better way than the old (free) method of sending to your address a packet with inside your own music (a CD with lyrics) ? Obviously free or very cheap.
    (Based in the UK)
    Last edited by NowIWannaBeAGoodBoy; 03-01-2018, 03:37 AM.

  • #2
    I don't know what the UK laws are, but in the USA, the idea of mailing the material to yourself is not without its risks. "How do we know" (asks the opposing legal counsel) "that you didn't steam open the envelope, add material to the contents and then reseal it at a later date?" You also give up any punitive damages you might otherwise win if your copyright is infringed and you take them to court and win unless you've done things the official way and registered your copyright with the Library of Congress.

    The "cheap way" in the USA is to use a Form SR (instead of the usual Form PA) and register a compilation of multiple songs for one registration fee. There's a loophole in the US law that allows you to do that as long as the copyright claimant is the same for the sound recording itself (which is what a form SR is designed for) and the embodied musical works, so as long as the same person or group of people are claiming copyright for all of the above, you can put as many songs as you can fit on a CD and register them all at once. There are some issues even with that, so as always, before proceeding, I recommend discussing things with your entertainment attorney if you have any questions or concerns.

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    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

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    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


    • #3
      We do have a very detailed sticky on this subject.:

      The 'mailbox' system is not legally adequate in the US ...and, frankly, I doubt it is anywhere. The moment the material is put in a tangible format [written, recorded, photographed] there is technically a copyright in force, but for legal protection, registration with the Copyright Office is absolutely necessary.

      The drawback with the multiple items on one form SR [compilation] is that if you license out one song, you have essentially given license for everything on the recording. Something to consider.

      UK info:

      Last edited by daddymack; 03-01-2018, 12:55 PM.
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      • Phil O'Keefe
        Phil O'Keefe commented
        Editing a comment
        Exactly. But you don't give up punitive damages if you win an infringement case.