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daddymack

Copyright 101...before you ask, or POST, please take a look!

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Thanks BlueStrat...this was long over due.

Yes, it costs money

Yes, you can download the Forms

NO, it isn't registered with ASCAP/BMI etc. when you file a copyright

NO it isn't published

Yes, you can register online (and save $10[$35 vs $45])

Yes, you can register multiple songs as a collection to save on the 'per filing' fees

Also, check this thread, it may clarify some issues for you regarding using copyrighted materials http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=1679637

If you want to use someone else's material, you might start with the Harry Fox Agency to get a mechanical license...

What did I miss?

ah, yes...on a side note, those of you have put cover songs on your CD, got your mechanical license squared away with the HFA, and then you shot a video...did you remember to get a sync license for the video use?

 

From DIY Musician: Here’s 5 points of copyright that every musician should know:

 

1. Your Exclusive Rights

As a copyright owner, you get six exclusive rights. You alone can create copies of your song, distribute it, make derivatives, display it, and perform the composition and sound recording. (We’ll look at the difference between the composition and sound recording later.) If someone else wants to do any of these things, they need to get permission from you, and, in most cases, provide some sort of payment.

2. How to Get Copyright Protection

So now that you know what the rights granted by copyright are, how do you get them? You don’t actually need to register your song with the Federal copyright office to own the copyright (at least in the US). The moment you put your song into tangible form – written down or recorded – you automatically get the six exclusive rights we just looked at.

3. Is Registration Necessary?

So if you already get all your rights just by writing a song down, why waste time (and money) on a federal registration? If you sue for infringement of your music, a federal registration with the US Copyright Office entitles you to statutory damages and attorney fees. We won’t get into the technical points of statutory damages, but more times than not, it will be more financially beneficial for you to ask for statutory damages in the event of copyright infringement.

On top of that, a federal registration is the best proof of ownership you can get. The “poorman’s copyright” has historically been very popular among musicians. By sending a copy of the music to yourself via mail and leaving the package sealed, you essentially date the creation by the federal postmark on the letter. While this is better than no evidence, a federal registration holds much more weight in court.

4. Infringement

There is no rule in copyright law that sets a minimum standard for infringement. This means that even a five second sample could be considered infringement. Using a popular song, or the “hook” of a song will put you at greater risk of infringing than using a lesser-known song. However, it’s best to play it safe and get permission for any copyrighted material you use.

Another point worth noting, you cannot copyright chord progressions or drum beats for the most part. Imagine how difficult it would be to write if someone had the basic rock drum beat or the I, IV, V chord progression copyrighted!

5. Two Different Kinds of Copyright

Everyone knows about the composition copyright. That’s the one you get for actually writing the song; it protects the arrangement of melody and lyrics. However, there’s another one that protects the unique arrangement of sounds – the sound recording copyright. The composition copyright is owned by the songwriter and the sound recording copyright is owned by the recording artist, so if you write and record your songs you’ve got two copyrights under your belt.

A song can have an infinite number of sound recording copyrights, but only one composition copyright. Think of it this way: if you wrote and recorded a song you would have a composition copyright and a sound recording copyright. If you recorded an acoustic version of that same song, you would have a second sound recording copyright. In the same way, when someone covers your song, they create their own sound recording copyright for the cover. They will, however, still need to get permission to use the composition copyright.

Edited by daddymack
cleaned up visible code from mulitple format changes

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I'm in a band and we want to copyright our music/lyrics.
Would that be classified as a "sound recordings"?
Can I include the lyrics with the songs seeing as I don't want those stolen either? I can submit a whole CD (11 songs) for only $45 right?

Also..
if in the future someone wants to use my stuff. do I still keep the copyright?

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Quote Originally Posted by /\/\()() View Post
I'm in a band and we want to copyright our music/lyrics.
Would that be classified as a "sound recordings"?
Can I include the lyrics with the songs seeing as I don't want those stolen either? I can submit a whole CD (11 songs) for only $45 right?

Also..
if in the future someone wants to use my stuff. do I still keep the copyright?

If you want to officially copyright a song (music & lyrics) use this form: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formpa.pdf

Yes, you can copyright the 11 songs as a compilation. For instance, list all 11 songs and then add "contained in" whatever title you're using for the CD.

You can find all the answers to copyrights here: http://www.copyright.gov/

Best, Johncool.gif

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If someone were to lift your music after it had been sent to the copyright office but before it had been approved, would you have any legal leverage?

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Quote Originally Posted by Wheeler004 View Post
If someone were to lift your music after it had been sent to the copyright office but before it had been approved, would you have any legal leverage?
yes.
You are the owner of the copyright the moment the material is in 'tangible' form. Your submission to the Copyright Office is dated upon receipt as well.

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Is there a way to get both copyrights, both the PA and RA, in one form? I'm about to register an album and I'd like to protect the recording and the music, without paying twice.

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Quote Originally Posted by No Remorse View Post
Will that also protect the content like a PA form would?
Copyrights in sound recordings are always registered on Copyright Form SR. Copyrights in songs are usually filed on Copyright Form PA. However, if you are the copyright owner of both the song and the sound recording of that song, you can use Copyright Form SR to register both elements together. By registering the song and sound recording together, you will pay one filing fee instead of two.
Best, Johncool.gif

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here is what im trying/would like to get done:
-copyright the bandname
-copyright the song titles
-copyright the album

can i get this done with one form? and one payment?
thanks...

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Quote Originally Posted by No Arrow_Dann View Post
here is what im trying/would like to get done:
-copyright the bandname
-copyright the song titles
-copyright the album

can i get this done with one form? and one payment?
thanks...
band name? Nope, but you may be able to get a trademark on it...
song titles? Nope, you cannot copyright the title, since titles can be applied to a myraid of lyrics.
the album? yes, you can as a single work, but then you have issues licensing individual songs if you wanted to have them shopped around and covered.

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Okay I got things figured out now....I just need to know how to go about doing it....

I need to copyright our Album and Songs

according to copyright.gov I need...
a completed application Form SR and Form CON if needed.
a $45 payment to "Register of Copyrights."
nonreturnable copy(ies) of the material to be registered (read details)

so far all i understand is the 45 dollars! Form SR....okay I am the only author here, I wrote all the songs and there are 12 songs on this Album that gonna be called Souls For Sale... so is form CON just something you would if your covering something or using someone elses stuff? do i need to use this...?
copies of the material...okay what the hell do I send them? a burned CD? a tape? I dont have the inserts done yet or nothing and i want the inserts to say that the songs are copyrighted, so like...should I send them a full blown mastered and dup/replicated CD? cuz right now thats impossible cuz the songs arent copyrighted and I need the inserts to say that they are!!

or am I just confused over nothing here...can someone let me know how to get this done properly so that I dont end up screwing myself over when there shouldnt be any need to!?

if someones had this crap done before please...lend me a hand?!? frown.gif

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Well, Canada is a Berne convention country so like the thread outlines you have copyright at fixation, what you don't have is registration

Being a Canadian citizen (I assume the work was done in CA as well?) you might want to start with CIPO

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Quote Originally Posted by oldnewbie View Post
Should I copyright before or after mastering?
You mean should you register? Your work is already copyrighted the minute it's put on tape.
Before or after mastering makes no difference unless you are radically altering the recording in some way, since mastering doesn't change the content of the recording.

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Okay, I've got a good one for you guys. smile.gif


My band recorded a demo song last year. I just got the copyright certificate in the mail today. Here's the problem. The copyright has two of the old band members' names on it. Now we're about to record a new EP that includes the old demo song, and want them off the copyright. We have new members and all the old members' work is no longer being used (they only contributed their individual tracks). So how do we go about doing that? Can we just re-copyright the new recordings? What's the easiest way to go about this?

Also, can I copyright individual parts of the songs? Like my keyboard tracks?

I'm not sure if I explained it well enough. But thanks in advance.

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Quote Originally Posted by Crazy88Fingers View Post
Okay, I've got a good one for you guys. smile.gif


My band recorded a demo song last year. I just got the copyright certificate in the mail today. Here's the problem. The copyright has two of the old band members' names on it. Now we're about to record a new EP that includes the old demo song, and want them off the copyright. We have new members and all the old members' work is no longer being used (they only contributed their individual tracks). So how do we go about doing that? Can we just re-copyright the new recordings? What's the easiest way to go about this?

Also, can I copyright individual parts of the songs? Like my keyboard tracks?

I'm not sure if I explained it well enough. But thanks in advance.
Did yo ufile SR or PA? If it is SR, then no problem, but if it is PA, you screwed yourself.
Ahh, yes, this is the error too commonly made. When you file the copyright (PA), the authors (who wrote the music/melody/changes and the lyrics) of the work should be the only ones named on the filing. Because they created it. Whatever contributions were made by the band fleshing out the recorded version are moot in that respect.
Too often bandmates insist on being credited as co-writers when they really contributed just their tracks, and did not 'create' anything.
In this particular case, go ahead and re-record the song...but make sure you have/get a authorship copyright on the actual song, not the version.

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A little background first:

http://www.copyrightauthority.com/poor-mans-copyright/

There are three things that a potential violator can NOT fake,besides your music.

One item should be included in your envelope,along with the rest of your stuff. It is WAY hard to fake, if not totally impossible.

The two others belong to you and YOU only. They,naturally, would be included in ANY mailing. Or maybe I should say "on".

I'll let the HC detectives use their brain trust on this and let you tell everyone else what I'm talking about.

Any other suggestions and input welcome!

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I know - a copy of your copyright reg! biggrin.gif

I'm not quite understanding your meaning - What the article appears to be saying (and one common criticism) is that with a poor man's copyright, the "owner" of the envelope IS the potential faker

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"I am NOT A LAWYER and have no basis to give you legal advice from this website that you can deem safe to use in a court of law."



Aside from this, the website link you posted is giving you all the reasons why a poor man's copyright WILL NOT work and CAN BE faked.

"Poor Man' s copyright" should be called "fool's copyright", since only a fool would put the rights to their work in such a dubious idea.

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Heres my question.

I have finished writing the lyrics and guitar riffs for my album.
Should i copyright it before i start sending out demos to record companies?

And if do have to copyright it, is it okay if i send in a cd with me singing on my acoustic guitar. I just dont want to record them using my eletric right now, it will take to long

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Quote Originally Posted by the_offspring View Post
Heres my question.

I have finished writing the lyrics and guitar riffs for my album.
Should i copyright it before i start sending out demos to record companies?

And if do have to copyright it, is it okay if i send in a cd with me singing on my acoustic guitar. I just dont want to record them using my eletric right now, it will take to long
Any tangible version is copyright-able, and yes, before you try to shop it, get the copyright.

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