Music Mondays: Copyrighting your songs or album

Greetings to all of our readers and clients out there! We hope that you have been doing well and have been living life to its fullest! For the creatives, we hope that you’ve been moving and working with a lot of inspiration, and have been overflowing with ideas that you’ve been able to somewhat capture in listening, seeing or hearing form, so that we can all take in, enjoy and admire as well the beauty of art that flows from within.

With that being said, we must remind you that although by law, you automatically become the rightful copyright owner of each and every work you create/put out (aka legal term being “publish”/”distribute”), you do not have right to bring a copyright enforcement lawsuit against any potential infringer unless you already have your work in question registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Thus, even if there’s blatant infringement on a work, in order to pursue the damages or file any infringement action, you must have first registered your work.

Now, when it comes to artists and the music they put out, most often we get the question of “Do I need to register a copyright for each song that I have or can I just register a copyright for the album containing all of these songs?” And so, like we tell all of our clients, here it goes.

While the general filing fee for each “submission” is $35, one may think it smart and economical to just simply register one’s album with the U.S. Copyright Office and avoid having to pay the $35 for each and every song on the album. That’s true … to some extent … BUT this would only be possible if all the songs in that album were created by the (1) same parties, (2) in the same year, (3) with the same publication status, and (4) owned by the same parties. Thus, if it happens to be that there are different parties who wrote different songs on the album, then the submission would actually be rejected. Hence, one can clearly see the necessity for registering copyright for each and every song and that is what we advise our clients on a case by case basis. With that being said, please do make sure that your songs are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, that way you can spend less time waiting later to initiate legal action when you need to and additionally, you’ll be granted a broader range of remedies to pursue as well. If you have any further questions about this topic or another related matter, please do not hesitate to contact us and find out more. Our initial 30-min consultation fee is $100, but if you provide the following coupon code (only available by reading this actual blog post), we’ll take 50% off this initial fee: FREEDOM315 (coupon code expiration date: March 15, 2016). And that’s it. Have a great week! 🙂

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Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained within this blog post and site is offered simply as a consideration to visitors who are in the entertainment industry and are seeking to learn more about various areas of entertainment, be it in film, movies, television, music, digital, new media, film financing, merchandising and/or branding. As such, the information so provided should never be construed as legal advice. If you need further assistance or legal advice for your specific matter, please do not hesitate in contacting an entertainment attorney (film (movie), music, digital, licensing, financing) here in Los Angeles, California at The Hollywood Lawyer by (1) emailing us at info@hollywoodlawyer.com; (2) calling us at (323) 300-4184; or (3) filling out our online form. www.thehollywoodlawyer.com

About thehollywoodlawyer (335 Articles)

At The Hollywood Lawyer in Los Angeles, our entertainment attorneys are committed to assisting all talent (actors, artists, singers, writers, dancers, directors, producers, directors, editors, engineers, executives), entertainment companies (film studios, recording facilities, record labels, management companies, agencies, publishing companies, film studios, distributors), start-ups, small businesses,filmmakers, music makers and social entrepreneurs,with all of their personal, career, business and/or charity law needs be it talent representation or accompaniment through a deal or negotiations.

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