When creating music, it’s important to protect your work. If you do not, it can be stolen and used without proper credit. This is why copyright laws help protect artists, giving them the recognition that they deserve for their art.
Music copyrights are the original recording you’ve made of your music. In order to protect your music from illegal usage and/or unwanted changes, you should try to copyright it. Copyright protection helps to ensure that the artist behind the song gets credit for his or her creation. It’s especially important to copyright your work if you plan to make money with it, like selling your music or marketing yourself as a musician.
How Can You Add Copyright Protection To Your Music?
To safeguard your work, you will want to copyright your music. This process is easy and inexpensive, taking only a few minutes of your time. The best way to add copyright protection to your music is by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office. It will give you exclusive rights to your music, meaning that even people who obtain a copy of it can’t use it without your permission.
There are some guidelines to add copyright to your music, they include:
Recording Your Music
There must be a concrete medium of expression through which you can get copyright for your music. It is realized when you write or record your music. A written notation or recorded version of your music is required.
Attaching a copyright symbol to your music
This is an essential thing that you must perform. By adding copyright symbols to your music, you can issue notices to other people who are illegally using your work.
The symbol “P” in a circle, indicates copyright in the sound recording, including arrangement and production. You may also include the year when the song was first published, as well as the name of the copyright holder.
When you submit a musical piece for publication, you must use the symbol “C” in a circle or the expression “copyright (year)” to notify the public that the work is copyrighted and that you own it.
Studying your rights with Circular 56
The Circular 56 is a complete guide on how you can register your copyright in the United States for music. More specifically, it details the differences between musical compositions and sound recordings for copyright purposes.
A musical composition includes both music and lyrics, while a sound recording will be a fixation of a series of sounds. Plus, a musical composition will be created by composers, lyricists, and songwriters, whereas a sound recording will be created by performers, producers, and sound engineers.
Depending on whether you are registering a musical composition or a sound recording, your rights will vary. This is why it’s critical to determine which category your music falls into.
Registering the copyright (online or with a paper application)
Registering your music will give you many benefits. If you have registered the copyright, then you can sue anyone in federal court for using your music without permission. Registration is used as evidence if you file a lawsuit. The chances of getting compensation also increase when your copyright is registered.
There is an option to register online using the eco website. After creating a user ID and password, the account will be created. There is then a PDF that will let you know how to do online registration. This will be beneficial for you, as online registration is an economical choice for those who do not want to spend more money.
If you do not want to register online, you can choose to register through the paper application process. You can download the form from the website of the copyright office. Depending on what you are registering, there are different forms. For sound recording there is an SR form, for musical composition, there is a PA form and for registering both you can use the SR form.
Completing the application form
If you want to register your copyright, you need to submit the completed form and then pay the applicable fees to the US Copyright Office. You must read the form carefully, and submit the number of copies required. Generally, two copies are required if your work has already been published. If your work is not published then you are required to submit one copy of your work.
If you have any questions regarding copyright registration costs, please visit the Copyright Office.
Emailing the application to the US Copyright Office
After completing and assembling your application, mail it to the US Copyright Office. If you assembled your application online, you can email your music to the US Copyright Office.
An entertainment lawyer can advise you on obtaining copyright for your music, defending your rights against infringement and help you with the handling of your publishing.
A lawyer will also be able to advise you on all legal issues relating to contracts such as record deals or songwriting agreements. Laws differ from state to state so it is important to have a lawyer who is familiar with the Music industry in California.
So, if you have created music, copyright is a protection you will want to safeguard your work. An experienced Los Angeles Entertainment Attorney can help you with everything you need to get the protection and recognition you deserve.