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How do I get a copyright for a song??


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#1 OFFLINE   scrappydidnt

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 08:44 PM

How do I get a copyright for a song?? I have a song I wrote a while back and I really wanna play it public but....... I dont want it stolen
All God's children got the Blues

#2 OFFLINE   sabretalon

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 10:03 AM

Technically copyright exists the moment you have created the song. But the laws will vary from country to country.

I'm sure that in America you have to register for copyright? I know you do for photography etc...

In the mean time you could record the song and write down the lyrics etc.... and put them in registered post to yourself. When you get them in the post do not open them. Then on the off chance, you do have a recorded package that is dated to prove the song existed on a particular date etc.. but you need to look at your local copyright laws, do a search on the net for copyright registration.

#3 OFFLINE   solidwalnut

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 11:51 AM

Contact the copyright office at the Library of Congress. Download the form PA and the instructions. Any questions, let us know.

Steve
Steve Cass
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#4 OFFLINE   bengarrion

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 12:34 PM

The ACTUAL laws (in the UK anyway - are as follow) :- [hope this helps mate xx]:-


1. The most common way of copyrighting anything is by placing it in an envelope addressed to yourself, taking it to the post office and posting it back to yourself. When it arrives, DON'T OPEN IT!!!!
Basically, the date stamp is evidence of when the work was created. So if somebody came along in 2008 and said he had just written a song which was copied by your friend, then he/she can prove that "the original" was really written by him/her in April 2007.

2. Try.... http://www.dulyregis....uk/writers/faq £4.97 for TEN YEARS!

3. http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/ £35 for 5 years!

4. Or the bank will store it for you in their vault. Ask them for prices...but it's going to be a lot compared to the two companies mentioned above.

#5 OFFLINE   solidwalnut

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 02:54 PM

The 'poor man's' copyright method of mailing it to yourself so you can establish a date works, really, only from the standpoint of establshing an origin date. But that's completely easy to fake.

If your song was to be stolen, the only thing you could do is to take the thief to court. Most likely, you wouldn't be taking them to court unless this person or record company was making money from your song. If they're making money from your song, then this means they're going to have an expensive lawyer on their side. So you'd better have one, too, or you're going to get bamboozled.

When the judge asks to prove that you wrote the song, it becomes a complicated thing and is always a case-by-case basis depending on all factors involved. So a person steals your song. You'd better be ready to proove it.

It's too easy to fake the poor man's copyright, and the courts know it. Plus, it's much better to get a copyright registration from the LOC because this means that the gov't will go to bat for you and will proove to the judge that you are the original creator. The other advantages are that the gov't then guarantees that you will be reimbursed for any legal fees when you win your case. Not to mention the statutory damage award.

$45 (today's fee) is a small price to pay. Check out this webpage.

Steve
Steve Cass
Solid Walnut Music/ASCAP

Becoming a great guitarist has less to do with fancy moves than it does becoming a master of the basics and learning musicianship.
It's not what you can't do. It's how you play what you already know.


View my lessons here at GfB&B


"Rhythm guitar is a trip that alot of people miss" -- Tom Petty


#6 OFFLINE   Lcjones

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 04:05 PM

As well, if you have a body of works, in the US you may obtain copyright for that body of work for the same price as a single piece of work if you submit them at the same time. Hey, save a buck when you can, right! ;)

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#7 OFFLINE   6string

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 04:14 PM

I wonder how posting it on something like YouTube would work, would YouTube go to bat for the poor man? (for a fee?)

If posted on GFB&B would Clancy show up in court?
Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.

#8 OFFLINE   solidwalnut

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 04:33 PM

Lcjones said:

As well, if you have a body of works, in the US you may obtain copyright for that body of work for the same price as a single piece of work if you submit them at the same time. Hey, save a buck when you can, right! ;)

**

That's right! That's also the trick I discovered for notifying the LOC that a previously submitted copyright application for an unpublished work is now published. I sent in a separate form PA for each song as an individual songwriter. Then when any of the songs were recorded on a CD project, I sent in the form SR to copyright the body of work of the CD as a record company. I also noted that each work has a current copyright registration with an unpublished status. So this worked for updating each individual work to published status and transferring ownership of each individual copyright to the publishing company for the price of one song! Saving money is a good thing:yes:
Steve Cass
Solid Walnut Music/ASCAP

Becoming a great guitarist has less to do with fancy moves than it does becoming a master of the basics and learning musicianship.
It's not what you can't do. It's how you play what you already know.


View my lessons here at GfB&B


"Rhythm guitar is a trip that alot of people miss" -- Tom Petty


#9 OFFLINE   solidwalnut

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 04:36 PM

6string said:

I wonder how posting it on something like YouTube would work, would YouTube go to bat for the poor man? (for a fee?)

If posted on GFB&B would Clancy show up in court?

No. It doesn't work the same way. It's a government guarantee, nothing else. YouTube or Clancy aren't in the business of protecting copyrights.
Steve Cass
Solid Walnut Music/ASCAP

Becoming a great guitarist has less to do with fancy moves than it does becoming a master of the basics and learning musicianship.
It's not what you can't do. It's how you play what you already know.


View my lessons here at GfB&B


"Rhythm guitar is a trip that alot of people miss" -- Tom Petty


#10 OFFLINE   sabretalon

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:56 AM

Quote

The 'poor man's' copyright method of mailing it to yourself so you can establish a date works, really, only from the standpoint of establshing an origin date. But that's completely easy to fake.

If your song was to be stolen, the only thing you could do is to take the thief to court. Most likely, you wouldn't be taking them to court unless this person or record company was making money from your song. If they're making money from your song, then this means they're going to have an expensive lawyer on their side. So you'd better have one, too, or you're going to get bamboozled.

When the judge asks to prove that you wrote the song, it becomes a complicated thing and is always a case-by-case basis depending on all factors involved. So a person steals your song. You'd better be ready to proove it.

It's too easy to fake the poor man's copyright, and the courts know it. Plus, it's much better to get a copyright registration from the LOC because this means that the gov't will go to bat for you and will proove to the judge that you are the original creator. The other advantages are that the gov't then guarantees that you will be reimbursed for any legal fees when you win your case. Not to mention the statutory damage award.

I agree as far as the US is concerned but the LAW is different in the UK, copyright exists the moment you have concieved the work. In the UK you do not have to register your work for copyright. This is only valid for those in the UK.

What you say is correct for the US but may also differ from other countries.

Posting to youtube, puts it in the public domain it does not hold youtube responsible for what you upload and therefore youtube would not support you if your work was "stolen".

The simple answer is, you need to check the laws of the country you are registering your copyright.

#11 OFFLINE   scrappydidnt

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 07:40 AM

thanks guys I've downloaded the necessary paperwork and am sending the $45 :rolleyes: and the forms in to be copyrighted thanks much for the help
All God's children got the Blues

#12 OFFLINE   solidwalnut

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 09:57 AM

sabretalon said:

I agree as far as the US is concerned but the LAW is different in the UK, copyright exists the moment you have concieved the work. In the UK you do not have to register your work for copyright. This is only valid for those in the UK.
What you say is correct for the US but may also differ from other countries.

Oh, definitely the laws are a bit different. The law is also the same in the US: the copyright exists the moment the work is created and placed in a fixed form. The main difference between how the US views it and many other countries is the fact that the US has a portion of gov't, the LOC, which specifically oversees, issues and guarantees copyrights for whoever files.

So, the original poster, scrappydidnt, is a US citizen and therefore the answer is tailored for him. He was given the law about copyrights as it applies to the US.

In the UK, copyright protection is a personal matter and can be obtained as you described. Further protection by joining a organisation representing copyright owners is probably advised.

The 'poor man's copyright' is probably a US phrase, however if a song becomes popular and makes it to the US it would be wise to understand copyright law as it applies here. There are many international publishing agreements concerning certain songs or certain bodies of work that follow the Berne Convention (international copyright agreement signed by most countries of the world. The US didn't join, however until 1988) but when the agreement by a US publisher is made, US copyright laws are extended in that agreement. Likewise, if an agreement from the UK is extended, UK laws would apply.

sabretalon said:

Posting to youtube, puts it in the public domain it does not hold youtube responsible for what you upload and therefore youtube would not support you if your work was "stolen".

Posting an original work on YouTube does not place the work in the public domain as it applies to US laws. If you mean that the work is placed publicly, then that is true but it's not in the PD meaning the song is now freely anyones. The work is still original, the work still has a copyright because it was placed in a fixed form by scrappydidnt. Scrappydidnt also inherently owns the publication rights for his song. He chose to publish it on YouTube, but he still owns the rights. He would have to hold YouTube harmless for statutory damages in most cases, but he still has the right to issue a cease and desist order to them and then attemt to stem the tide from the damage he did by letting it be published freely in the first place. He would not be in a very good position, but he still owns the copyright.
Steve Cass
Solid Walnut Music/ASCAP

Becoming a great guitarist has less to do with fancy moves than it does becoming a master of the basics and learning musicianship.
It's not what you can't do. It's how you play what you already know.


View my lessons here at GfB&B


"Rhythm guitar is a trip that alot of people miss" -- Tom Petty


#13 OFFLINE   starsailor

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 11:25 AM

As you know a lot of people post songs on here and it seems to be getting bigger all the time which is good. Are these songs protected, under UK law I think they are but I'm not too sure, although the site is not responsible for copyright can the site still be used as a reference for confirmation of the Date the song was conceived. How do the rules stand on collaborations.

Cheers

Chris

#14 OFFLINE   Lcjones

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 11:35 AM

starsailor said:

As you know a lot of people post songs on here and it seems to be getting bigger all the time which is good. Are these songs protected, under UK law I think they are but I'm not too sure, although the site is not responsible for copyright can the site still be used as a reference for confirmation of the Date the song was conceived.

No.

Quote

How do the rules stand on collaborations.

Cheers

Chris

Any agreement on copyright is between the collaborators only.

**

Respect The Music
I'll saddle up my pony so I wont be so lonely, at least I know his heart is true


#15 OFFLINE   starsailor

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 04:29 PM

Lcjones said:

No.



Any agreement on copyright is between the collaborators only.

**

Thanks for the answers LCjones

Cheers

Chris





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