You need to copyright your music if you are trying to do anything with your music. If you are trying to get music placed with in Film and TV, played on the radio, or performed by some of the biggest or smallest stars in the music industry. By having a copyright for your music or written works it will protect you and your works from those who will want it for free so they can profit off of your work.
I can tell you that when I first started I did not know much about it and did not even really think it mattered. Then as I started to understand things I had someone tell me I can make a poor man’s copyright. This is a myth in the music industry that the old-fashioned fix of recording a song, placing it in an envelope and mailing it to yourself then guaranteed copyright protection. The post date on the stamp was supposed to serve as proof of the date of origin of the song, provided the envelope remained sealed.
However, this method didn’t stand up in various court cases and has since been discredited. Some folks will tell you it works but who is to say that an envelope’s seal cannot be carefully unsealed and resealed. So if you r going to take the time to do that why not do it right? Do you not consider your work valuable? You think it is priceless yet you will not spend $35- $40 to register it with the US Copyright office or office in your country that handles it?
WHAT is a COPYRIGHT?
Under international law, copyright is the automatic right of the creator of a work. This means that as soon as you write down a song or make a recording, it’s copyrighted. In order to enforce the copyright, though, you’ll need to be able to prove your ownership. In the US, that means you need to register your song with the U.S. government’s copyright website. This will make it much easier to assert your rights if your copyright is infringed. Read on to learn more about how to protect your song with a copyright.
A cool tip I found!!
As a songwriter, composer, artist writer, author it is important to keep track of every song or work you have written, when you wrote it, and who you wrote it with, whether or not you register it with the copyright office. A useful and free tool we recommend is a website such as “MyWerx” www.mywerx.com. There, you can create a free account and log every song you create to help protect your intellectual property rights!
If you want to copyright online (the recommended method):
At the top of the page, it says there are several link options. I recommend you choose “eCO Tutorial.” and “HOW TO REGISTER a WORK.” This will bring up a pages that walk you through the steps of copyrighting your materials online, which includes creating an account on the website and logging in. The account itself is entirely free of charge, but remember that there are filing fees.
Copyright Office forms and information circulars are available from:
Register of Copyrights
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C 20559-6000
Whether you want to copyright online or by mail, go to http://www.copyright.gov/eco. Eco stands for electronic copyright.
If you want to copyright by mail:
At the bottom of the page, it says “Alternate Methods” and gives you a list of alternate ways to copyright your materials and the steps necessary to complete those.
It is very important that you begin the process as fast as you can. If you are wanting to make money off your work or protect it YOU are the one who needs to do it. No one cares more about your work than YOU. Always remember that.