The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Synths for sale     Latest  Trending
Copyright Registration For Electronic Music - Is it Worth it? Is it a scam?
Old 3rd May 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
 
PeteJames's Avatar
Copyright Registration For Electronic Music - Is it Worth it? Is it a scam?

I've been looking into it and it seems expensive £60 per track for 10 years! These registers also don't prove that you are in fact the copyright holder. Surely having all the audio tracks, midi files, project files, your own synth presets, fx settings etc is good enough proof that you created the work - and it's free! I'm kind of reluctant to spend £600 copyright registering an album - I make underground electronic music so it's not like I'll make a fortune from it, if anything. Added to this is the fact that if someone wants to sample it and put out an anonymous bootleg they will, and also the fact that many will download it for free anyway. Also part of the electronic music culture is founded on sampling and copyright isn't really respected anyway. There are so many 1000s of songs on beatport everyday it's unlikely you'd notice if someone sampled you anyway. I'm certainly not going to listen to every damn track just to see if anyone's borrowed my hi hat.

Do any of you underground electronic music guys on Beatport / Juno bother paying for this service? Is it worth it?

Found this at the UK intellectual property office
Intellectual Property Office - Copyright registers

"Copyright registers
There is no official copyright register because copyright is automatic. There are certain steps you can take to protect your rights, but you do not have to register anywhere.

There are, however, a number of companies that offer unofficial copyright registers. You should think very carefully whether this is a useful service for you before choosing this route. Some of the things to think about are:

How much does it cost and is it a one-off or regular payment?

Are you paying just for a registration, or does the cost cover more than this, for example help with a legal action should your copyright be infringed?

Is the registration likely to be better than the evidence you can create for yourself by sending a copy of the work to yourself by Special Delivery post
and not opening the envelope upon its return?

Are you still likely to have a problem proving that you had the copyright material at a certain time which is all that registration can help to prove?

Note that neither registration nor sending a copy of the work to yourself show that you were the creator of the work. Keeping copies of all your drafts and any other material that shows your connection with the particular copyright material as you develop it could, however, be useful evidence if you ever have to prove that you are the author."
Old 3rd May 2010
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames View Post

Do any of you underground electronic music guys on Beatport / Juno bother paying for this service? Is it worth it?
[/COLOR]

A lot of released music at this level isn't registered. I wouldn't worry about it. The very act of releasing on beatport solidifies a legal date of creation, which is essentially all a registration will do.
Old 3rd May 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
PeteJames's Avatar
I'm not signed so It won't be for sale just yet heh Just thinking of sending some demos out or making it available online with some kind of pay what you want thing (if that kind of site exists). I wouldn't have a time stamp but I obviously have the date of saved files and all the components of the song which no one else will have. Is that good enough? I just don't want to send it out to people then I find out it gets released by someone claiming it's their track or some label screws me over Not sure what to do as this is the 1st time i'll put one of my tracks out there
Old 3rd May 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
masaski's Avatar
 

This used to be legal;

An enveloped containing all the track names, writer details, dates recorded, full master disc etc and take to the post office. Ask the post office clerk to stamp over the seal on the envelope and post it back to yourself. Then when you get it back, DO NOT OPEN IT and stash well, or better still, safety deposit box.

Chances are no-one is going to nick your work. Maybe if you're Lily Allen in disguise but I think you're safe...

This was mainly the process for songs...
Old 3rd May 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
PeteJames's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by masaski View Post
This used to be legal;

An enveloped containing all the track names, writer details, dates recorded, full master disc etc and take to the post office. Ask the post office clerk to stamp over the seal on the envelope and post it back to yourself. Then when you get it back, DO NOT OPEN IT and stash well, or better still, safety deposit box.

Chances are no-one is going to nick your work. Maybe if you're Lily Allen in disguise but I think you're safe...

This was mainly the process for songs...
I'd like to think it's a lot better than Lily Allen, but in my opinion, that doesn't mean it's any good heh

I thought the whole business of sending yourself you track is more of an urban myth and wouldn't be considered as evidence by a court? After all, anyone can re-seal an envelope.
Old 3rd May 2010
  #6
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by masaski View Post
...An enveloped containing all the track names, writer details, dates recorded, full master disc etc and take to the post office. Ask the post office clerk to stamp over the seal on the envelope and post it back to yourself. Then when you get it back, DO NOT OPEN IT and stash well, or better still, safety deposit box...
This was always a myth because it's easy to prove that it can be faked. Signed, notarized affidavits from witnesses establishing the composition date the would be lots more useful.
Old 3rd May 2010
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames View Post
I just don't want to send it out to people then I find out it gets released by someone claiming it's their track or some label screws me over Not sure what to do as this is the 1st time i'll put one of my tracks out there

The chances of this happening are so slim I wouldn't waste any energy on thinking about it. Get your music out there!!
Old 3rd May 2010
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
This was always a myth because it's easy to prove that it can be faked. Signed, notarized affidavits from witnesses establishing the composition date the would be lots more useful.
I can second this, at least in Canada. Mailing yourself a registered package is not a valid method of establishing copyright and has absolutely no legal standing in any Canadian court. Providing a package to a notary, while expensive, is pretty much fool-proof. Depending on the nature of the copyright complaint establishing proof of independent invention/discovery, which can be as simple as providing save files or previous versions of a song, can prove useful in court -- but it really does depend on the nature of the copyright complaint.
Old 3rd May 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
PeteJames's Avatar
Thanks for the replies so far guys. Is the music industry not a full of leeches and scamsters like i've heard? Please post if you've got any experience in the field of releasing music. I'd like to hear as many opinions as possible before I decide what to do with my tracks

Anyone use anything like soundcloud, CDbaby or Tunecore?
Old 3rd May 2010
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selidor View Post
...Providing a package to a notary, while expensive, is pretty much fool-proof...
Copyright registration was originally meant to be a less expensive substitute for this.
Old 3rd May 2010
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Copyright registration was originally meant to be a less expensive substitute for this.
My original response was just in regard to Bob Olhsson's message. Having said that, in Canada copyright registration will cost you a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $260 per song -- which is indeed less expensive than using a notary but still presents certain legal problems that the use of notary does not pose.
Old 4th May 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Join BMI for free.... Register your works, then sell a CD on CD baby for $20. That gets youa bar code, then you can sell to anyone. I think that's my next step once I get all the tracks I want to sell together. I have tons of tracks, but to really sit down and pick the ones I want to sell is tough. Plus... I'm already selling stuff on a Royalty free web based site, but it has not gone up yet. This lets other people buy it and use it for their personal use. Heck.. I figure...I'm not making any money on it anyways...why not try anything at this point.
Old 4th May 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by masaski View Post
This used to be legal;

An enveloped containing all the track names, writer details, dates recorded, full master disc etc and take to the post office. Ask the post office clerk to stamp over the seal on the envelope and post it back to yourself. Then when you get it back, DO NOT OPEN IT and stash well, or better still, safety deposit box.
No, this is -- and have always been -- a myth.

EDIT: Oh, somebody else already said that...
Old 4th May 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Entrainer's Avatar
 

While you are granted an "automatic" copyright
when the song is created, you can not (to the
best of my knowledge) take any legal action
for damages against another party UNLESS
you filed with the Library of Congress prior
to the infringement.
Old 4th May 2010
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entrainer View Post
While you are granted an "automatic" copyright
when the song is created, you can not (to the
best of my knowledge) take any legal action
for damages against another party UNLESS
you filed with the Library of Congress prior
to the infringement.
That's the way it works in the U.S.
The original poster is in the U.K. though, where there is no such thing as "official registration". Intellectual Property Office - Copyright registers

In the U.S., registering within 5 years of first publication grants you automatic "prima facie" evidence in court. That basically means that you have enough evidence to ensure that your case will be heard in court and not dismissed. It doesn't guarantee you that you will win.
Old 4th May 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Entrainer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundxplorer View Post
That's the way it works in the U.S.
The original poster is in the U.K. though, where there is no such thing as "official registration". Intellectual Property Office - Copyright registers

In the U.S., registering within 5 years of first publication grants you automatic "prima facie" evidence in court. That basically means that you have enough evidence to ensure that your case will be heard in court and not dismissed. It doesn't guarantee you that you will win.
Sorry... I glanced at his location and thought it said New England. N.W. England is
an entirely different location!
Old 4th May 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Beermaster's Avatar
 

Pete James,

As you're in the UK I can tell you absolutely and TOTALLY: Don't get ripped off with these US style legal companies asking for money in return for some sort of 'better' evidence of copyright dates.

All you need is proof that you wrote and produced the track before someone else.. this is a date. The old technique was to send two copied via registered mail, one to yourself and one to a trusted other person... NOT to be opened... Job done !

I write and produce music almost every day of my life for all sorts of clients and 'uses'.... I've never once bothered or felt the need to send stuff through the mail to 'copyright it' The reality of someone copying your song is very low and the repercussions of them being caught far out weigh the plusses.

For peace of mind send it to yourself.

Don't fool for the rip off con artists telling you you need to antyhing other than using the registered post.

Any further issues and guidance I would strongly recommend joining BASCA ( British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors ) - lots of help, advice and guidance

Beer.
Old 4th May 2010
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Msilver84's Avatar
 

Listen if someone wants to sample something 9/10 times they are going to get away with it. Remember, first your going to send them a seize and desist, then you're going to file for lost wages because of the infringement. The most they can be held for is 150,000 in punitive damages per infringement. But guess what....your going to spend a lot of money on your end enforcing the alleged infringement and they might not even have the money to pay, but that's only if they are found guilty. Listen, I produce dance music as well and if someone samples my track so be it. My money is made in performing and remix work not selling music. As long as I get credit and usually you will there's no harm done. BTW, most dance labels will recreate a track if they like it that much anyway.
Old 4th May 2010
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Msilver84 View Post
first your going to send them a seize and desist
"cease and desist"
Old 4th May 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Msilver84's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundxplorer View Post
"cease and desist"
Yes, you're right. I was typing fast and I'm dyslexic as hell.
Old 10th May 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
PeteJames's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Msilver84 View Post
BTW, most dance labels will recreate a track if they like it that much anyway.
Slightly frightening. Is that legal? Have you any evidence of this being done? Surely they would do it with ever track if it was that easy and pay artists nothing?
So what your saying is that if someone wants to screw me over there's nothing I can do about it so I shouldn't worry about it?
Old 10th May 2010
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Msilver84's Avatar
 

What I'm saying is you're not in the big time yet and these things happen. In all honestly I'm sure your fine. There have been occurrences where a dj or artist will send in a track that's sampled or they don't have clearance to and the label decided to re do it on their own. This happens in Hip Hop too sometimes. Listen, if your stuff is that good they are going to want more of it. That's your security.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump