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Copyrighting songs/albums
Old 19th November 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
Copyrighting songs/albums

Would like to hear from someone who's done this or in the process. I went to https://www.copyright.gov and did some reading. I'm not about to submit one but helping someone investigate for a submission. What I know so far, I think:

- There are 2 kinds of copyrights - one for a composition, one for a specific recording of it - but you can submit for a copyright of both in one submission if it's the same artist

- If submitting more than one work (I took to mean more than one album, but could apply to more than one song if you are submitting individual songs vs album I think), it's $55 per work (that sucks; I don't think it used to be like that)

- Online is better for a variety of reasons, but even so, you still need to send a hard copy (sheet music and/or CD I guess?), which IMO is stupid but hey it's the govt


What isn't clear to me on the site (or elsewhere) yet:

? Can anyone confirm if you can submit more than one album as a collective work (like a "box set") for one "standard" copyright? Or must it be per album?

? If it's per album, can't you just submit the "single" copyright for each ($35)?

? What is required to submit if you're copyrighting the composition as well as the recording beyond the recording itself, i.e. sheet music (which I'm not sure I have the capability to do fully with software) with lyrics, anything else?

? Am I dreaming to think it's as simple as filling out the form, attaching the files, and clicking submit (with payment) ?
Old 19th November 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Would like to hear from someone who's done this or in the process. I went to https://www.copyright.gov and did some reading. I'm not about to submit one but helping someone investigate for a submission. What I know so far, I think:

- There are 2 kinds of copyrights - one for a composition, one for a specific recording of it - but you can submit for a copyright of both in one submission if it's the same artist

- If submitting more than one work (I took to mean more than one album, but could apply to more than one song if you are submitting individual songs vs album I think), it's $55 per work (that sucks; I don't think it used to be like that)

- Online is better for a variety of reasons, but even so, you still need to send a hard copy (sheet music and/or CD I guess?), which IMO is stupid but hey it's the govt


What isn't clear to me on the site (or elsewhere) yet:

? Can anyone confirm if you can submit more than one album as a collective work (like a "box set") for one "standard" copyright? Or must it be per album?

? If it's per album, can't you just submit the "single" copyright for each ($35)?

? What is required to submit if you're copyrighting the composition as well as the recording beyond the recording itself, i.e. sheet music (which I'm not sure I have the capability to do fully with software) with lyrics, anything else?

? Am I dreaming to think it's as simple as filling out the form, attaching the files, and clicking submit (with payment) ?
My lawyer does this for me BUT I think it is as simple as that... but, google that sh|t so you don’t have a bunch of hobgoblins giving you nonsense here
Old 19th November 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
My lawyer does this for me BUT I think it is as simple as that... but, google that sh|t so you don’t have a bunch of hobgoblins giving you nonsense here
lol thanks. I did, what I've found to date only stated the obvious basic and didn't help much, hence the question.

Call your lawyer, have him post
Old 19th November 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
lol thanks. I did, what I've found to date only stated the obvious basic and didn't help much, hence the question.

Call your lawyer, have him post
I think several of us figured it out without a lawyer, as we were trying to say to you.
Old 19th November 2019
  #5
I don't know if the site is still active, but you might be able to find the information you need or get your questions answered here: http://www.askamusiclawyer.com/

Here's one of her posts about which form(s) to use when registering copyrights: http://www.askamusiclawyer.com/archi...-fill-out.html

Also, Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAAs) can get you free legal (and accounting) advice, usually after a small ($15 to $20 "intake" fee). Compared to the legal advice you'll get (from actual lawyers), the intake fee is considered small. You may also find your questions already answered by some of them.

https://vlaa.org/get-help/other-vlas/

Steve
Old 19th November 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
You have to have a registered copyright before you can sue Robin Thicke in court...
You also need to have a registered copyright if you want to collect the damages for infringement that are set by law. They are fairly hefty. If the infringement was intentional, it can be as high as $150,000... plus any of the infringer's profits attributable to the infringement.

If you rely on the automatic copyright without registration, you have to prove your actual damages in court... arguing against the infringers' lawyers, who are getting well paid.

The US government system exists to protect artists*. Take advantage of it.

IANAL. Even if you have government registration, a lawyer can help you maximize the payment for infringements... much much more than the same lawyer would be able to do if your work isn't registered.

--
* It exists to protect Disney even more, but there's nothing we can do about that.
Old 19th November 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
Again, thanks for the replies, but debating whether or not I should get a copyright is not the topic at hand. I plan to do this; just trying to get more info on the process, for which internet searches haven't been much help.
Old 20th November 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
the classy thing to do would be stop posting and move on.
Yet you posted again, with a post totally devoid of intelligence or maturity - and included a sneering little pot/kettle thing to boot. What a surprise.

Welcome to my ignore list
Old 21st November 2019
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Again, thanks for the replies, but debating whether or not I should get a copyright is not the topic at hand. I plan to do this; just trying to get more info on the process, for which internet searches haven't been much help.
There are some helpful walkthrough videos on YouTube about the process of submitting a copyright claim. You can and absolutely should submit multiple songs as part of a collection, to avoid multiple fees. You’ll need an MP3 of each song to upload and a text file for each song containing the lyrics. Again, do a quick search on YT and you should find some good stuff there. Also, expect it to take a while to get a reply. Like 6-9 months.

I think this (https://youtu.be/eJR85ttRRfg) is the video I relied on to understand the site. Hope that helps!
Old 21st November 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
Thanks; from what I'm reading, actually an online submission is averaging about 3 mos, but I'm in no hurry.
Old 21st November 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
s wave's Avatar
You can copyright 10 songs for $55 - explained below. - the biggest caveat is they have to have the same release date...

https://aristake.com/post/how-to-copyright-all-of-your-songs-for-$35

https://blog.dozmia.com/how-to-copyright-a-song/

If you just due you due diligence it is no big deal... poor mans copyright then document witness if you can; store it away. Register 10 songs as a collective work. You can also register the lyrics words as poems - making the slightest of changes. (but it is another form of copyright - you are kind of stepping on your own rights though... such as taking 100 songs including the 10 from the collective work and making a book out of it as a compilation or arrangement of writings etc.) If you ever sell a song you should let them know immediately!

Then register with PRO - -

The other option here is to register is ISRC first so you can apply your own tracking numbers yourself (and you can give the #s to soundcloud etc) soundscan nielson blah blah blah. And yea it would be nice to get your own UPC codes too if you want to chart - such as Billboard 200 album chart (guess here... presale/preorders 1000 albums within 6 weeks and crack the charts).... I always take the most control I can and let the experts do ONLY what they do best.
Old 21st November 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by s wave View Post
You can copyright 10 songs for $55 - explained below. - the biggest caveat is they have to have the same release date...

https://aristake.com/post/how-to-copyright-all-of-your-songs-for-$35

https://blog.dozmia.com/how-to-copyright-a-song/

If you just due you due diligence it is no big deal... poor mans copyright then document witness if you can; store it away. Register 10 songs as a collective work. You can also register the lyrics words as poems - making the slightest of changes. (but it is another form of copyright - you are kind of stepping on your own rights though... such as taking 100 songs including the 10 from the collective work and making a book out of it as a compilation or arrangement of writings etc.) If you ever sell a song you should let them know immediately!

Then register with PRO - -

The other option here is to register is ISRC first so you can apply your own tracking numbers yourself (and you can give the #s to soundcloud etc) soundscan nielson blah blah blah. And yea it would be nice to get your own UPC codes too if you want to chart - such as Billboard 200 album chart (guess here... presale/preorders 1000 albums within 6 weeks and crack the charts).... I always take the most control I can and let the experts do ONLY what they do best.
Oh yes, I have my own UPC codes too, but I think you are posting way above the OP's knowledge, he is till figuring out how to do the most basic things, Like filling out a copyright form.
Old 21st November 2019
  #13
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s wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Oh yes, I have my own UPC codes too, but I think you are posting way above the OP's knowledge, he is till figuring out how to do the most basic things, Like filling out a copyright form.
Got ya... Yea then copyright - PRO - I remember an album with advanced sales of about 435 hit the 200 chart within the last couple years. But man that chart gets competitive in the top 10 or top 5, very often the top album outsells the 2nd album by a ton.
Old 21st November 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by s wave View Post
Got ya... Yea then copyright - PRO - I remember an album with advanced sales of about 435 hit the 200 chart within the last couple years. But man that chart gets competitive in the top 10 or top 5, very often the top album outsells the 2nd album by a ton.
Oh yes, radio promoters... I have had much success with them, but those come with a price! But let's not tempt the OP!!!
Old 21st November 2019
  #15
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s wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Oh yes, radio promoters... I have had much success with them, but those come with a price! But let's not tempt the OP!!!
I promoted quite a few records - do you register your song upc with soundscan?
Old 21st November 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by s wave View Post
I promoted quite a few records - do you register your song upc with soundscan?
No, I actually hired a radio promoter for 10,000 a song.

You will be on every radio station.

(I didn't pay that, my record company did)
Old 21st November 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
s wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
No, I actually hired a radio promoter for 10,000 a song.

You will be on every radio station.

(I didn't pay that, my record company did)
Yea that is very difficult today I would imagine! lol... I Hired a guy out of Detroit just once to work about 300 stations nationwide that I had trouble getting a foothold on rotation. He actually gave me his list (godsend) - and I double worked the stations. It was all of I think $300 to maybe $600... worked well. But man things have changed.
Old 22nd November 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
Back to copyrighting............

Can anyone confirm if you need to submit "hard copies" of compositions and just how the CR office defines "hard copy?" (i.e. is a CD with a musical score on it a "hard copy" or must it be in print etc) I've been wading through that site but wow it sucks lol
Old 22nd November 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
s wave's Avatar
One way to look at it... is the reason you register a copyright is to either sue someone or protect your intellectual property. And the major thing is for you to say this particular property was filed at so and so date. With that being said - I would just send in what I had - cd - a demo - sheet music - what ever... (as well as documenting it on on my side - photo of me putting into an envelope addressed to the Copyright Office) what ever suits you fancy.

It is much like having something notarized - and entered in the clerks office at court. The notary is NOT notarizing and signing to the fact that the document is true, Just that they are saying they are acting in an 'official capacity' and that you are you and said piece of paper is numbered and filed under my ability to act of the state. Same with the clerk - they just file it an give it a number. That's all.

If you are still up in the air or want to know today's current laws or recent addendums - I WOULD POST YOUR QUESTION up on https://www.avvo.com/ask-a-lawyer (the AVVO site) it is the top site of lawyers and you can ask experts for free and they will respond quickly - I have used this extensively in my life) in fact they probably have your question already posted. let us know ~ luck
Old 23rd November 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by s wave View Post
Yea that is very difficult today I would imagine! lol... I Hired a guy out of Detroit just once to work about 300 stations nationwide that I had trouble getting a foothold on rotation. He actually gave me his list (godsend) - and I double worked the stations. It was all of I think $300 to maybe $600... worked well. But man things have changed.
We hired Brian Farrish, he's VERY good, and gives you a monthly report with the lists on it:

http://www.radio-media.com/

And yes, that was a long time ago.
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