Gearslutz

Gearslutz (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/)
-   Post Production Forum (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/post-production-forum/)
-   -   Copyrighting songs/albums (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/post-production-forum/1288121-copyrighting-songs-albums.html)

bill5 19th November 2019 01:07 AM

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) ?

mattpyter 19th November 2019 01:41 AM

You are not only dreaming, you are being scammed. Unless you are talking about "work made for hire" (which you must negotiate or write in your contract what happens to your work), ANYTHING that you make or release (for free, on the internet, on crappy CDs, etc) is automatically owned by you, the creator, under US copyright law (until the time of your death plus 50 years, or 70 in Europe).

No, you do not need to do anything special. As soon as your work is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" it is under copyright. That includes files on flash disc or harddrive, CD, or even released straight to youtube - it is protected under copyright law. You can submit your work to bandcamp or soundcloud, for example, and allow other people to use your work for non profit, or only if they cite you, or just default to an all rights reserved copyright, but the all rights copyright is automatically yours right when you click stop or are done recording.

Only you have the right to reproduce the work in copies, create derivatives, sell/distribute, perform, display publicly - but that's when it gets tricky - everyone has infringed on these copyright laws at one point or another, but bringing it to court and proving losses or damages is another ballgame.

Noisewagon 19th November 2019 01:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattpyter (Post 14330694)
You are not only dreaming, you are being scammed. Unless you are talking about "work made for hire" (which you must negotiate or write in your contract what happens to your work), ANYTHING that you make or release (for free, on the internet, on crappy CDs, etc) is automatically owned by you, the creator, under US copyright law (until the time of your death plus 50 years, or 70 in Europe).

No, you do not need to do anything special. As soon as your work is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" it is under copyright. That includes files on flash disc or harddrive, CD, or even released straight to youtube - it is protected under copyright law. You can submit your work to bandcamp or soundcloud, for example, and allow other people to use your work for non profit, or only if they cite you, or just default to an all rights reserved copyright, but the all rights copyright is automatically yours right when you click stop or are done recording.

Only you have the right to reproduce the work in copies, create derivatives, sell/distribute, perform, display publicly - but that's when it gets tricky - everyone has infringed on these copyright laws at one point or another, but bringing it to court and proving losses or damages is another ballgame.

Sure, but you still need to register it with the copyright office and ASCAP or BMI if you want to get paid every time the song is played publicly.

bill5 19th November 2019 02:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattpyter (Post 14330694)
You are not only dreaming, you are being scammed. Unless you are talking about "work made for hire" (which you must negotiate or write in your contract what happens to your work), ANYTHING that you make or release (for free, on the internet, on crappy CDs, etc) is automatically owned by you, the creator, under US copyright law (until the time of your death plus 50 years, or 70 in Europe).

No, you do not need to do anything special. As soon as your work is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" it is under copyright. That includes files on flash disc or harddrive, CD, or even released straight to youtube - it is protected under copyright law. You can submit your work to bandcamp or soundcloud, for example, and allow other people to use your work for non profit, or only if they cite you, or just default to an all rights reserved copyright, but the all rights copyright is automatically yours right when you click stop or are done recording.

Only you have the right to reproduce the work in copies, create derivatives, sell/distribute, perform, display publicly - but that's when it gets tricky - everyone has infringed on these copyright laws at one point or another, but bringing it to court and proving losses or damages is another ballgame.

Thanks for that, but I am not being scammed. I get the inherent copyright as you describe. I am also aware that and a buck-fifty will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Regardless, however, none of that is the topic of the thread. I'm looking for information, experience, insights from people who have registered their work and how the process works. The govt site is pretty lame IMO.

bgood 19th November 2019 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattpyter (Post 14330694)
You are not only dreaming, you are being scammed. Unless you are talking about "work made for hire" (which you must negotiate or write in your contract what happens to your work), ANYTHING that you make or release (for free, on the internet, on crappy CDs, etc) is automatically owned by you, the creator, under US copyright law (until the time of your death plus 50 years, or 70 in Europe).

No, you do not need to do anything special. As soon as your work is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" it is under copyright. That includes files on flash disc or harddrive, CD, or even released straight to youtube - it is protected under copyright law. You can submit your work to bandcamp or soundcloud, for example, and allow other people to use your work for non profit, or only if they cite you, or just default to an all rights reserved copyright, but the all rights copyright is automatically yours right when you click stop or are done recording.

Only you have the right to reproduce the work in copies, create derivatives, sell/distribute, perform, display publicly - but that's when it gets tricky - everyone has infringed on these copyright laws at one point or another, but bringing it to court and proving losses or damages is another ballgame.

You have to have a registered copyright before you can sue Robin Thicke in court... what you’re describing is on of the reasons why you have lawsuits like Stairway to Heaven that refuse to die...

Spend the $$ and do it properly... and then register it with your PRO

bgood 19th November 2019 02:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bill5 (Post 14330647)
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

bill5 19th November 2019 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgood (Post 14330737)
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 ;)

Noisewagon 19th November 2019 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bill5 (Post 14330962)
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.

ShadowsOfLife 19th November 2019 08:50 AM

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

mattpyter 19th November 2019 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgood (Post 14330731)
You have to have a registered copyright before you can sue Robin Thicke in court... what you’re describing is on of the reasons why you have lawsuits like Stairway to Heaven that refuse to die...

Spend the $$ and do it properly... and then register it with your PRO


ok hobgoblin, there will still be lawsuits even with "the most secure methods." Why do you think people that have all their bases covered, paying thousands to lawyers yet believing they can just plagiarize whatever they want to, are still being brought to court to pay out millions? cases like that stairway to heaven one is being brought by the band that was on tour with led zeppelin ffs (those cheeky circus acts all steal from eachother anyway, cant we all just get along? :lol:)

nowadays, if something is posted online, that is reasonable enough proof that an artist on the other side of the world could have lifted ideas. ive seen those cases; you can look through court precedents without forking over money to a lawyer (which is still nice to have to deal with appointments and meeting deadlines in submitting information to courts).

mattpyter 19th November 2019 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noisewagon (Post 14330700)
Sure, but you still need to register it with the copyright office and ASCAP or BMI if you want to get paid every time the song is played publicly.

Yes absolutely - that is an important and relevant bit of info for the OP to understand as well. But the copyright aspect still stands. Off topic, but who do we have to thank for that important legislation? I think these laws were significantly updated in the 90's...

Jay Rose 19th November 2019 05:30 PM

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.

bgood 19th November 2019 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattpyter (Post 14331144)
ok hobgoblin, there will still be lawsuits even with "the most secure methods." Why do you think people that have all their bases covered, paying thousands to lawyers yet believing they can just plagiarize whatever they want to, are still being brought to court to pay out millions? cases like that stairway to heaven one is being brought by the band that was on tour with led zeppelin ffs (those cheeky circus acts all steal from eachother anyway, cant we all just get along? :lol:)

nowadays, if something is posted online, that is reasonable enough proof that an artist on the other side of the world could have lifted ideas. ive seen those cases; you can look through court precedents without forking over money to a lawyer (which is still nice to have to deal with appointments and meeting deadlines in submitting information to courts).

I’m not trying to pick a fight with you buddy... sure, sometimes a big artist will settle with a nobody who claims that the big artist stole a song idea from the nobody’s twitter feed. But, these “posted online” deals aren’t “cases” and usually aren’t even “lawsuits” quite yet.... and neither type are “precedents”

Maybe you’re in another country; however, in the US it’s a cut and dry deal for getting in front of a judge. Tune has to be properly copyrighted (registered). Parties can settle beforehand for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with the law.

So, can you “get lucky” and get a settlement without a lawyer and no court... maybe no court, but, you ain’t getting a dime without paying a lawyer and then giving him a portion of whatever the settlement is, so, you might as well copyright the work properly to begin with..

Again... to the OP... google, find a resource and do the research. Avoid hobgoblinlery

bill5 19th November 2019 07:07 PM

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.

mattpyter 19th November 2019 07:11 PM

My resources come from the American Composers Forum, which I am also a part of, but you can find another group and have them tell you the same thing... or you can throw money at the problem and pretend it goes away.

bill5 19th November 2019 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattpyter (Post 14331919)
My resources come from the American Composers Forum, which I am also a part of, but you can find another group and have them tell you the same thing... or you can throw money at the problem and pretend it goes away.

Wow your resources are...another internet forum. Why didn't you say so?? I'm on board now nowshiee

If you're unable/uninterested in actually contributing to the actual topic of this thread - and you've made that abundantly clear - the classy thing to do would be stop posting and move on.

mattpyter 20th November 2019 04:46 AM

I could say that my sources come from the AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM - ah yes I already did, but I then thought fools would listen to something cool like a fun online club.

Just do the ASCAP thing and you should be good.

It you are too childish/inept to actually look into the law, you can throw money at all sorts of things.

bill5 20th November 2019 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bill5 (Post 14332308)
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

mattpyter 20th November 2019 08:18 PM

Lead a horse to water.

mattpyter 20th November 2019 11:34 PM

I hate to be the black pill, guys, but there is nothing you can do to protect your ideas from being lifted and taken by those with no scruples; requesting an official government registration for copyright is about as safe as allowing a child to be taken into government custody (the most obscene cases of child abuse are done by CPS).

metraith 21st November 2019 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bill5 (Post 14331913)
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!

bill5 21st November 2019 12:55 AM

Thanks; from what I'm reading, actually an online submission is averaging about 3 mos, but I'm in no hurry.

mattpyter 21st November 2019 01:12 AM

https://invidio.us/watch?v=q2HROI7KpPM

s wave 21st November 2019 03:00 AM

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.

Noisewagon 21st November 2019 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s wave (Post 14334702)
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.

s wave 21st November 2019 04:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noisewagon (Post 14334718)
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.

Noisewagon 21st November 2019 04:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s wave (Post 14334788)
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!!!

s wave 21st November 2019 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noisewagon (Post 14334791)
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?

Noisewagon 21st November 2019 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s wave (Post 14334930)
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)

s wave 21st November 2019 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noisewagon (Post 14334932)
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.