Tuesday, January 12

Let's Take a Look at Copyright 101

A Practical View Of Copyrights
Songwriters often worry their songs will be stolen. Sometimes they are so worried, they don't show people their songs, submit songs to publishers or enter song contests.

At some point in the songwriting process, this kind of reluctant concern becomes counterproductive — even a bit paranoid.
Songwriters who take time to understand basic copyright law usually come to this conclusion: There is no reason to miss opportunities in the music business out of fear that someone will steal your songs.

When it comes to copyright protection, the main thing to remember is this: The revised Copyright Law of 1976 states that a songwriter legally owns the copyright to his/her song the moment the song is written.
All you need to do to establish a legal copyright is affix a copyright notice on your recording or lyrics. The term "affix" simply means you write your name and the year the song was written next to the copyright symbol.
The format looks like this: © YOUR NAME 2009
That's all there is to it. In fact, it's not even necessary to include a copyright notice on subsequent recordings. The writer still has copyright protection.

Because copyright law provides clear protections at the time of creation, experienced songwriters often wait to file formal copyrights (with the U.S. Office of Copyrights) until their songs are polished, rewritten, completed and ready to be published or released commercially.
When a song is finished and ready to go, it's ready to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

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