How to copyright your music work?
I know how it is feels to have a great song after putting too much effort into it, but you do not want anyone to steal your hard work, you actually want to promote it, you want to pitch it to be placed, and you want people to listen to it in radio stations. Therefore, you will need to protect it, and protect yourself so that you can prove that it is your own copyrighted work, and you are the owner of that song whether you are the writer, the composer, and/or the producer of the song.
Here are seven strategies on how to copyright your musical work and what to do if you ever need to put a claim, what steps to take to stop illegal use of your work? Hop this will help you out, encourage you, and give you a kind relief to know that you can just focus on promoting the songs that you have, without worrying about anybody stealing them.
- Write your lyrics in a song book or journal:
It sounds too simple to be true but it is, writing your lyrics in a songbook is a form of proof just like uploading a song digitally is a another form of proof. So whenever you have an idea for a song just write it down, when the pen leaves the pad of paper your song is copyrighted and your lyrics are copyrighted, whatever music you have written down is copyrighted. This can be used and stand up as a form of proof in a court of law, especially if you have a date in there.
- Film yourself while working/recording a project:
Filming is another form of copyright, which would really prove the ownership of a project or a song. Sometimes filming is done in prenuptial agreements, when somebody is signing the prenuptial, the lawyer will have a video camera filming the person actually signing the document. The same thing can go for your songs and music; some artists use a camera or an iPhone to film while recording in studio, not only for the purpose of legal proof of ownership, but also to provide their fans with materials such as social teasers and coming soon videos.
- Use Poor man’s copyright:
Poor man’s copyright is a method where the artist uses postal services to send his own work to himself to get registered dates of trusted service, which of course can be used as a proof of ownership.
- Record a demo using your phone:
A recorded demo is a digitally stamped and dated form of copyright. Some artists use their phones to record new ideas, different concepts, and melodies. They record the basic concept of an idea or a song, and then they write it down in their journals, they can send it to their producers or other band members as well. A recoded demo can be emailed easily which makes it is a very good form copyright and ownership proof.
- Type / Save on your PC:
Another form of copyright is typing your lyrics and saving your work on your PC. Once you save a file in your PC, it will show the date it was created, it will have a time stamp on it and once you upload it to any file sharing platform it will have a digital fingerprint of it. Digital forms stands up as a form of copyright always, as they have that date stamp on them. Of course, that applies to all your work including protools sessions, songs, demos, and lyrics.
- Register your work with PRO:
PRO or Performance Rights Organization is the place where you do not need to upload your work; you just need to register it, fill the percentage share of band members, writers, composers, and creators of work etc. You will need to provide song / track info such as time, title, and contributor’s names for each work. Not only it is a copyright form, it also is what will get you your royalties. If your PRO offers collecting from different online streaming services such as YouTube, you might need to upload your songs as well.
- Release an official physical copy:
This is obviously one of the strongest methods of proving ownership, your tracks titles, producer’s names, and sometimes lyrics on a CD cover will stand in a court if someone decided to sample your work.
Personally, I never faced any copyright issues in music in general, and I hope that whoever reads this wont face any issues as well.