Protecting Your Music


Copyright is a form of intellectual property law. It protects original works of authorship that includes dramatic musicals, artistic works such as poetry, songs, movies and even architecture and computer software.  However, copyright doesn’t protect facts and ideas.

A lot of musicians don’t understand the basics of providing proof of their music and often lose the rights to their songs because of this. When a work, a song or lyrics are created, copyright protection is acquired automatically.  Proof of ownership and copyright is obtained by registering the copyrighted song with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Although copyright does not protect names, such as band names and titles, a songwriter can protect their music and lyrics. In certain cases however titles, slogans and names may be protected as trademarks.

The Copyright Office provides various forms used to protect an artist’s work such as Form TX used to protect literary work, Form PA used to protect performing arts and Form SR used to protect sound recordings. Forms PA or SR are used to provide proof of ownership for songs.

The use of these forms will help establish a physical document in case a legal issue arises where an artist’s music is used with out their permission. It’s always wise to register your work with a copyright service to present as evidence in a court of law in order to sue for copyright infringement. This provides a guarantee of legal protection.

The registration fee for songs is $45 and a songwriter should provide a copy of the unpublished song and two copies if the song has been published. Once the Copyright Office receives the songs, application and the fee then registration becomes successful.

To find out more about copyright protection visit: http://www.copyright.gov/

Also visit ASCAP an organization devoted to protecting the work of songwriters. Check out this short video about ASCAP!

About California Music Industry Summit

The California Music Industry Summit (CMIS) is TraMaí Entertainment, Inc. newest entity that is inclusive of all music genre's.
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