#1
Hi i've just got a quick question when you write a song do you copyright it before you put it on the internet? or does that really matter? I'm asking cause my friend wrote a song and we were just wondering what we should do about that. Thanks
#3
I'd put it or many others (saves money) on a CD clearly labelled and then send it to yourself recorded delivery. When you recieve it clearly label the package as well but don't open it. This is a poor man's copyright and doesn't always hold up to much but really it's better than nothing.

It can be difficult for unestablished musicians/songwriter to protect their work.
#4
We were planning on copyrighting it but i think i read that it was like $65 to copyright it here in Canada which is quite a bit for a couple of high school kids
#5
Play insane shred licks that noone can play. If someone claims it's his work sue him and take a guitar to court and show that he can't play it and you can.

Lol soz friday night.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#6
Technically, a work is copyrighted the moment it is committed to a fixed medium - like a CD, or a piece of paper.

Remember that, for copyright purposes, chord progressions don't count... nor do drum beats, bass lines (usually) or titles. Just lyrics and melodic content.

So, if it is copyrighted already, the only trick then is proving that you had it first. Yes, you *can* get it formally copyrighted. Funny, though, you can copyright a song or a collection of works.... it's much cheaper to copyright a batch of songs as an album than it is to copyright a bunch of individual songs. The end result is just as secure.

I know a guy who has a number of gold and platinum albums worldwide under his belt who does the 'send it to yourself registered mail' bit. While it is true that it is FAR from idiot-proof, his rationale is that, even if you have it formally copyrighted, the big labels have high-priced entertainment lawyers that you're going to have to go to war with, so in the end, how much is it worth it to you to fight if someone decides to take it? Especially given that you'd be on the hook for *their* expensive lawyers if you lose. And if some nobody takes your work.... there really isn't anything at stake, really, except principle. And really... how much time and money do you want to spend defending principle?

For our stuff, we have a pretty solid paper trail that supports the fact that the material is ours. The songs are registered with the Canadian performing rights association, SOCAN. The songs are also registered with the licencing organization in Canada called the CMRRA. (Canada's answer to Harry Fox, BMI). We have the receipt from the duplicators that lists song titles and lengths. A copy of our CD is in our Culture and Heritage Library of Canada. We have recordings of the songs being played on both campus and commercial radio and television.

All of those sources are unbiased, third-party and cannot be effectively manipulated, and are dated. They include a mixture of professional and government organizations. Our case would be pretty rock solid. We didn't even do the 'mail it to yourself trick.' The other stuff we have is far more reliable.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
In the UK i am sure the proper means to copyright material is the mailing it recorded delivery to yourself method
Andy
#8
I don't think that is a *proper* means of copyrighting it *anywhere.*

It is a semi-effective way of going about it, but far from proper procedure.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
Quote by axemanchris
Technically, a work is copyrighted the moment it is committed to a fixed medium - like a CD, or a piece of paper.

Remember that, for copyright purposes, chord progressions don't count... nor do drum beats, bass lines (usually) or titles. Just lyrics and melodic content.
This. But melodic content isn't really that copyrighted either. A whole verse of melodic content would be copyrighted, but a single phrase wouldn't. This is fine because it's rare people will find another set of lyrics that fit that melody.

Mailing it to yourself, emailing it to yourself and relying on the creation dates on your computer are completely ineffective. It will not hold up in a western, non-american (just about anything goes in that American farce Americans call a legal system) court of law.

What will hold up will be notes from your music notebook (most musicans have this) and the very fact that you have the original files (creation dates will not be looked at). It's also generally excepted that as the copyright owner you can rerecord your material. Non-American law courts are always on the side of the creator and not the souless plagiarist.

You've also got to realise that not many people will want to steal your song, even if it's an awesome song written by a no-name busker or kid. Most musicians have a conscience (bar from pop-stars). If you haven't noticed, theres an unwritten code among musicians (you probably already know this code without being told) about what's able taken as an influence, and what's down-right plagiarism.

I've actually had something plagiarised (imo it was pretty similar and I knew the guy pretty well). It's really not that bad and you get over it quick, especially when the band/song barely gets played on the radio. I'd go postal if someone got famous on my song. Avril Lavigne has actually stolen and sold heaps of plagiarised material.
#10
Quote by demonofthenight
This. But melodic content isn't really that copyrighted either. A whole verse of melodic content would be copyrighted, but a single phrase wouldn't. This is fine because it's rare people will find another set of lyrics that fit that melody.
.


This is basically true. There is a fine line that defines how much is too much when defining plagarism. If you take a whole verse or a whole chorus, it is a no-brainer. If you take a single note, it would be asinine to claim it was plagarised. I heard some rule in the 'text world' that said something like three hundred words. This is a sketchy guideline at best. Here is why....

Some parts of a song are much more readily identifiable than others. Not just in terms of popularity, but in terms of their uniqueness. So if you take an instantly recognizable TWO bars of a piece of music from the chorus, it might well hold up as part of the 'uniquely identifiable' criteria for plagarism long before a full FOUR bars from the same song that might be part of the bridge.

To use a text example.... "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." One sentence. Clearly plagarised. I could take three whole sentences from the middle of the book (something more generic sounding.....) and have it not be 'uniquely identifiable.'

The only resolution to these grey area allegations is to have it determined by a judge. There are no rules, nor do I think there can be.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
But there's always a debate.

If you have multiple songs in a similiar style, u have more chance if someone steals 1.

Or only make concept albums. You won't get away by stealing an whole album And by takin 1 song of the album would be out of the concept.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#12
Quote by axemanchris
This is basically true. There is a fine line that defines how much is too much when defining plagarism. If you take a whole verse or a whole chorus, it is a no-brainer. If you take a single note, it would be asinine to claim it was plagarised. I heard some rule in the 'text world' that said something like three hundred words. This is a sketchy guideline at best. Here is why....

Some parts of a song are much more readily identifiable than others. Not just in terms of popularity, but in terms of their uniqueness. So if you take an instantly recognizable TWO bars of a piece of music from the chorus, it might well hold up as part of the 'uniquely identifiable' criteria for plagarism long before a full FOUR bars from the same song that might be part of the bridge.

To use a text example.... "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." One sentence. Clearly plagarised. I could take three whole sentences from the middle of the book (something more generic sounding.....) and have it not be 'uniquely identifiable.'

The only resolution to these grey area allegations is to have it determined by a judge. There are no rules, nor do I think there can be.

CT
Well Australian judges (possibly I might be wrong and this could be an international thing) said 10% or some round percentage like that. But that's bullshit in itself. 10% of what? 10% in an opeth song could mean a whole verse or a whole solo.

Than theres DJ's who get away with selling other peoples music and using way too many samples.
#13
Okay... that 10% though is entirely arbitrary.... just like the 300 words in the text world. Ultimately, it will come down to what a judge thinks, which could be measurably more.... or less... than that 10%.

As far as DJs go... they are obligated to clear their samples (meaning paying for the rights to use those samples) for their recordings. Live, doesn't matter. But recordings... must.

Chuck D has done a number of interviews where he talks about sampling, and I agree that, though the laws are important, that there needs to be *some* room for movement. If someone takes, say, 3 seconds of a bunch of different parts and mashes them together into something totally fresh and new, I do believe that that should be counted as the artist's own creative work. And if two chords that I played on a guitar, or me simply singing "oh, yeah!!" is used in that process.... do I really deserve to be compensated for that? I dunno. Not really, I don't think. (yes, it would be totally different if someone used a whole line of music or something) It is because those laws are very strict and are enforced (and as a very general principle, I totally support all laws around intellectual property) that a lot of the creativity, in terms of the origins of hip hop and where it came from, has been snuffed out. (yes, there are more reasons too, not least of all, a lack of creative subject matter in the mainstream, but that's another discussion). Early Public Enemy albums (Fear of a Black Planet, etc.) were FULL of samples... TONS of 'em. PE can't make albums like that because the cost and the paperwork alone bogs down the process to make it not worthwhile. I do think that is too bad.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#14
Sorry.... just running here...

It's really not possible to set a fixed percentage or a fixed number of words/notes. Consider this:

10% of a 10-second long composition. That's one second!

300 words.... what if the work in question is a poem that is only 150 words long?

10% of a symphony that, performed, might last 20 minutes. That means I could copy, note-for note, a full 1:58 of music and not face consequences!!

Hence the arbitrariness of any such numbers....

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.