#1
I am making some really excellent and original songs, and I want to put them on youtube but I would absolutely hate if someone stole a riff or something. I looked up how to copyright a song (and the site I read is this: http://www.wikihow.com/Copyright-a-Song) and it looks like it's fairly easy. Just record it, send it, and pay $35 (online)

I have multiple songs though, this may be a simple question but I'm really not sure; can I copyright say one album with this same method and just pay $35? Or do I pay $35 for each song?
#2
Technically speaking, as the creator, you control copyright on those songs already. Until, depending on your country of origin, 50-75 years after your death, at any rate.

Copyright is extraordinarily difficult to enforce in the best of cases, and I don't think that doing this will do anything for you. I wouldn't worry about it too much if I were you.
#3
I can't promise that this is true but this is what I've heard a number of times...

If you take whatever it is which is to be copyrighted (a CD in your case) and seal it in an envelope, then post it to yourself with recorded delivery which will stamp it with the date, then when you receive the CD in the post, KEEP IT SEALED!! Then, if someone rips off your work, you can accuse them and hand over the sealed envelope in court if you wanna go that far. As is it is dated and still sealed, they know that it hasn't been tampered with since the date it was posted. That way, they know 100% that the content was created by YOU, prior to the date of delivery.

This should stand as evidence that the music on the CD was your creation alone. There is no way it can be argued against so I imagine it works
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#4
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Technically speaking, as the creator, you control copyright on those songs already. Until, depending on your country of origin, 50-75 years after your death, at any rate.

Copyright is extraordinarily difficult to enforce in the best of cases, and I don't think that doing this will do anything for you. I wouldn't worry about it too much if I were you.


Thanks for the info, how do you know all this anyway? Also I'm mostly worried because my band is a no-name band so if somebody stumbles upon it and hears something he likes, he might think he can just steal it and nobody would know.

Quote by makutoid
I can't promise that this is true but this is what I've heard a number of times...

If you take whatever it is which is to be copyrighted (a CD in your case) and seal it in an envelope, then post it to yourself with recorded delivery which will stamp it with the date, then when you receive the CD in the post, KEEP IT SEALED!! Then, if someone rips off your work, you can accuse them and hand over the sealed envelope in court if you wanna go that far. As is it is dated and still sealed, they know that it hasn't been tampered with since the date it was posted. That way, they know 100% that the content was created by YOU, prior to the date of delivery.

This should stand as evidence that the music on the CD was your creation alone. There is no way it can be argued against so I imagine it works


I've heard of that too, but the link in my first post actually addressed it. It says because "an envelope's seal can be carefully unsealed and resealed" it doesn't hold weight. :/
Last edited by Tmusician at Apr 2, 2011,
#5
I actually had a couple seminars on copyright given by one of my composition teachers at school.

Two more things:

1) To address your actual question, if you registered the copyright on the CD it would not copyright the individual songs, it would only register the copyright of copying the disc, but not the intellectual property on the disc (I think).

2) Even if someone did rip off one of your songs the financial implications of fighting a copyright battle are monumental and would far outweigh any benefits you got from it. It's unlikely that registering your copyright will deter anyone anyway, so if it actually comes down to it, there's not a lot you can do. The other thing is that the legal system has no way of categorizing what constitutes dead stealing, or influence, or incidental similarities, so even if you did have the scratch to pay for a legal battle, and could prove you wrote the song first, proving that the other song did directly steal your idea is a whole other battle.
#6
Yeah. The main thing I was going for with the copyright is that if I put that it was copyrighted, people wouldn't feel as free to steal it.

...wait a second. Am I allowed to just put like "(c) Request an Audience" on my video even if we didn't actually copyright it? I think it doesn't matter! Well then I wasted my time, haha that was pretty much all I wanted to do XD

Still good to have this information guys, thanks
#7
Bummer :/ well I've learnt something!

Hope you find a solution, I hate the thought of people ripping off other people's music, one of the many reasons I dislike a large amount of main stream pop music...
PRS SE Chris Robertson
PRS SE EG
PRS SE Angelus Custom
Yamaha SF1000 (Both of 'em)

Laney L20H Lionheart
Marshall 1936 w/ Eminence

Rather large pedalboard..
#8
You are free to put a fancy © symbol if you wish but it is not technically necessary. Anything you create is your property from the get go; saying it is copyrighted is optional. However to have it "copyrighted" in a sense that you can prove that it belongs to you, you need to bring the envelope to a lawyer and have him seal it. Then he needs to give you his signature and if you want it to have any effect at all you have to make him promise to testify in court. Though all that is very paranoid if you ask me. Although it really sucks to have your music stolen what sucks more is being the person stealing the music. You have to be completely pathetic to want to steal someone else's work and pass it off as your own.

I'm not a lawyer though and I don't really know that much about copyright to be honest but this is something I've read online (specifically in regards to music plagiarism).
#9
Quote by Sóknardalr
You are free to put a fancy © symbol if you wish but it is not technically necessary. Anything you create is your property from the get go; saying it is copyrighted is optional. However to have it "copyrighted" in a sense that you can prove that it belongs to you, you need to bring the envelope to a lawyer and have him seal it. Then he needs to give you his signature and if you want it to have any effect at all you have to make him promise to testify in court. Though all that is very paranoid if you ask me. Although it really sucks to have your music stolen what sucks more is being the person stealing the music. You have to be completely pathetic to want to steal someone else's work and pass it off as your own.

I'm not a lawyer though and I don't really know that much about copyright to be honest but this is something I've read online (specifically in regards to music plagiarism).


haha you're right, whoever steals music is the worst musician ever XD

and I guess it's decided, I'll just put it up and hope there aren't any complete morons that find it! Thanks guys!
#10
Quote by Tmusician
haha you're right, whoever steals music is the worst musician ever XD


"Good composers don't borrow, they steal" - Stravinsky
#11
Quote by gavk
"Good composers don't borrow, they steal" - Stravinsky


That is not what the quote is hinting at. The quote means "Good composers learn as much as they can from other composers and bad ones do not attempt to learn (by directly emulating)."

Another (better) explanation that I just found online is:

"Good composers study the works of others. Bad ones copy and paste said works."
Last edited by Sóknardalr at Apr 2, 2011,
#12
"All composers steal, good ones admit."

There are a million quotes just like that, and you can interpret them in different ways. I think the point is that as an artist you are going to steal ideas, that's a fact and there's nothing you can do about. To accept that and then assimilate those ideas into an individual style is the real trick.
#13
Quote by Sóknardalr
That is not what the quote is hinting at. The quote means "Good composers learn as much as they can from other composers and bad ones do not attempt to learn (by directly emulating)."

Another (better) explanation that I just found online is:

"Good composers study the works of others. Bad ones copy and paste said works."


yeah i know that i just thought it was a good counter quote!

and also, everyone steals, but just not in the way he meant!
#14
Quote by gavk
yeah i know that i just thought it was a good counter quote!

and also, everyone steals, but just not in the way he meant!


Yeah exactly. Almost all art is inspired by art that came before it.
#15
Quote by Sóknardalr
Yeah exactly. Almost all art is inspired by art that came before it.


i would say all art, i don't think there is any art in any form that doesn't draw from it's predecessors, originality as an artistic ideal doesn't really exist, and all art is reactionary

/sweeping statement
#16
Quote by Sóknardalr
Yeah exactly. Almost all art is inspired by art that came before it.



don't mean to interrupt, but I would say it even happens on accident sometimes. For example there are times I here a song and really like a chord progression in it...days pass by and I forget about the song, yet the progression remains in my head. A few weeks later, I "compose" a song with that very same progression, thinking it's my own work purely. I then come to find that it comes from the progression I heard a long time ago.

Like I said, sometimes I steal on accident

>.>
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
#17
We have a sticky in the bandleading forum which should address all your copyright concerns.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
Quote by megano28
don't mean to interrupt, but I would say it even happens on accident sometimes. For example there are times I here a song and really like a chord progression in it...days pass by and I forget about the song, yet the progression remains in my head. A few weeks later, I "compose" a song with that very same progression, thinking it's my own work purely. I then come to find that it comes from the progression I heard a long time ago.

Like I said, sometimes I steal on accident

>.>


yeah that's what i mean as well, because now (and always in a way) there is so much saturation of music, it's hard to go a few hours without hearing anything and all this stuff comes into play. everyone hears so much that it's impossible to create anything without precedent, that's what genius actually means, to create without drawing on anything only your own mind, which is impossible, no one, ever has actually done it.
#19
Quote by megano28
don't mean to interrupt, but I would say it even happens on accident sometimes. For example there are times I here a song and really like a chord progression in it...days pass by and I forget about the song, yet the progression remains in my head. A few weeks later, I "compose" a song with that very same progression, thinking it's my own work purely. I then come to find that it comes from the progression I heard a long time ago.

Like I said, sometimes I steal on accident

>.>


That happens to me. Usually though I get a sense that it's familiar, and I can figure out where it comes from!

I find that my most original stuff comes when I just do straight hours of messing around and then trying "weird" things. As a noob I did things that came to mind or "felt right" and the fact is that those things were things I had heard before! Now I completely skip that crap and do the weirdest stuff I can think of, lol
#20
You can't copyright a chord progression. For this and other useful facts check out the copyright sticky.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
Quote by Tmusician
That happens to me. Usually though I get a sense that it's familiar, and I can figure out where it comes from!

I find that my most original stuff comes when I just do straight hours of messing around and then trying "weird" things. As a noob I did things that came to mind or "felt right" and the fact is that those things were things I had heard before! Now I completely skip that crap and do the weirdest stuff I can think of, lol



yeah there's always that familiarity to it, but I kind of just brush it aside. Anyways, by the end the only thing they share usually is the progression, all the melodies, rhythm are different, I've never been a fan of remembering melodies as much as progressions, because of it I rarely even bother learning solos, it's almost completely improve


Quote by gavk
yeah that's what i mean as well, because now (and always in a way) there is so much saturation of music, it's hard to go a few hours without hearing anything and all this stuff comes into play. everyone hears so much that it's impossible to create anything without precedent, that's what genius actually means, to create without drawing on anything only your own mind, which is impossible, no one, ever has actually done it.



I agree in a sense. Although there are times, that I begin solely composing, with an instrument to let me know how it sounds....and I've gotten some great compositions that way finished rather quickly...but even then it's not defined as genius.

Quote by AlanHB
You can't copyright a chord progression. For this and other useful facts check out the copyright sticky.



lol, I like how that sounded like a straight up infomercial
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
Last edited by megano28 at Apr 3, 2011,
#22
Quote by AlanHB
You can't copyright a chord progression. For this and other useful facts check out the copyright sticky.


i understand about 1 4 5 progressions and simple ones but what about the relatively longs ones? say like of karma police where its the chords being played in the beginning that you recognize?
#23
Quote by '93
i understand about 1 4 5 progressions and simple ones but what about the relatively longs ones? say like of karma police where its the chords being played in the beginning that you recognize?

nope. There's an implied melody there though, so they could probably sue if you copied that piano arrangement exactly.

On another note, couldn't uploading a song to Youtube serve as proof that you recorded a song at a particular time?
#25
Quote by gavk
i would say all art, i don't think there is any art in any form that doesn't draw from it's predecessors, originality as an artistic ideal doesn't really exist, and all art is reactionary

/sweeping statement


Yes; I don't mean to say there exists something that bears absolutely no relations to anything else but some stuff is so out there that it's difficult to see where the inspiration actually came from. Like this for example. But I do agree with you that complete originality is a myth.
#26
I was going to write a big long post pointing out the various fallacies that are attempting to be perpetuated in this thread, but I won't.

Some of us have obviously read it... and some of us obviously haven't. Those that haven't might be doing well to read it before offering any further advice on copyright.

Instead, I'll lock this up and suggest you take Alan's advice to read the copyright for dummies sticky in the bandleading subforum.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1053221

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.