#1
Hi folks, newbie to songwriting;
Id like to find out how to go about protecting original works
Thanks in advance.

(1) where best to do it

(2) how much will it cost

(3) can I add to copyrighted files if i should develop the music or alter the lyrics?

(4) How much info do i need to provide, in terms of vocal melody... will video cover my ass or do I need to have vocal melody put into broadsheet


I currently have 3 songs I'd like to protect
1 for lyrics/melody and chord progression / picking
2 for lyrics/melody and chord progression / strumming
#2
You can't copyright chord progressions, picking or strumming first of all. Secondly all of those things depend on what country you live in since each country has different laws. In all likelihood though your music is probably not worth copyrighting. Most people's music really isn't unless your music has serious commercial potential.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Jun 17, 2015,
#3
I don't think you need to register anything, you just have to assert it when someone rips you off (providing proof of originality, of course). If you publish your music on something like ReverbNation, that should be enough evidence that you had the idea first.

Considering the cost of litigation, there's really no sense in worrying about copyright unless someone's making money on your ideas.
#5
Copyright is automatic once you publish a work. You should put a little copyright mark on anything you write or publish with your name as the author.

But yeah basically like cdgraves said you need to be able to prove it. I suppose you could probably go to someone like a justice of the peace and have them date and stamp written copies of your work as proof that you had written it. You could publish it online somewhere but it would have to be date traceable and verifiable. Some people used to put their work in an envelope and mail it to themselves so that it was date stamped then file the unopened envelope away but that doesn't really work since there are ways you can bluff the system.

I think there is a thread somewhere around here that covers all about copyright. I'll see if I can find it.
Si
#6
I believe the thread you are thinking of is stickied in Bandleading.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
thanks, found that.
The software I have is Studio One 2
it allows for publication of music, will have to explore that as a way of proof of copyright
#8
Quote by GStringBroke
Hi folks, newbie to songwriting;
Id like to find out how to go about protecting original works
Thanks in advance.

(1) where best to do it

(2) how much will it cost

(3) can I add to copyrighted files if i should develop the music or alter the lyrics?

(4) How much info do i need to provide, in terms of vocal melody... will video cover my ass or do I need to have vocal melody put into broadsheet


I currently have 3 songs I'd like to protect
1 for lyrics/melody and chord progression / picking
2 for lyrics/melody and chord progression / strumming


It varies by country - Canada has it's own scheme, so does the US - you need to look up how to do it in your jurisdiction - there is normally a fee. If you're truly concerned about protecting your work - you need to do it. You do automatically have copyright on your creations in most jurisdictions, but if you register them properly then your case in Court will basically be a slam dunk and you'll have much more legitimacy and credibility in the case of a dispute.
#9
Quote by GStringBroke
thanks, since found out copyright here is automatic

http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/copyright/

i'll just email to a friend as proof


If you're in Australia, also register yourself and your songs with APRA. At the end of each financial year you can collect royalities. Also with your final recordings, make sure you get an ISRC code for each of them to track their radio plays/sales.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Quote by reverb66
It varies by country - Canada has it's own scheme, so does the US - you need to look up how to do it in your jurisdiction - there is normally a fee. If you're truly concerned about protecting your work - you need to do it. You do automatically have copyright on your creations in most jurisdictions, but if you register them properly then your case in Court will basically be a slam dunk and you'll have much more legitimacy and credibility in the case of a dispute.

All they do is prove the date that they received a copy of your creation. You could just as easily print everything in one big document, sign and date it and have it witnessed by a justice of the peace. That would hold weight in court in regard to dates.

But none of that proves the other person is likely to have heard your work in order to have copied it before they came up with theirs. So it's not quite a slam dunk. Often these kinds of cases do not come down to dates because that is not the only thing that matters. Even when you can prove the dates and that the other person is likely to have heard your work before they created their own work you are still only part way there. You then have to prove they are similar enough to be considered a copy. So saying these schemes will ensure protection and be a slam dunk if it came to court is incredibly misleading.
Si
#11
The real grief can arise when you jointly work on a piece of music, and subsequent derivatives from any of that work. If you get involved in that and there's any chance of serious money involved, then you need to contractually cover/clarify your share. At that stage, you need legal advice.

cheers, Jerry
#12
^ MY personal favorite is when you're working with a singer and you more or less do the whole arrangement, all the chord changes, the solos, and riffage and they introduce it with,

"Okay, this is my new song I just wrote all by myself with no help whatsoever from that clearly bored and annoyed guitar player who may or may not play in the wrong key the rest of the night to spite me"
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#13
Quote by Jet Penguin
^ MY personal favorite is when you're working with a singer and you more or less do the whole arrangement, all the chord changes, the solos, and riffage and they introduce it with,

"Okay, this is my new song I just wrote all by myself with no help whatsoever from that clearly bored and annoyed guitar player who may or may not play in the wrong key the rest of the night to spite me"


:-)