john

Copyright Faq

34 posts in this topic

Hi Steve

 

Technically copyright is acquired at the time of creation. The issue is proving it. There are other implications.

 

it depends on where you are contesting the copyright. If in the UK, there is no formal requirement to register Copyright and no impact on awards, however the integrity of a website, and working practises of that website, all have bearing on the belief that a time stamp could have been tampered with, for any reason. As ever it comes down to proof. Private companies not audited specifically for how tamper proof their time stamps are are less strong as evidence, no matter how certain you are... that is still not proof.

 

In the USA, for example, you are not required to register works with the library of congress, however it is recommended for a number of reasons.

 

1) The library of congress is a government institution with no vested interest in a particular copyright claim outcome. As such they are trusted both within the USA and outwith the USA. A song registered there is considered to be unviolated.

2) Two copies of all works published in the USA are required to be lodged with the library of congress. Failure to do so can result in fines.

3) Registration brings significant improvements in the payouts when a copyright is proven to have been infringed.

 

It's late so I probably missed something but that's some of the basics.

 

Cheers

 

John

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On 3/8/2017 at 10:07 PM, john said:

 

2) Two copies of all works published in the USA are required to be lodged with the library of congress. Failure to do so can result in fines.

 

There's one exception to this requirement.  If you only publish your music (or other kind of work) electronically - e.g., you only publish your music via online downloads - and you register online using the Copyright Office's online registration system, then the MP3 music file you upload to the Copyright Office via the online registration process satisfies your "deposit" requirement for the work, and you don't have to send them anything else.  But, if you also publish non-electronically - e.g., you sell physical CD's - then you have to send them two copies, even if you also registered your copyright via the online registration system.

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Thanks David. I'm glad you spotted that I missed that.

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Posted (edited)

One thing to bear in mind about copyright – if you intend to sell your material – is that they're going to ask you for the US Copyright registration number, and they're gonna check it.

 

Your copyright registration is like the certificate-of-title for a car:  independently-verifiable proof that you [say that you] own it, and that you therefore have the right to license it.  Companies ordinarily won't consider material – won't even let it cross their doorstep – unless you have this.  (Lawyers call it, "due diligence.")  No one who's in the business of selling music is going to get near the idea of "contributory infringement," so you have to have your ducks in a row.

 

You can register any number of works at one time as a so-called "collection" for one $35 fee.  (The notion of a "collection" is simply for copyright-office practicality:  the registration applies equally and individually to every work included in it.)  Furthermore, the registration takes legal effect immediately.  (A printout or a PDF of the web-page showing the registration number will be sufficient:  you don't have to wait – sometimes, many weeks – for the pretty piece of paper to show up in your snail-mail box.)

 

 http://copyright.gov is the official web site and it is filled with authoritative information.

 

 

Edited by MikeRobinson
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