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Copyright Faq

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john    1,416

Hey

Thought this would be useful:

Copyright FAQ

By posting on these forums you are in effect self-publishing. You should include the copyright symbol and copyright date in your posts.

Posting on any forum is a weaker form of copyright protection and I recommend that you register your songs. For non-US members I also suggest registering your songs in the US as well as in your own country.

Cheers

John

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lemonstar    2

This link is to US centric information but there is a suggestion for non-US artists to register there work there because:-

  1. There is no such thing as international copyright
  2. The US has bilateral agreements with a large number of other countries
  3. Like most countries, it offers some protection to foreign works under certain conditions

Is that the gist of it?

Is there any easily comprehensible UK centric advice or information that you can point to?

I'm sure I've seen it posted somewhere on the boards here but how do you add the copyright symbol and more importantly what is that value of doing so - does it carry any weight legally? Is it necessary or can you simply type the word copyright and the current date?

Edited by lemonstar

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Lazz    27
Is that the gist of it?

No.

There is no such thing as international copyright

There is.

At least among the World Trade Organisation’s member states.

They are all required to abide by TRIPS (trade related aspects of intellectual property rights) which was adopted as an annex to the Marrakesh Agreement forming the WTO in 1994.

TRIPS embraces (pretty much) the international Berne Convention for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works dating from 1886.

The US has bilateral agreements with a large number of other countries

The bilateralism idea is not helpful.

The US is a member of the WTO – so I guess you could call their agreements multilateral if you want, but in the end it is international.

Like most countries, it offers some protection to foreign works under certain conditions

Breach of copyright within a jurisdiction is still an offence whatever the citizenship of the complainant.

Is there any easily comprehensible UK centric advice or information that you can point to?

Not really that simple.

I think the main problem is that everybody seems to start with varying assumptions about ‘the law’.

Which hang us up on the way to understanding the plainfacts of it .... Well – that’s how it was with me.

Sometimes those are tough things to straighten out.

Maybe start by taking a butchers at THIS

a suggestion for non-US artists to register their work there because…

Whenever it comes down to a fight over claims to copyright, a court has to decide which party is the owner and will consider anything which is relevant. Registration with the US Copyright Office is not necessarily going to be the winning hand if there is something else substantive and legitimate which clearly pre-dates that registration – like the composition already having been lodged with PRS/MCPS, for instance. Where US registration comes into play is in the awarding of penalties – damages and costs and such – by US courts. They are shown to think in much bigger numbers if the work is registered with the US Copyright Office. If the US is going to be in any way a significant market for your work, then it makes sense to get that bit of business taken care of.

how do you add the copyright symbol and more importantly what is that value of doing so - does it carry any weight legally? Is it necessary or can you simply type the word copyright and the current date?

It’s magic.

Big medicine.

A talisman that warns everyone you are copyright-savvy.

It is not officially necessary (any more) but ii is still recommended practice.

Do it the same way everyone else does it.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Lazz

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john    1,416

Hey

To get the copyright symbol type:

©

I believe that should work.

btw did you get my answer to your gallery questions?

Cheers

John

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lemonstar    2

Right - thanks both - I'll have to read through this. I never really considered the issue of copyright seriously as the prospect of anyone making money ou t of my music, myself included, seems so rediculously remote but I thought for the sake of a small effort it might be worth finding out about it.

After my original post I did find a couple of other posts elsewhere on the site. I think it extremely unlikely I'll ever release anything with any expectation of making any money - I might record and create a product just for my own pleasure, however I wouldn't want someone else to make more money out of my creative effort than I did.

Edited by lemonstar

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Lee    1
Hey

To get the copyright symbol type:

©

I believe that should work.

I'm having problems getting the copyright symbol into my post. I've tried typing © and a view variations of this but it doesn't seem to work.

Is there something else I should be doing?

Thanks Lee

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john    1,416

Hi Lee

Sorry. © works in html forgot it didn't work on the boards! Ooops!

use:

(c)

Cheers

John

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SlimCahill    6

What is required to copyright a song? Do you have to have the sheet music?

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john    1,416

Hi Slim, sorry for the huge delay in replying...

No a digital recording is sufficient, although if you can supply sheet music, cue sheets etc all additional evidence is still useful.

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PapercutBoy    1

I cannot copyright my song on IMRO in Ireland because it says you need to have performed it 12 times live and have it commercially recorded. I have done all my recording at home and never been to a studio. I hope I don't have to prove it if this band use it in the end without my consent and legal forms, I'm sure they won't, if they decide to release it. There are covers of it on Youtube and tabs on ultimate guitar dating back to 2007, when I wrote it. This band got signed to Gary Barlow's record label, I am really amazed at their version of it and hope they plan to release it in the future once an agreement has been made. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5u2QFwlRoU

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you own the copyright for your work from the moment you've created it

use the copyright sign whenever you post your work and keep all the original files of your work as a proof

do not use the poor man copyright (sealed envelope) - it has no value

you could use free copyrighting services like myfreecopyright.com if you can't afford paying - still better than nothing

when posting songs online post only 30 second snippets

if you want to publish the whole song just pay the copyright fee, there are packages where you can register multiple songs at once and they aren't very expensive

Edited by nickamandote

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gene    0

I simply put my song in an envelope and post it to myself....seal it tight and dont open it untill some superstar makes the song a number one smash hit throughout the universe then slam um for every penny that's your song. make sure you put the copyright symbol on the song paper with the date which will be on the postage anyway and sing it for good measure. good luck songwriters. gene

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gene    0

Sorry,that's meant to be -" and SIGN [not sing it] for good measure." sorry! you can sing it for good measure if you can sing that is? but if your on your own; then no one will complain .... well maybe the dog. love gene

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glissongs    31

The way I heard it, if Warner, Sony, EMI, etc want to steal your song, you can take them to court and maybe win, but they can fight you for years in the courts and pretty much bankrupt you with legal fees, copywright or not. I also heard that it's probably best to get with a songselling group like TAXI, who have deeper pockets to fight these battles, but that could be just marketing spoo....

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john    1,416

just marketing. It is true that if you finance it yourself it could well bankrupt you. Fortunately many songwriter professional bodies and musician's unions provide legal cover to members. Considering the cost of membership of such bodies it's a bit of a no-brainer...

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john    1,416

I simply put my song in an envelope and post it to myself....seal it tight and dont open it untill some superstar makes the song a number one smash hit throughout the universe then slam um for every penny that's your song. make sure you put the copyright symbol on the song paper with the date which will be on the postage anyway and sing it for good measure. good luck songwriters. gene

Not of much use in comparison to a copyright registration service, especially the government backed US copyright service. A sealed envelope is just too easy to fake up.... for example post an empty envelop (unsealed) to yourself. At any point in subsequent years you can add whatever you like to that envelope only sealing it when you want to make a claim. The point is, it's way too easy to fake and lawyers and courts know that.

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JPM    3

After doing a bit of research, I went with Songrite

So far, I have copyrighted 5 songs with them, but nothing has been tested out in court yet ;-)

Best value is their deal for a set of up to 13 songs for 50 USD.

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Skin    254

Hi, copy right symbol on a pc is "ctrl alt C" use R for registered and Tm for trade mark. On a .Mac it's "option G" if I remember right.

I hope this is helpful to someone.

Les

Edited by Skin59
  • Like 1

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HoboSage    1,909

FYI:

 

By my understanding of the current U.S. Copyright Act, ( and hence, U.S., and only U.S. law) there are two different symbols used to give notice of copyrights - Â© and â„—.  The symbol of Â© is properly used on "copies" of a work to give notice of copyrights in that work.  "Copies" are of a work that's  "visually perceptible"  - something you can see - like something that's printed or in writing (including written lyrics), pictures, graphics, etc.

 

The symbol of â„— is the proper symbol to put on "phonorecords" (e.g., CD's, tapes, vinyl records, digital files) which embody a sound recording to give notice of the copyrights in the sound recording and the underlying musical work if that's what the recording is of.  It should be used on the label of the CD, tape or vinyl record, on the online .mp3 widget used to play the song online, in the data encoded in a digital file for display regarding the song, etc.  

 

P.S.  It is also my understanding that, though there is no requirement under the current U.S. Copyright Act that you give notice of your copyrights on any copy of your work or on any phonorecord of your work, if you do give proper notice on all your copies and phonorecords, then generally, anyone who infringes your copyrights in that original work cannot viably claim that they did so unwittingly or "innocently," and the full measure of damages for their infringement will be potentially available to you under the U.S. Copyright Act if you prevail in the infringement litigation.

Edited by HoboSage

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After doing a bit of research, I went with Songrite

So far, I have copyrighted 5 songs with them, but nothing has been tested out in court yet ;-)

Best value is their deal for a set of up to 13 songs for 50 USD.

 

The US Library of Congress is the only registration that matters, not sure why anyone would use anything else.

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HoboSage    1,909

The US Library of Congress is the only registration that matters, not sure why anyone would use anything else.

 

 

I guess some folks don't understand, which is what the essentially worthless commercial registration services literally bank on.    :)  http://forums.songstuff.com/topic/30274-anyone-heard-of-songregistrationcom/?p=190400

Edited by HoboSage

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GordonG    1

As copy right is only a registrar to determin who created said song and when. I don't think that it is relevent..

With recording software on PC's that date and time when a song or even just a track of a song was created copyright becomes a none issue as if you go to court with your laptop/pc open up your file that proves you created a song before anyone else, case closed.

Copy right websites will tell you that THEY DO NOT track down copyright theft and you as the owner (as soon as you write a song you own it) must take the other party to court at your own expense.

The only time a song really should be copyrighted is when more that one person is involled in its creation, this is more for royalty percentage and so forth.

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john    1,416

As copy right is only a registrar to determin who created said song and when. I don't think that it is relevent..

With recording software on PC's that date and time when a song or even just a track of a song was created copyright becomes a none issue as if you go to court with your laptop/pc open up your file that proves you created a song before anyone else, case closed.

Copy right websites will tell you that THEY DO NOT track down copyright theft and you as the owner (as soon as you write a song you own it) must take the other party to court at your own expense.

The only time a song really should be copyrighted is when more that one person is involled in its creation, this is more for royalty percentage and so forth.

 

Not true

 

The date can easily be faked. very easily. As easily as changing the date on the laptop, creating the file and saving it and then changing the date back. The file will show it is created on that earlier date, or edited on that date etc. So, as a defence, it is completely (and i mean completely) worthless.

 

So, it has no bearing in court. You have to be able to prove it, and for court purposes dates that are not under your control to fake are more reliable. When you submit to an unaffiliated 3rd party the date is more likely to be genuine. Even more so if that 3rd party is more "trustworthy" in the court's eyes, such as a government agency.

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Skin    254

Not true

 

The date can easily be faked. very easily. As easily as changing the date on the laptop, creating the file and saving it and then changing the date back. The file will show it is created on that earlier date, or edited on that date etc. So, as a defence, it is completely (and i mean completely) worthless.

 

So, it has no bearing in court. You have to be able to prove it, and for court purposes dates that are not under your control to fake are more reliable. When you submit to an unaffiliated 3rd party the date is more likely to be genuine. Even more so if that 3rd party is more "trustworthy" in the court's eyes, such as a government agency.

John

As an idea if you use a cloud type of storage say like soundcloud! Would that be sufficient? Or the usually free storage you get with an ISP that you upload to?

Just a thought.

Les

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john    1,416

I can't give you legal advice as to how safe that is or not. As a completely unbinding observation, I would expect that it would be MUCH better than a file saved on a computer you own, BUT would relate to the LAST upload or edit date (not the first) and that for all it is better than DIY, that it would still be beaten by a site where you had no control over the file after upload (like Songstuff or a site that specialised in copyright registration), and all of those would be trumped by the US Copyright Office.

Incidentally, a member suggested that Songstuff launched a copyright registration service. It is an idea worth considering. One that might gain some ground if there us much interest. I might carry out a survey about it!

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GordonG    1

How about an encrypted email to a third party (or even yourself)  ,doesnt email providers send time and date of every message.

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Skin    254

Why not just do it and I am sure it would catch on here?

I am no sure of what is involved but if it's just a case of storing the file and maybe a receipt via email that should be quite easy.

I guess you may have to have accounts for each subscriber and a registration ID# for each file registered? Possibly automated reply via email?

A little more involved technically.

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tunesmithth    1,217

Excellent.....a triple score....inappropriately placed, unnecessarily vulgar and downright awful advice ! :thumb23:

Congratulations....you've earned yourself a "report". 

 

Tom

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john    1,416
On 12/03/2014 at 6:11 AM, DifferentRobot said:

smoke weed everyday and you wont give a shit about copyrights

Or much else.

 

If you don't respect copyright, your own or other people's, then you undermine music as a profession. If musicians and songwriters can't find it in themselves to value all the hard work and thousands of hours that go into making a decent musician or songwriter, never mind investing in gear, rehearsal and recording studios etc, no wonder society at large now places almost no value on music or musicians.

 

Which sounds fine if you aren't a professional or semi-professional musician or songwriter (of which there are many on Songstuff which is why your statement has ruffled some feathers) and are content for all musicians to all be part-time hobbyists because they deserve to pay loads for gear, training, practice and recording but they don't deserve to earn a cent for all their efforts.

 

Ignoring copyright seems to be the answer of those who can afford to indulge the luxury of making music and giving it away for free while not giving a toss about those who do earn their living from it. That and people who just don't understand the concept.

 

 

 

On a lighter note...

 

What is a Musician? Someone that puts $5000 worth of gear into a $500 car to drive 100 miles to play a gig for $50. :)

  • Like 2

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Steve Ather    6

Hi! Is your song not already copyright protected if you have it recorded on you tube at a certain time, basically it's about proving who wrote the song if you've recorded a song and it has a Internet foot print on the dateam it was recorded, really no one could argue with that in a court of law, if the song were to become well know. 

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