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Copyrighting?


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I have been curious. Nit entirely sure where else to post this too. I've noticed that people here post the copyright watermark and everything however, does that TRULY make it copyrighted? I mean without actually filing it with the copyright office (which costs about 35 USD to file), couldn't it be a little hard prosecuting someone who has copied such work, despite having that watermark but not yet filed with the copyright office?

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What makes it really hard to prosecute an infringement is the bill for legal services.

And yes, a work is copyright as soon as it is written.

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It's to do with strength of your copyright and jurisdiction. As soon as something is published it's copyright is established, but the US particularly recognizes the strength of a copyright claim filed via their copyright service. That does not mean if you have a copyright claim filed there it automatically it is proven to be yours, only that on a given date you claimed it to be yours and filed a claim with the US government. it is down to a civil court (unless they make it a criminal act, which is being debated) to look at available copyright claims. In the case where there are contradictory claims several factors matter including who, when and where. It's not straightforward to prove a song is yours, but the issue is as Lazz says the cost of defending your copyright claim in court, no matter where it is filed. To that end a belt and braces approach is better. By posting on Songstuff it is published, with a datestamp, with your email address filed with the boards as a way to track it back, and your name and copyright statement (all rights reserved etc) asserted in your post), however when you file with the copyright office in the US it does afford a further degree of certainty that that data has not been tampered with.

Personally, no matter where you come from, the web is internationally visible and songs are best to be registered via the US copyright office as that is a massive jurisdiction. As there is a cost involved most would wait to register finished works, many times in batches as the cost remains the same.

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  • 1 month later...

There's no need to guess...

http://www.copyright.gov

Also note that you can copyright as many songs at one time as you like, as a "collection." Copyright persists, individually, on all of the works, exactly as though you had registered each one and had paid money for each one. (The "collection" idea is basically an administrative/paperwork-reduction convenience for the paper-pushers.)

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