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Song Is Copyrighted...what's Next?

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Hey folks,

How's it going? Good with me. I just got my first song copyrighted... yea!!!

So, anyway, what's next for me, if I want to have it recorded and such?

I have a recording of me at a writer's night in Nashville, but I would rather the song be redone.

Any advice would be helpful.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm guessing Jim is alluding to the "a copyright is only as strong as your ability (read money) to pursue it through the courts for several years" perspective, which is a viewpoint I have some sympathy with. That said, at ~$35 per registration with US copyright office, and as a registration can be a collection of songs, it need not be hugely expensive. That is certainly the only copyright service I would consider. To be honest, it also depends on if you plan to be a professional songwriter, what your immediate prospects are etc. as to whether realistically it is worth your while registering your songs, but that is down to the individual writers and their realistic prospects. Are many lawyers offering a "no-win-no-fee" for copyright cases? I doubt it. That said, if you are a member of musician's unions or some songwriting societies, many offer free legal services up to a certain cost... which is why, on balance, I think it is worth while.

Whether you plan to release your own version, or simply use a good recording to get established artists to record your song, then a pro standard recording is definitely needed. The days of sending off demo standard recordings has long passed. That said, "pro standard" doesn't necessarily mean complex, expansive, or expensive. It could be one voice and an accompanying instrument, although much depends if you are targetting specific genres of artists or the song is more genre specific than cross genre. Be aware, it is a very, very competitive market these days.

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Just chiming in on the topic of copyrights here: I joined this organisation.


There are a number of payment options, ranging from yearly to lifetime. I opted for lifetime, as it cost much less than what I used to pay annually to File-Reg, a copryight registration agency of which I was a member.

Now - at no extra cost - I can upload and register for copyright as many lyrics/songs as I want for the rest of my life.


Edited by DonnaMarilyn
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Hey Rippinlyricist - I presume that what you did for copyrighting your song was to submit it to the US government - is that correct? That is probably a good idea (as John kind of indicated). The deal with protecting your copyright to a song (or other things) is that you need to be able to prove that you were the creator of the work (or that you otherwise have rights to the work) and when the work was created - that can be difficult to prove in some cases. That's why registration with the govt is a good idea - it provides specific recognition of when the work was created (or at lest the date it was received).

In any event, copyright to a work automatically attached even if you have not registered anything with anybody, but you might run into some issues with proving things.

If you want to sell your song to artists so they can record them, you are now looking at publishing. Publishers are supposed to sell your song to potential users like recording artists, so look for a publisher with a decent track record of selling songs like yours, but please be careful - publishing agreements can tie up your rights, so getting stuck with a bad publisher can cause some problems. Finally, get a lawyer to help with any contracts you might ever sign in relation to your rights to your songs. Check with the local or state bar association for entertainment lawyer referrals.

Finally, congratulations on formalizing things! I hope you have a bunch of success with your songs!

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Thanks for your input everyone. And, yes, the only other copy of this particular song is residing with the U.S. Copyright Office in D.C. But I have a question, if I want to try to sell my song to be recorded, do I need to cut a demo for the song or does the publisher take care of that?

Again, thank you for all of your input. It's been helpful.

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