Receive Your Digital And Hard
Once you send everything in online, you’ll receive immediate confirmation of the receipt of your files. Then you can typically expect the hard copies to come in the mail within the next six months or so. But fret not, my friends you are uber-protected from the moment you submitted your digital files online!
Choose The Proper Description
Trademarks are categorized into 45 international classes, which represent various products and services. Since this post is for musicians, the primary applicable international classes are 009 and 041 .
The next step is to determine what description accurately describes the product or service that you offer. The USPTO website has a database that you can search to find the best pre-defined description.
You can search the site, but to speed things up I have included the link below:
You are now at the page called:
U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual
This is a database of descriptions that can be easily searched. Put the good or service that your trademark represents and you will find a number of descriptions that you can sift through.
So, why do we do this step? You want to make sure that you put in an accurate description into your application so that no one can challenge it.
It is much easier to figure our your description before you start your online application because it will time you out of your session if you take too long completing the process.
Try it! If you type in Music you will see 137 different descriptions.
These are pre-approved descriptions from the USPTO. Youare allowed to createspecific descriptions, but those are scrutinized a little bit more by trademark examiners, which is something you want to avoid if you can help it.
Ok, so we are now ready to file the actual trademark application. Here’s how.
Register Your Trademark Or Copyright
Registering your work for trademark and copyright protects your work of original authorship. You will want to start by clicking on Apply Now and submit your work through our online form.
You will then receive an email from us to which you will respond to with your file attached for electronic upload. You can also request a shipping slip. The shipping slip is used so you can mail your work. Your trademark and copyright registration will be both received and in effect same day with the copyright office. You are then assigned a service request number before receiving your official certificate via mail direct from the copyright office.
We provide a service of registering our customers copyright for both individuals and businesses. The copyright process is available with the official government office at a lower cost. Our copyright service provides your work be registered in both a timely manner and with professionalism. A copyright logo will be provided for download. In addition we also have live chat support to answer all your questions same day.
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How To Use Copyright To Protect Your Work
When it comes to lyrics, writing them in your notebook grants you instant legal music rights. Once the ink hits the page, you can assert any of the exclusive rights above the lyrics you’ve written. But what if someone in another city, several months later, writes very similar or even the same lyrics? How can you prove that you wrote them first?
Copyright registration is the process whereby you can establish your priority as the first author. For a small copyright registration fee, you put everyone on notice that these are your lyrics. Anyone who writes those same lyrics after the fact is subject to your exclusive rights as a copyright holderand you don’t even have to prove the later author ever saw your work.
The Library of Congress keeps a comprehensive list of every painting, poem, and song registration copyright. Although few songwriters scour song copyright registration to determine if a new tune infringes on an existing onethey probably should. Song copyright registration grants constructive notice to the song. The tune, the lyrics, the drum track on the recording, and chord progression in the bridge are each element an individual and expressive part to which the author can assert any of the exclusive rights.
That’s why it’s so difficult to create an automated song copyright checker. It would take a complex algorithm that could listen to music and integrate all the choices made by the composer, lyricist, and performer.
What Does The Us Copyright Office Say
In general, a work is published when an authorized copy is sold or offered for distribution to the public. circular 7b
for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display circular 1
A public performance or display of a musical composition does not, in and of itself, constitute publication circular 50
Sources accessed on September 13th 2019
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Poor Man’s Copyright Explained
Before computers were in widespread use, music was written down or taped, and long before the internet came along, musicians would send a sealed copy of their music to themselves in the post, which would then be stamped with the date, and left unopened, in order to prove that their music existed at a certain point in time.
That sealed envelope would be opened in court and show that the tune or lyric was already around when the package was delivered.
This process is known as poor mans copyright. This method is occasionally still used today and in fact, PRS for Music in the UK even recommends still doing this: sending a copy of your work to yourself by recorded delivery as strong evidence of copyright ownership.
Other Important Notes About Copyrights
Copyrights apply for lyrics and melodies. However, you cant copyright:
- Chord progressions
- Song titles, names or short phrases
- Overall idea or concept of a song
In the U.S., the copyright for your work lasts until 70 years after the death of the last copyright owner. This can vary by country.
If you write or record music, you are the copyright owner of that intellectual property. You decide who can use your songs and how. Of course, if there are multiple people involved in the creation of a song, then the copyright is split and divided percentage-wise. However, the involved parties can mutually agree upon how it should be shared.
This is important when it comes to understanding music royalties.
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How Much Of A Song Can You Use With Copyright
Copyright laws for 30 seconds of music. You may have heard of Fair Trade, a copyright policy that allows you to use 10, 15, or 30 seconds of music with no copyright obligations. However, you understand that you can use a short snippet of a song without paying any commission. However, you wonder how exactly it works.
Mcps & Ppl Sound Recording Royalties
MCPS, Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, also pays royalties to writers but is responsible for royalties from mechanical licenses. You will receive royalties if your song has been licensed for a recording and if that recording is commercially released or broadcast. Joining PRS for Music includes both PRS and MCPS.
PPL, Phonographic Performance Limited, will pay royalties to the owner of the sound record recording master copyright. They will pay artists or record labels who own the master rights a royalty whenever a sound recording is performed. SO basically the PRS for recordings.
This means that PRS will pay the owner of the publishing copyright royalties for the performance of the song when it is recorded and played on the radio. MCPS will pay the publishing owner royalties for the mechanical license to record the song and PPL will pay a royalty to the owner of the master copyright for the performance of the recording.
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Where Can I Find Out If A Song Is Copyrighted Now
If you want to know if a song is copyrighted, the answer is simple: almost all music is copyrighted. YouTube makes it easy to find out if a song is copyrighted and get free music. If you need quality music and want to listen to background music with ease, it’s best to buy one of the two services above.
Understand The Two ‘sides’ Of Copyright: Master & Publishing
So youve secured yourself a timestamped copy of your tune. But what exactly have you got control of copyright-wise?
The copyright landscape is complex.
Royalties for songwriters divide between music and lyrics and can be split further between several co-writers, not to mention a cut for the labels, publishers, collection agencies, distributors, etc.
The key thing to note is that every piece of recorded music has two sides to its copyright: ones called the Publishing – the underlying musical composition – and ones called the Master – the specific sound recording.
The former is held by the songwriters/lyricists/composers and generally managed by or signed away to publishers. The latter is held by the recording artist and/or their label.
The industry treats these two parts of copyright separately, with the copyright in the song itself shown with a and the copyright in the sound recording shown, somewhat confusingly, with a – dont get mixed up: remember the P stands for phonograph not publishing, and not performance nor performing arts!
These copyrights are kept separate, even though in many cases the writer and performer is the same person/group, for when sometime down the line cover versions of the song start appearing, or people start sampling the recording, quoting the lyrics, etc.
It can all get incredibly complicated and keeping the publishing and master copyrights separate helps to iron out any potential legal creases.
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What Does A Copyright Do
A copyright owner is provided with five exclusive rights in their created work. The owner, as well as authorized third-parties, have the right to: reproduce the work, distribute the work prepare derivative works publicly perform the work and, publicly display the work. This means that the owner has the sole and exclusive right to publicly distribute copies of the work by sale, rental, or lease and to publicly perform or display the work, such as selling copies of a novel or publicly playing a musical recording at a restaurant.
For instance, the exclusive right to reproduce a work prevents a fan that purchased an artists CD from creating and distribution copies of it to others. In addition, the right to authorize or prepare derivative works provides a copyright owner with the right to produce or permit another party to create a remix of an original protected song because the remix would be considered a new arrangement of the original work.
Additionally, in order to make records, downloads, tapes, and CDs, a party requires a mechanical license from the party who owns the copyright in the underlying musical composition. Until the first initial public release of a musical composition, the songwriter and publisher have complete control over issuing licenses. However, after this first release, anyone else can create their version of the song by paying statutory fees and obtaining a compulsory mechanical license.
Fill Out The Online Form
Make sure you set aside some quiet time to work through all of these forms carefully. The eCo site will bring you through several pages of questions in order to file your copyright. Starting with creating your own account, register a new claim. After that, the next page will help confirm that you’ve chosen the correct application to fill out, followed by a series of yes/no questions indicating whether or not your work qualifies for the standard application process. Next, you’ll select your type of work, and enter titles, publication status, author info, claimant info, rights and permissions, correspondence contact, and mailing address. Finally, it’s time to certify and review your application!
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Do I Need To Officially Copyright My Song
So the main question I answer a lot is do I need to officially copyright my music?.
You are officially copyrighting your music when you put it somewhere that has a timestamp. I.e, when emailed to yourself or uploaded online.
Copyright was more of an issue in the offline world when it was harder to prove. In 2021, its much easier.
If you want extra copyright protection, you can register your song with the U.S copyright office. But this isnt necessary.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to copyright a song and some of the intricacies involved in wider music copyright registration.
Can Youtubers Use Music In Their Video
YouTubers can use music in their videos provided it hasnt been blocked by YouTubes music policy directory. The most likely situation is that ads will appear in your video unless YouTube notifies that the song isnt available for use. If the music isnt in the directory or is blocked, you will be responsible for negotiating your own license.
However, you should be able to use music under certain circumstances if the use of copyright falls into fair use.
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Consider Seeking Professional Help
The copyright process is pretty straight forward, but it’s possible that you could overlook some important aspects of it. Improper registration could cost you, so it might be worth your time to consider looking into a service like LegalZoom to register your songs with the copyright office on your behalf.
After copyrighting your songs, it might be a good idea to join a performance rights organization like BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC to start getting paid when people use your music.
If you want to learn more about music and copyright, check out the book All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Don Passman.
Special thanks to entertainment lawyer Lee Morin for helping with corrections and additional details for this article!
When To Use Form Pa
For registration purposes, musical compositions and dramatic works that are recorded on disks or cassettes are works of the performing arts and should be registered on Form PA or Short Form PA. Therefore, if you wish to register only the underlying work that is a musical composition or dramatic work, use Form PA even though you may send a disk or cassette.
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Lets Just Start By Saying The Us Copyright Office Needs To Hire Better Web Developers
I just went through the painstaking process of their electronic filing system. Although it has been updated over the years, the website looks and functions like it was built in 2003. It is not intuitive whatsoever and riddled with errors and confusing indicators and language.
Why do you want to copyright your songs? Well, remember when Marvin Gayes kids sued Pharrell and Robin Thicke because Got To Give It Up had a similar groove to Blurred Lines? Utterly laughable. Until they won $7 million. The only way you can bring a suit against someone you think plagiarized your work is if you officially register the copyright with the US Copyright office. So do it for your kids retirement!
Music Copyright Is The Same Across Countries
Music copyright law differs across countries. Countries tend to establish their own laws regarding copyright and this can affect the ways creators make and license intellectual property.
In the United States, copyright protects original works in a tangible form across literary, musical and dramatic works. This is very similar to UK copyright law. Copyright is automatically created when the work is in a tangible form, also like the UK. However, unlike the UK, any work published before 1923 falls under the public domain in the USA.
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What Is Fair Use Copyright Uk
Exceptions to copyrighted works fall under the term fair use. The UK defines this as fair dealing. This can include using copyrighted works for the purposes of:
- Criticism or review
- News reporting
The key issues surrounding fair dealing in the UK is whether the use of copyright caused a loss of income or was inappropriate. For example, it is an infringement if someone didnt buy or stream a song because of a work claiming fair use or using than what was needed.
Some of these practices require sufficient acknowledgement of the creator to constitute fair use. Many YouTubers feel they can acknowledge artists they use in their videos and claim fair use. However, it is more likely for a video to be flagged and taken down. Even videos that fall under fair use purposes can be flagged because content filers can struggle to define whether a video falls under fair use.
When To Use Form Sr
Use Form SR for registration of published or unpublished sound recordings, that is, for registration of the particular sounds or recorded performance.
Form SR must also be used if you wish to make one registration for both the sound recording and the underlying work . You may make a single registration only if the copyright claimant is the same for both the sound recording and the underlying work. In this case, the authorship statement in Space 2 should specify that the claim covers both works.
Form SR is also the appropriate form for registration of a multimedia kit that combines two or more kinds of authorship including a sound recording .
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Why Is It Important To Copyright Your Music
Posted by Mohsen Parsa | Aug 10, 2020 | 0Comments
If you’re a musician, you know that you invest a lot of time, effort, and passion into every piece. There’s a good chance, after all that work, that you would like to protect your projects.
Filing a music copyright will help with this goal. If you copyright your music, you’re essentially protecting your government-given rights surrounding your intellectual property . After you file a copyright, others will not be able to use your work without your permission a central priority if you’re invested in growing your music career.
Protecting Your Pieces:
What is a Music Copyright?
There are two different types of musical copyright: Composition copyright, which protects the original piece, and sound recording copyright, which protects recordings of that piece. If you record a song, you hold the sole composition copyright as well as a sound recording copyright for every version of the song you create.
Whenever anyone wants to cover your song, they will need to get your permission to use your composition copyright to create their own sound recording. If someone steals your work, a music copyright will help you act fast to protect what is yours.
What Does My Music Copyright Do?
The specific rights your music copyright protects will vary from country to country. These rights may include:
Reproduction and copying
- Performing and broadcasting
How Do I Copyright My Music?
Here’s a brief overview of the copyright process: