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Music Copyright Protection

 
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tpantano
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Music Copyright Protection Reply with quote

Hello.

I've been creating a few tunes, and I want to publish some on the net to see if people are interested in my music.

However, I don't want someone to steal my tunes, tweak it a bit and turn it into a hit that they'll make money from- and I won't.

I know that you can protect your music for $45; However, I simply can't afford to pay that for all of my music, and I don't want to be wasting money on songs that might not even get a thousand hits.

So, how are you protected without purchasing the license? Is it a good/bad idea to put your music on the internet in order to spread your songs to the world?
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mikemolloyuk
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Joined: 23 May 2007
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Location: Milton Keynes, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

There are a couple of easy ways to protect your music. The one I do sometimes is put a copy of it on disk and write the date on it or even include a newspaper front cover with the date inside a bubble envelope and post it to yourself. The post office will stamp the date it was processed on the envelope before they send it. If you keep the envelope sealed, if you ever have someone rip your music and use it without your permission you have something that you can prove was written on or before that date on your envelope.

The other one is ask your bank if they will hold it for you. They can give you official paperwork that says you gave it on a specific date. This can also be used as evidence of the music being written before that date.

Mike
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PianoManGidley



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time and date logs of uploading something can also be used to protect copyright infringement. If you uploaded something and someone else posted something later that brought the originality of your own work into question, just use the time/date stamps.
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Synthoid
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Joined: 17 Mar 2003
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Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uktechsupport wrote:
There are a couple of easy ways to protect your music. The one I do sometimes is put a copy of it on disk and write the date on it or even include a newspaper front cover with the date inside a bubble envelope and post it to yourself. The post office will stamp the date it was processed on the envelope before they send it. If you keep the envelope sealed, if you ever have someone rip your music and use it without your permission you have something that you can prove was written on or before that date on your envelope.


The "poor man's" copyright has been discussed on many forums. It's a cheap alternative, but as others have pointed out--it would not hold up in a court of law.
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mikemolloyuk
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Would you care to summarise for tpantano how he can do a legal way that would hold up in a court of law.?

Your post didn't really help in terms of what he was asking.

Mike
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Synthoid
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From his post, I gather he's already familiar with cost of standard copyright procedures. If living in the USA, the official website is:

http://www.copyright.gov/
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Ultimate Dj
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought here,
I uploaded a few songs to Akon's www.hitlab.com and it sent me an email telling me to keep the emails as a copy protection. maybe upload em there and you can always prove it.


puravda
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dreamaiden
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Time and date logs of uploading something can also be used to protect copyright infringement. If you uploaded something and someone else posted something later that brought the originality of your own work into question, just use the time/date stamps.


This is all you need to prove it is yours. Getting your music copyrighted with the copyright office will help you in court.

It costs about $75 per song, or you can send in a collection of songs, for example a CD of songs, for $75 which is really the way to go. I might have the $ amount wrong. Also, if you post your song(s) anywhere, anywhere at all, on the internet, etc., it will be considered Published so you have to fill out the forms accordingly. Kind of a pain. In the future, I will always copyright first, then post it if I want to.

Also, once you send in the forms, it is retroactive to that date. So you can publish your songs after sending out the forms. The forms are downloadable from the web site. If you have questions they are good about answering them.

Regardless, if you have the original files with the time and date, it's yours and easy enough to prove, not to mention if you have all the work files.

Definitely read up at the copyright web site. IMO the 'poor man's' way or anything else is a waste of time and/or money.

Also, musicbizacademy has articles on this, and you can find exact steps to take there or by googling the subject. Once you've done it, it's easy. Doing it the first time is kind of a pain.
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Gargamel314
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Joined: 25 Dec 2007
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Location: Carneys Point, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never actually copyrighted anything, but i'm looking to copyright a new piece i've written. What's the $75 for? The page I looked at said $35 - http://www.copyright.gov/eco/

Sorry, I don't know what i'm doing, when it comes to legal stuff, i'm not too savvy.
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xmlguy
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, all orginal works that you have created are copyright, automatically. That was simple, wasn't it. The copyright office is for registration of your copyrights, if you feel it's worth paying the fee. The copyright office doesn't grant copyrights - you get copyright by virtual of creating something original and putting it down on paper or media of some kind. There are benefits of registration, but really, do you really think you'll be defending your copyright in court? Legal fees are very expensive. That money might be better spent trying to get people to first WANT to copy your work, before you concern yourself too much with KEEPING them from copying it. Once you start seeing some real sales, then the fees to register your music won't be much to pay at that time.
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tpantano
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gargamel314 wrote:
I've never actually copyrighted anything, but i'm looking to copyright a new piece i've written. What's the $75 for? The page I looked at said $35 - http://www.copyright.gov/eco/

Sorry, I don't know what i'm doing, when it comes to legal stuff, i'm not too savvy.

$35 is the legal price, yes. $75 was his guess at the price.
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Gargamel314
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Joined: 25 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xmlguy wrote:
Actually, all orginal works that you have created are copyright, automatically. That was simple, wasn't it. The copyright office is for registration of your copyrights, if you feel it's worth paying the fee. The copyright office doesn't grant copyrights - you get copyright by virtual of creating something original and putting it down on paper or media of some kind. There are benefits of registration, but really, do you really think you'll be defending your copyright in court? Legal fees are very expensive. That money might be better spent trying to get people to first WANT to copy your work, before you concern yourself too much with KEEPING them from copying it. Once you start seeing some real sales, then the fees to register your music won't be much to pay at that time.


I'm not actually trying to make any money on this project. my composition is actually for a video for a friend who adopted an abandoned baby in India. She's gone through 2 years of fighting the courts over there, and her case has actually rewritten Indian adoption laws. Now we're trying to help her get past US immigration so she can bring him home. I'm just worried about someone deciding to put their name on my project and then sue me for using "their" work. Just taking precautions. Can someone actually do that? I figure with the millions of people on the internet, there's always some horrible person who would do something like that, and i've heard about it happening to even the most ordinary of projects.
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xmlguy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gargamel314 wrote:

I'm not actually trying to make any money on this project. my composition is actually for a video for a friend who adopted an abandoned baby in India. She's gone through 2 years of fighting the courts over there, and her case has actually rewritten Indian adoption laws. Now we're trying to help her get past US immigration so she can bring him home. I'm just worried about someone deciding to put their name on my project and then sue me for using "their" work. Just taking precautions. Can someone actually do that? I figure with the millions of people on the internet, there's always some horrible person who would do something like that, and i've heard about it happening to even the most ordinary of projects.


In this case, it sounds like the video is the only thing that you could seek protection via copyright protection, but consider that the video probably has people, images, voices, and situations that are yours or that of those who participated in it, right? Ya think someone is going to go to court to claim that it's not you who made the video, but themselves? That would only be plausible if the person trying to claim it was somehow obviously involved in it, so in that case, your best protection isn't copyright but written contracts and releases with all the participants. Those contracts/releases will be much more powerful in court to defend yourself from unauthorized use and someone trying to go after you for using your own material. Copyright registration isn't enough to establish clear ownership and rights. Let's say someone in the video claims that it was their idea and they were just paying you to video it - then you sold it without their permission. That's a far more likely possibility than someone from out of the blue trying to claim ownership of your work. And copyright registration may be useless to defend yourself, since it doesn't have anything to do with the validity of the copyright.

When someone pays you (or claims to have paid you) to video something, in general, the person paying has the legal copyright under work-for-hire contract law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_for_hire

Since another country is involved - you also have more than one jurisdiction to consider. You probably should spend money consulting an attorney that specializes in international intellectual property laws for all the jursidictions involved. Would you perform surgery on yourself? Probably not a good idea. So don't perform legal services on yourself either. If an attorney is wrong you can sue him/her for malpractice. If someone on this forum is wrong - oh well - you have no recourse when you follow advice that was wrong or inappropriate for your situation.
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bpoodoo
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Joined: 27 Dec 2019
Posts: 260
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A primary issue in copyright disputes is "who wrote it first?".

In the digital world, a reliable, accurate, untamperable, unspoofable timestamp of your copyrighted work is essential.

After I write, perform, and record an original composition, I send myself an email or emails with .mp3 attachments of the song recording and any sketch images of the composition chord progression, etc., signed and dated. The date/time stamp and content of email you send and receive using major third-party email services are virtually impossible to modify or tamper with.

You might also upload to YouTube, Google Drive, etc. which have timestamps automatically assigned to further cover your bases.

This may be a variant of a poor man's of copyright protection, and I'm not sure it would hold up in court, or meet the requirements of any particular hosting site to process a copyright infringement complaint.
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