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Song Copyrights / Registration

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by Tony Z, Sep 30, 2022.

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  1. Tony Z

    Tony Z Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi I was wondering if having your music & lyrics 'scored' by a professional company creating sheet music for your song with them and inserting a copyright symbol on this score, means it's actually copyrighted ? and are my lyrics and melody actually protected - to a degree as opposed to registering this copyright with the US Copyright office ?

    Reason being, it seems like a very thin tightrope to walk when deciding to register a copyright as once it's registered and public information, I've heard they, (the US Copyright office), puts all your private info out on google-your cell phone-your home address etc.. because they state that it lets 'related businesses' find you easier...basically meaning whomever wants to... can look you up and go to knock on your door..or keep calling you .....which I don't think is a good idea nowadays...

    Of course I think you can register with a 'pseudonym' but then you'll have limited legal avenues if someone's using your song.. anyways, my main question is if my song melody and lyrics are scored.by a professional company..is this protected?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You have copyright protection the minute you produce it.

    The symbol may deter some people from infringing but the music is not fully protected until you, personally, register your work with the US Copyright Office.

    U.S. Copyright Office | U.S. Copyright Office

    Well, if fear prevents you from registering your work I don't know what to tell you.

    I suggest you consult a copyright attorney.
     
  3. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Since 1989 when the US finally signed on to Berne, there's no significance to putting the words copyright or the © symbol on things (and despite years of idiot programmers putting them in comments (c) has ZERO meaning in the law). As soon as your song is set down in tangible form, it is protected by copyright law. Generally, they're just fluff scarewords now to let people know that there is no intent that this is public domain.

    Registration is necessary before proceeding on an infringement case in court. Earlier registration can give you some other legal rights. You can get more information here: Frequently Asked Questions | U.S. Copyright Office

    Your underlying premise is incorrect. Registering the copyright doesn't put your "cell phone number" and everything on google. The name of the author is there indeed.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No.

    You have been woefully misinformed.

    Your real name can appear without your personal contact information.

    I looked up a few copyright registrations at random and found that contact information was for agents, record companies, lawyers, etc.

    All services that you can avail yourself of to avoid posting your personal information.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    This question doesn't entirely make sense because the word "copyright" isn't properly used as a verb.

    A copyright (noun) is a set of legal rights. Those rights are set out in section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code).

    The copyright is owned by the author of the work. In the case of a song, that means writing out the song in musical notation or recording it in some way (and, in the case of lyrics, writing/typing them out).

    With respect to "a professional company creating creating sheet music for your song," I'd need to know exactly what was done. For example, did you send this company a digital audio file and request that the company create sheet music based on the audio? Are you saying that the finished product included something like, "© 2022 A Professional Company"? Did you sign any sort of written contract with the company (or were there terms and conditions to which you agreed)? If so, what does the contract/T&C say about copyright ownership?

    The rights of copyright and the protection afforded by copyright law exist from the moment a qualifying work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. 17 U.S.C. section 102. Registration provides a couple of significant benefits, but it is not a prerequisite to copyright protection.

    Huh? The Copyright Office does not "put[] [anything] out on [G]oogle." The Copyright Office does, however, maintain a searchable database of all registrations. That database doesn't include phone numbers, and if you don't want your address in that database, you can get a P.O. box or private mailbox. You can also register works anonymously or pseudonymously (although there are negative aspects to those types of registrations).

    Agree.
     
  6. Tony Z

    Tony Z Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your advice
     

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