Copyrighting Your Music In The USA And Internationally

Posted by Aaron Davison on Thursday, September 6, 2012 Under: September 2012

Technically speaking, the minute you write a song, it's your intellectual property and by default you own the "copyright".  In other words it's your creation and you have the right to copy, distribute and sell your creation.  After all, it's your property, why wouldn't you?
The problem is that if someone were to ever steal your creation and claim it as their own, if you haven't registered your copyright with the US Copyright Office, it can be pretty tricky proving that your song is actually your song.
Copyrighting your music is not a pre-requisite per se to licensing your music.  You don't have to copyright your music in order to license your music in tv and films.  But it's a good idea to do if you can afford the fee, which is currently $35.00 online or $65.00 offline. 
I really don't hear that many stories of people having their music stolen, but it does happen and the more you're out there pitching your music, the greater the odds of it happening are. By registering your copyright with the US Copyright Office you're creating a legal paper trail that will allow you to prove that a song is yours if someone were to ever try and steal your songs and pass them off as their own.

So the bottom line on copyrighting your music is that if you can afford to do it, you should.  The chances of someone stealing your music and profiting from it is probably pretty slim, but it could happen, and for just $35.00 (for up to 30 titles) you can buy your self the peace of mind that comes with knowing your songs are protected.

For more information, visit the US Copyright Office's website:
Copyright Laws Outside Of The US

Copyright protection rules are fairly similar worldwide, due to several international copyright treaties, the most important being the Berne Convention. Per this treaty, all member countries -- and there are over 100, including practically all industrialized nations -- must afford copyright protection to writers who are residents of any member country.

Per the Berne Convention, all member countries must offer copyright protection that lasts for at least the life of the writer, plus 50 years, and must be automatic without the need for the author to take any legal steps to preserve the copyright.

In addition to the Berne Convention, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade treaty (GATT), contains a number of provisions that affect copyright protection in most industrialized nations.

Together, the Berne Copyright Convention and the GATT treaty allow U.S. writers to enforce their copyrights and protect their works in most industrialized nations, and allow the residents of those nations to enforce their copyrights in the United States.

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In : September 2012 

Tags: music licensing  copyright music 
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