Protect Your Ownership! 5 Steps To Copyright Your Music
Updated: Mar 23
Written by: Rusheed "Portiay" Nash
Copyrighting a new song is a crucial step in protecting your intellectual property and ensuring that you are financially compensated for your work. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to copyright your new song:
Record your song: Before you can copyright your song, you must have a tangible version of it. This can be a recording of you singing or playing the song, a sheet music version, or a digital file of the song.
Register your song with the United States Copyright Office: To register your song with the copyright office, you will need to fill out an application and submit it along with a copy of your song and the appropriate fee. The copyright office offers online registration for songs, which can be completed on their website.
Create a copyright notice: A copyright notice is a statement that appears on your song, indicating that it is protected by copyright. The notice should include the word "Copyright" or the copyright symbol ©, the year of first publication, and the name of the copyright owner.
Deposit your song with the Library of Congress: After your song is registered with the copyright office, you will need to deposit a copy of it with the Library of Congress. This can be done by mailing a physical copy of the recording or by submitting an electronic copy.
Keep records of your song's use: Once your song is copyrighted, it is important to keep records of any commercial use or distribution of the song. This will help you to track any potential infringement and ensure that you are properly compensated for the use of your song.
It's important to note that copyrighting a song protects the specific recording or written version of the song, not the underlying melody or lyrics. Additionally, copyright protection begins as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible form. However, registering the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office gives the owner certain legal advantages, such as the ability to sue for infringement.
In conclusion, copyrighting a new song is an important step in protecting your intellectual property and ensuring that you are financially compensated for your work. By recording your song, registering it with the copyright office, creating a copyright notice, depositing it with the Library of Congress, and keeping records of its use, you can ensure that your rights as a songwriter are protected.
More details here: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ50.pdf