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Protect Music - Basics For Songwriters -

  • On 04/28/2011

Nowadays it is very easy to access programs and sites which give you a summarized background on how to produce your own music and choose from different genres.Although this is a good thing for those who aspire to be an artist there are some disadvantages to it too; an example of it is the abundance of plagiarism and piracy due to the fact that more artists are losing their own originality due to the nonstop wave of competition appearing every single day.

So how does an aspiring musician protect music?
How can he save a self-produced song from the harm of the very open World Wide Web?

How to protect music basically is the question; and the answer to this is the Copyright Law.

The Copyright Law is a law that gives the author or the original creator the right to copy, distribute and sell his own work. In music there are two types of copyright principle, the ‘C in a circle’ or the ‘P in the circle’ and year of creation.

For example: © 2011

These two principles of copyright have their own uses; the former is for the content of the music itself: lyrics, musical score and how it was composed, the latter on the other hand is for sound recording.

There are other alternative ways too to establish copyrights for the music made by an artist, one of this is the ‘Poor Man’s Copyright’; this works when an artist finishes recording his produced music on a tape or CD and puts it in a sealed envelope and mails it back to himself through a registered postal service.
This way there is an official record that the artist himself possessed the material in a specific period of time. Although this is a good alternative for copyrighting one’s music it is not recommended because there are many loopholes.

Another way is when an artist finishes making his music, he may let other people listen to it, such as his family, this way he establishes a group of witnesses that he is the creator of the music.
Witnesses are good assets when one’s creation is plagiarized and in need of a court trial.

Upon the creation of music, the artist himself is already awarded the rights that fall in the Copyright Law. And registering his creation to the Copyright Office is voluntary which means that one can choose whether he will dolefully apply his creation to the Copyright Office and get an official document or he can employ the ‘Poor Man’s Copyright’ or the establishment of a group of witnesses system.

It is highly recommended for those aspiring young artists to actually register their music or materials to the Copyright Office even though it is a little expensive for a number of reasons, first reason, because it is the safest way to copyright one’s creation, secondly, it assures an artist of having registered documents copyrighting his music, and lastly, if the artist intends to sell his creation then he is entitled credits for the music or material used.

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