Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Music Business/Law Tips - "Copyright Protection"
A songwriter should protect the song(s) they write to ensure maximum income streams and defend against infringement. The songwriter(s) own the copyright in an original work. The term of copyright generally is life of the author plus 70 years. This means the originator(s) control all the rights for that period (e.g., record, distribute, perform, etc.). Copyright exists once the song is in a “tangible” form. Generally this would be a recording (demo is OK). There is no requirement to file the song with the US Copyright Office to create a copyright, but a writer obtains additional legal rights by doing so (i.e., right to sue in court for infringement and get statutory damages), and filing is a presumption of authorship. Hence, it’s best to file any songs with the US Copyright Office that a writer plans to exploit, and just to be safe always put the © symbol next to the song title on credits or demos sent out. Ben McLane Esq Benmclane.com