Musings on My Music: 2010-July-19 | Copyrighting My Songs
COPYRIGHTING MY MUSIC
Great news! I took a major step in my musical career: I copyrighted 75 of my songs this past weekend! (Hundreds more to go.) The Library of Congress Copyright Office‘s website made it easy and relatively fast to do. I was able to fill out the appropriate application form and load up the files of my copyright materials – the sound recordings and the typed-up lyrics of my songs – all on their website.
Recording the songs, mixing the tracks, converting the digital files to the proper file format, typing the lyrics, and putting them in the proper file format were the most time-consuming, but applying for the copyrights was pretty easy.
The cost for online copyright registration is $35 per registration/application. However, I was able to register 75 of my songs under one application registering a ‘collection’ of unpublished works. The ability to register a group of songs, poems, stories, etc., is an affordable way to protect your rights without hiring an attorney or agent.
You probably know that the moment you write something down – a song, a poem, or whatever – you own the copyright to your creation. Registering your work with the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office is simply an important step toward protecting your copyright, in case you ever have to prove that you are the author or composer of your work.
Unfortunately, we have to deal with the reality of a world where people will steal your words, your music, your intellectual property, and your identity – not just your stuff – forcing us to be ever-vigilant in protecting ourselves and our rights.
As someone who has always been accused of being too trusting and Pollyannish and has suffered the consequences of being such, I have had to learn to be a bit more cautious. But that’s a good thing, I guess, and so is protecting my songs and rights through copyright registration. And I strongly recommend it for you, as well.
Now, I’m looking forward to the next phase in being able to share my songs with the world! For instance, formatting the songs so that they can be available on CDs and as MP3s. Designing a CD cover. Selecting the first set of songs for release and sale. Deciding on and setting up distribution channels, like Amazon. Signing up with the American Society for Composer, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Deciding on promotion vehicles for the songs, including posting the songs on this blog or creating a new one just for the songs; posting them on MySpace, YouTube and Facebook… and…
And… well, the list seems nearly endless! But I’m excited about the possibilities for the future and so happy simply to have taken that first formal step: copyrighting my songs.
Thank you for all your words of encouragement and support!
Until the next update… all the best! -Martie (Blue Beach Song)
Martie Hevia (c) 2010 – All Rights Reserved