Information if you live in the UK - advice from MCPS (PRS)
NO FORMAL REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO PROTECT COPYRIGHT
Songwriters should remember that under UK law both musical works and literary works are automatically protected from the time that they are committed to some material form - that is, written down or recorded in any way; no official registration is necessary to secure copyright in the work. Notification of a title, as is required from PRS members for the Society's works registration purposes, does not create copyright in the notified work or works.
A consequence of the above is that, in the event of a dispute over authorship, ownership or originality, there is no standard way of proving that one work was in existence before another. There are, however, several ways in which it is possible to prove that a work had been produced by a given date, namely:-
Deposit a copy with a solicitor or bank manager and obtain a dated receipt; charges would doubtless be made for this service;
Send a copy of the work to yourself by registered post, leaving the envelope unopened upon receipt;
Register the work at Stationers' Hall where a Copyright Register has been kept for many years.
The fee for the registration of a work or a group of works was £30.00 plus VAT. This fee provides registration for seven years; thereafter re-registration for another seven years can be obtained by payment of a further fee.
Their address is:-
Ave Maria Lane,
London, EC4M 7DD.
Tel: 020 7248 2934
Fax: 020 7489 1975