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Copyright/publishing questions

01 Mar 02 - 10:33 AM (#660620)
Subject: Copyright/publishing questions
From: GUEST,paulbobbybuzz

Hi 'catters. Three of my songs and one of my wife's poems are going to be included on a CD of all original Christian music. We will be performing them, along with other musicians. The CD is a project for a non-profit Catholic diocese program called the Maria House Projects. One song has been copyrighted in a collection of mine with the Library of Congress; another has been copyrighted in the same manner in an earlier collection of mine, but I've made some key and lyric changes. The third has never been copyrighted at all. What do I need to do to protect them? Also, I'm of the understanding that poetry is treated differently, and is already owned by the author once it is put down on paper. Does anybody know if this changes once music is arranged to be played behind her reading of it on the CD? Thanks for any help pbb

01 Mar 02 - 12:55 PM (#660700)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: GUEST,Vixen @ Work

My understanding, after reading everything I could get my hands on, is if you want credit for it, record it, write down the lyrics, and send the tape and lyrics to the Library of Congress with the appropriate forms. Sooner is better.

Technically, as soon as you've recorded an original, it's copyrighted, but that can be beastly to prove in the event somebody steals it. I also have saved all the rough drafts of everything I've written (what a mess!) so I should be able to show how the piece evolved.

Good Luck!


01 Mar 02 - 01:16 PM (#660709)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: GUEST,SlickerBill

In Canada, it's yours as soon as you've written it. The cheapest way to go is to send it to yourself (lyrics, with dates, by you, etc.) by registered mail, and then just keep the sealed envelope in a safe place. There's yer proof. Here you can also join SOCAN, which registers and tracks members' work. You might look into something like that where you are. SB

01 Mar 02 - 01:22 PM (#660715)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: SeanM

The registered mail trick is oft heard, but it's also something that can get shot down if it comes down to contesting in court.

I can't speak for the Canadian, UK or other copyright requirements, but for the US at least, if you're recording and selling your work and copyright is a real concern... do it right. It's not that hard of a process, and if you really want to protect yourself, going the full distance is a MUCH better idea than relying on something a lawyer can shred in thirty seconds in a court.


01 Mar 02 - 01:28 PM (#660722)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Big Mick

Right on the mark, Sean. Take the time to do it right. I just recorded a song that, if I hadn't been so damn determined to track down the author and compensate/credit him, I could have ripped off fairly easily. Do it right, and list it. Takes very little effort.


01 Mar 02 - 01:37 PM (#660731)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Mark Cohen

Rather than guess, I'd suggest going to the information page of the U.S. Copyright Office. That should have all the information you need. I've gone through the procedure, and it's not all that complicated. Congratulations, and good luck!


01 Mar 02 - 01:43 PM (#660735)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Go to US Gov and get the straight dope directly from the Government.
I worked for a company doing research. We kept a record of everything we did in a bound notebook, with dates, in our own handwriting. This was in addition to dealing with copyrights and patents, which the company did for us.
The company lawyers said this day-to-day record of our work would be helpful if a court case ever came up. A cheap bound school-type notebook was fine. I also found that the notebooks were personally helpful because I have a terrible memory of what I did and when. I kept a sort of personal diary in the same books.

01 Mar 02 - 01:46 PM (#660737)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Nuts! I left out a period. Here is another try: US Gov

01 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM (#660738)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Mrrzy

If these are Christian, why copyright them, ought they not to be widely shared? ;) (and ducking)

01 Mar 02 - 03:02 PM (#660780)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Maryrrf

Right, but just copywriting them doesn't get you paid if somebody decides to record your songs. For that, don't you have to join BMI or ASCAP - or is it Harry Fox? And in the UK isn't it the Performing ARts Society, or something like that?

01 Mar 02 - 03:03 PM (#660783)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Maryrrf

Also, has anyone actually tried to track down a song through the copyright office? I would think that would be quite an undertaking.

01 Mar 02 - 05:29 PM (#660891)
Subject: RE: Copyright/publishing questions
From: Bennet Zurofsky

There are several previous threads on this subject. If you look at the one entitled: "Help: Copyright: to incorporate or not?" you will find there an entry that I wrote as a lawyer.

-Bennet D. Zurofsky, Esq.