Why You Need to Copyright Your Music
When you set out to create a composition, write a set of lyrics, and assemble an entire musical piece, it is important to not only think about the creative steps but how you can protect your music once you have your finished product. One of the most important steps to think about is copyrighting your music.
If you are asking yourself whether you need to copyright your music, the simple answer is yes, but it is important to understand why and how it will help you in the long run. First, it’s important to know there is a difference between copyright and registration of the copyright. When a piece of music is created and put in some form, whether that be on paper, CD, or tape, the writer has a copyright. The next step is registration of the copyright, and this will get you additional benefits that are definitely worth the time investment.
Registration of the copyright is highly recommended as it gives the songwriter certain legal protection under copyright law. If someone uses your song without permission and you want to sue them, you can only do so if you have registered your copyright. You can go to court and initiate an infringement action on anyone who infringes on your work. This allows you to stop someone from using your work or receive a damage award for each infringement of your copyright. If you have not completed this process, you will not be able to take the matter to court and defend yourself against anyone who infringes on your copyright.
Another benefit of registration of copyright is you can receive payments for anyone that uses your work. If your songs are copyrighted and on file with the Library of Congress, then you will be able to receive payment if anyone records one of your songs.
How to do registration of copyright
To perform registration of copyright, you need to register with copyright.gov. You will need to complete the necessary forms and deposit copies of the songs with the Library of Congress. While this does take some time, it is definitely worth it to protect the future of your musical creations. Keep in mind; there are no disadvantages to copyright registration, only advantages.