copywriting an album that has already been published

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Mmichaelis
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copywriting an album that has already been published

Post by Mmichaelis » Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:51 pm

Greetings!

I know copywriting has been discussed a lot here. As we all know, normally to register one album of 10 “unpublished” songs with the US copyright office, it would cost $55. But if is “published”, meaning available commercially to the public, it’s a whole different story. It would be $55 per SONG. And when I called them today, they indicated that later this month that price will be increasing. Unfortunately, for the 10-song album I released on 1/1/20, I didn’t know this until now. I really don't want to pay over $500 to protect my songs. I’ve researched about the “poor persons copyright” which is to mail to yourself a copy, and that these days it is easy to “prove” that you wrote something with upload time stamps etc. but it seems silly that to formally protect your published work it would be that much. I mean, I think I’ve made 10 cents off my album so far on Spotify? Crazy.
Let me know if you’ve been able to register a published album without it costing a fortune. Thanks all!

Matt Michaelis
The Album: "Intergalactic"
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... K9oEMkdkmM

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RPaul
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Re: copywriting an album that has already been published

Post by RPaul » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:27 am

If your album is first released as a physical product, like a CD, you should be able to register the copyright as a "unit of publication" for all the elements of it that you own. (If it is a collaborative work with others, with different parts owned by different people, that may complicate things in a way similar to how having a recording and song with different collaborators so, where you can't just use one SR registration to do both song and recording, so you need separate SR and PA forms.) You might check into that possibility.

It appears that the unit of publication possibility for registering a group of works may currently only apply to physical product, but it also looks like there is a proposal to do a similar thing for works that are only released digitally:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... m-of-music

Given the notice in the link above has comments closed already, and was from last year, I have no clue if there is some update to it, such as whether the proposal was rejected or if there may already be a possibility available in this area.

For my own part, I've had to do individual song, and sometimes individual song and recording, registrations due to collaborations on the songwriting front. But I am often first releasing songs as singles before including them in albums. Also, the years of creation are also different between songs and the recordings. And, yeah, it gets very expensive.

Rick

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Re: copywriting an album that has already been published

Post by cosmicdolphin » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:47 am

Matt

You already own the copyright by virtue of the fact you created and recorded them.

" Copyright is automatically granted to the author of an original work . Registration is not necessary. However, registration amplifies a copyright holder's rights in a number of ways. "

Sure, you can pay but do you think these songs are so good that someone who hears them will want to steal them for their own nefarious purposes? If I was in the market to steal someones song then these are probably not the ones I am going after and judging from your play stats they're not going viral anytime soon.

Like you say..you'll most likely only ever earn pennies so I would save the $500 and use it for something that might help your music career..Like Taxi !

PS - In the UK we have no formal copyright registration and everyone gets along just fine.

Mark

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Re: copywriting an album that has already been published

Post by andygabrys » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:11 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:47 am
Sure, you can pay but do you think these songs are so good that someone who hears them will want to steal them for their own nefarious purposes? If I was in the market to steal someones song then these are probably not the ones I am going after and judging from your play stats they're not going viral anytime soon.

Like you say..you'll most likely only ever earn pennies so I would save the $500 and use it for something that might help your music career..Like Taxi !
Ouch!

BTW - registering copyrights with copyright.gov does only one thing:

Allows you to bring a lawsuit against somebody who you feel has infringed on your copyright.

Figures I have heard - if you are wronged more than about $75,000 US then you will come out of the suit with some pennies. If its less than that, the lawyers fees will eat all of that money up.

A total waste of money you will find.

Note: if you create works that are signed exclusively by a publisher then they worry about copyright as well.

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