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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Copyrighting your work

Hey folks,

Ive been wrighting music mostly for myself for about 15 years. I have had one or two pieces for orchestra, string trio and choir performed... and I have lots of guitar music for steel string, classical and electric that I have recorded or written down... For example Im currently mid way through writing a set of studies for the electric guitar.... string skipping, alternate picking and sweep picking (as of today) are now done...

I dont ever intend on making money from any of this but would be seriously annoyed if someone else did ... but would one day like to share it with anyone so inclined

so my question is do any of you fellow composers regularly use a compyrighting service? or what do you do about copyright in general?

Steve
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Check this out Devo,

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl105.pdf

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl7.html

Hopefully this will help.

Jimmy
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

My lawyer friend told me that if you really dont want to spend alot of money on copyrighting your work, you can box up your music on cd and post it to yourself and never open it. Keep it safe and if anyone ever uses your work without paying, you have proof of your music as the post office puts a stamp date on your package which is admisable in court. Meaning you had a copy of this music from this date onwards and the person copying your work would have no proof of ever being the creator.

Also the same as above but getting a lawyer to hold the item for you on their property is also something that can be done. I know it all sounds a little childish, but apparently it does give protection.

My music is made on programs such as fruity loops and acid pro, so if anyone ever copied it, I could produce the stripped down seperated version of my work digitally and that would prove that the music was mine.

A slightly more simple way of protection....
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:12 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Yes the above is correct. In almost all instances work is Copyright protected on creation. You should anotate this correctly on creation ie the copyright and year of creation on to the product. The important aspect is to ensure that you can provide evidence/proof that the piece was created on a specific date. The above would fullfil that criteria. You should check your own individual country for specific detail.

- Wolfram
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

[QUOTE=IbanezFreak777;707479]My lawyer friend told me that if you really dont want to spend alot of money on copyrighting your work, you can box up your music on cd and post it to yourself and never open it. Keep it safe and if anyone ever uses your work without paying, you have proof of your music as the post office puts a stamp date on your package which is admisable in court. Meaning you had a copy of this music from this date onwards and the person copying your work would have no proof of ever being the creator.

QUOTE]

Standard, accepted practice, and pretty much foolproof in court too. I was told exactly the same thing. The issue is that if someone rips you off, you STILL have to hire a lawyer, and you STILL have to sue them, then you STILL have to extract damages!

Also, it is wise to put the little copyright symbol on any written stuff you send out, and all that "All rights reserved etc etc etc" There is a standard boilerplate version of this which should be pretty easy to obtain.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:26 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Oh yeah, the other thing about IbbyFreaks method is that you have to use some form of REGISTERED mail - can't remember the exact reason why, but it's reasonably significant!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:28 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Actually, just thinking about the above - on a CD, the file also comes with the "date created" stamp as part of the meta data attached to it, so you are one step further protected there (maybe not audio files - not sure there)

Okay, I'm, er, shutting up now .......
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Thanks for the replies,

Unfotunatly digital date stamps are pretty weak evidence in court as I can make my computer think its 1980 if I want burn the CD and then turn the date back to normal again... and the CD will quite happily think it was made in 1980... before CDs let alone writable CDs were invented

The same problem occurs with posting your self stuff. I can post myself 20 open letters by registered post now and then fill them with stuff and seal them when I need to... so its also pretty weak

Im going to have to publish/register them I think... I might squeeze as many tracks as I can onto a few CDs and register them as albums of work to save cash
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 05:14 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devo View Post
Thanks for the replies,

Unfotunatly digital date stamps are pretty weak evidence in court as I can make my computer think its 1980 if I want burn the CD and then turn the date back to normal again... and the CD will quite happily think it was made in 1980... before CDs let alone writable CDs were invented

The same problem occurs with posting your self stuff. I can post myself 20 open letters by registered post now and then fill them with stuff and seal them when I need to... so its also pretty weak

Im going to have to publish/register them I think... I might squeeze as many tracks as I can onto a few CDs and register them as albums of work to save cash
No, there's definitely a way of doing the registered post thing - the envelope has to remain sealed and stamped by the postage service, but it's definitely an accepted way of ensuring copyright - strongly suggest you look into it!

Cheers

David
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

It isn't that expensive to copyright a song, I paid maybe 5 dollars a song.
The cool thing is, about a year later you can look yourself up in the LOC.gov Website
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:35 PM
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Seal the envelope. Sign (or some other marker which will show if broken) across the seal. Cover seal with transparent tape. Post. That'll stand up in court, for sure - it's been a tried and tested method for years.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

I believe that if the author believes the material should be copyrighted for whatever reason, then it is worth doing it the right way. The postal method is not real, it's not binding in court & is very easily dismissed by an attorney.


Proper copyright proceedures are pretty simple.

All you need is the application form filled out, one or two tapes or CD's of the material (depending on how/what you are copyrighting & of course the fee's for each application sent in to the Library of Congress Register of Copyright office.

If the work is not being published you can copyright multiple songs on one application as a collection of work & save money

Then youre pretty much done & legally protected.



Here is the .gov site with all the info...

http://www.copyright.gov/
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minimum Bob View Post
Seal the envelope. Sign (or some other marker which will show if broken) across the seal. Cover seal with transparent tape. Post. That'll stand up in court, for sure - it's been a tried and tested method for years.
Both the above methods are called "Poor man's copyright" They do not stand up in court, and are no substitute for legally copyrighting your material. For something that is not going to be published its okay, but for anything that someone is going to try to sell, go the legal route. Good luck
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

The whole mailing your works to yourself only holds up on a state level. It's common law (I think that's right). When it comes to a federal level, your works MUST be registered to hold up in a court case.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2007, 07:53 AM
 
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Re: Copyrighting your work

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540s View Post
you can copyright multiple songs on one application as a collection of work & save money


http://www.copyright.gov/
EXACTLY!! You might as well get as many done as you can because it will cost the same!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David McCarroll View Post
strongly suggest you look into it!
YES!!! DO IT!!!

We've had some "ideas" ripped off in the past from posting "youtube"

Our bad (DUH) but thank god they don't have a clue how to play

follow 540s link and you'll be fine, and do NOT post "unprotected" originals anywhere! You'd be surprised how many rip offs there are out there and people who's soul purpose is to seek out and steal others ideas

LAME~!
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