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COPYRIGHT YOUR MUSIC
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INDIE ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, & LABEL RESOURCES
Nielson Broadcasting is best known as the company that rates the popularity of television programs. In addition to T.V., the company is also diversified in several music entertainment properties, and is the owner of Billboard magazine, as well as SoundScan.
SoundScan is an online service that tracks the sale of music and video releases. Any music product that carries a barcode is eligible to be tracked by SoundScan, if the retailer elects to report their sales to SoundScan. Although this is no longer the case, Newbury Comics elected NOT to report their sales to SoundScan for years as they thought that their competitors could use the information and negatively affect their own sales. Almost all......                                                           
                                                                                
SOUNDSCAN IS IMPORTANT HERE IS WHY..... 
COPYRIGHT YOUR MUSIC OR LOSE IT..... 
ASCAP & BMI REGISTER TO PREPARE FOR ROYALTIES
If you’ve ever read the liner notes of an album (especially back in olden times when CDs were still prevalent), you probably noticed either “(ASCAP)” or “(BMI)” next to each music publisher’s name. If you’ve ever wondered what those jumble of letters means, then this article is for you.  What is the “right of performance”?
When you create a musical composition, copyright law grants you certain rights (see my “Copyright & The Music Industry” article for a broader discussion) and one of those rights is the right to perform your work publicly. Now, this right doesn’t only refer to when an artist performs a song live at a club. ....                                               
                                                                                
When you submit a song for copyright you’re simply proving the date of submission of your work. The fine folks of the copyright office don’t sit around listening to every submission to see if they’ve heard it before. That would be an impossible task.  When you write or record your song, technically, you’ve created it — and thus you own the copyright to it. By submitting a song to the copyright office, you’re protecting your music simply by acknowledging the date of its creation.
It’s also important to note that certain aspects of your song are not protected even if you’ve registered the copyright. These include:


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Why independent songwriters should register the copyright for their music
[This article is written by Anthony Ceseri.]

Please Note: This article discusses opinions on copyrighting your music and should not be considered legal advice. If you’re unsure about how the copyright laws in your country will affect you, please contact a lawyer before proceeding.

When you submit a song for copyright you’re simply proving the date of submission of your work. The fine folks of the copyright office don’t sit around listening to every submission to see if they’ve heard it before. That would be an impossible task. When you write or record your song, technically, you’ve created it — and thus you own the copyright to it. By submitting a song to the copyright office, you’re protecting your music simply by acknowledging the date of its creation.

It’s also important to note that certain aspects of your song are not protected even if you’ve registered the copyright. These include:

* chord progressions

* the overall idea or concept of your song

* and a title or short phrase

Just think about how many songs have used cliche ideas like “I wish you were here,” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Also, imagine how many copyright infringements there would be if the I – V – vi – IV chord progression could be copyrighted. On the other hand, melodies and the actual lyrics are very much covered under copyright protection.

Beginning the copyright registration process
The website for submitting your song for copyright in the United States is http://www.copyright.gov/. On this website, you’ll be able to print forms for mailing in the music you want to copyright, or you can submit your music for copyright online, which makes submitting even easier.

When it comes time to copyrighting your music, there are two forms you can use as a songwriter. They are Form SR and Form PA. Technically, there are three forms, if you consider the fact that there’s also a short-form version of the PA form. But that offers the same protection as the PA form. SR stands for Sound Recording, while PA stands for Performing Arts. So how do you know which one to use? The following is from the Copyright Office’s website and will answer that for you:

When to Use Form SR (Sound Recordings)
Use Form SR for registration of published or unpublished sound recordings, that is, for registration of the particular sounds or recorded performance.

Form SR must also be used if you wish to make one registration for both the sound recording and the underlying work (the musical composition, dramatic, or literary work). You may make a single registration only if the copyright claimant is the same for both the sound recording and the underlying work. In this case, the authorship statement in Space 2 should specify that the claim covers both works.

Form SR is also the appropriate form for registration of a multimedia kit that combines two or more kinds of authorship including a sound recording (such as a kit containing a book and an audiocassette).

When to Use Form PA (Performing Arts)
For registration purposes, musical compositions and dramatic works that are recorded on disks or cassettes are works of the performing arts and should be registered on Form PA or Short Form PA. Therefore, if you wish to register only the underlying work that is a musical composition or dramatic work, use Form PA even though you may send a disk or cassette.

Examples of the Proper Use of Forms PA and SR
Jane Smith composes words and music, which she entitles “Blowing in the Breeze.” Even though she records it, she is not interested in registering the particular recording but only in registering the composition itself. If she decides to submit “Blowing in the Breeze” for copyright registration, she should use Form PA.

Emily Tree performs and records Jane Smith’s “Blowing in the Breeze” after complying with permissions and license procedures. If Emily decides to submit her recording for copyright registration, she should use Form SR.

The same principles apply to literary and dramatic works. A recorded performance of an actor speaking lines from “Hamlet” could be registered on Form SR as a sound recording. The claimant in the sound recording, of course, has no copyright in the underlying work, “Hamlet.”

Copyright registration costs…
There is a cost associated with each application, whether it’s a Form PA or From SR. Check the Copyright Office’s website for the most up-to-date fees. The good news is, if you’re copyrighting your own music, you can submit multiple songs under one application for one application fee. So if you’re copyrighting an album of ten songs, as opposed to copyrighting them one by one, you’ll save a few hundred bucks when protecting your work. Plus it saves you the paperwork of copyrighting all of your songs separately.

Poor-Man’s Copyright, and Other No-No’s
It’s also worth mentioning that there are a couple makeshift copyright alternatives that songwriters occasionally like to talk about. I don’t recommend doing these. The most popular is called the “Poor Man’s Copyright.” This is when you physically mail a recording of your song to yourself via certified mail and keep it sealed. Supposedly the postmark on the envelope will date your music and therefore protect you if someone comes along after that and steals your song. A newer version of this idea is simply putting your song on YouTube or another time-stamped social media outlet. The idea is that your music is dated and therefore protected by the time stamp on the social media site.

All I can say about these kinds of alternatives is — DON’T DO THEM! Their ideas may make sense to you, but if it ever came down to a court battle, you would absolutely want your music properly registered with the copyright office. Especially considering the fact that it’s really not that expensive if you submit a whole collection of songs at once. Taking the proper means to protect your music is something all artists should do as they move forward with their music careers.

Now that you have a background on how to get your music copyrighted, move forward with the process so you can get your music out to the masses and get heard!

For a lot more useful songwriting information, grab my free EBook here: http://successforyoursongs.com/freeoffer/
COPYRIGHT YOUR MUSIC OR LOSE IT