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Copyright Music: The Basics

How to Copyright Music: Getting Started

There are quite a few necessities for a musician to be successful and earn a living off of their creativity. However, at the top of the list an artist should copyright music, so they can protect and earn with their hard work. Without the help of a music lawyer, the finer details of copyrighting music are tough to figure out. A music attorney can help clear up any confusion and get you a handle on your intellectual property. Unfortunately, the funds for an attorney may not always be available so we will try our best to go over the basics you need to copyright music.

 

How to Copyright Music: The Important Stuff

So, let’s get started with the absolute basic question that every musician must understand. What is a music copyright? Copyright music is the set of rights granted by your country’s government for the intellectual property that you create. This varies for each country however they all exist to help you control what you can do with your song or recording. Additionally, you have control over who can and can’t exploit your work for profit and how you get paid for your music.

In addition to know what exactly it means to copyright music, we must know the different types of musical copyright. Most noteworthy, there are two different forms. A musician can get a copyright covering the entire song called the composition. The other music copyright to be aware of is called the master which covers the recording of the song. It’s worth noting that these two copyrights can be owned by two separate parties.

Finally, we can look at the question you’re all here for. How to copyright music… as far as the US and Canada goes, the copyright is applicable immediately upon completion of a song. Whether it is writing it out in sheet music or recording it. It isn’t mandatory to apply a copyright notice but officially applying for registration will help if somebody is looking to use your work.

For more information you can visit the US copyright registration website.

Additionally, here are free music contracts for musicians looking to protect their work while doing business.