• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


Do you SR copyright a barebones Demo?

cbstrat

Member
Messages
425
I've made some basic home-studio recording of my original songs with the focus on lyrics and melody. If want to post them on the internet or submit them to labels, should I obtain a Sound Recording copyright?
 

Guitar Josh

Resident Curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
18,945
I've made some basic home-studio recording of my original songs with the focus on lyrics and melody. If want to post them on the internet or submit them to labels, should I obtain a Sound Recording copyright?
Lyrics and melody is all you need for a copyright.
 

Slotunes

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
297
As long as you wrote the material, then you are the sole owner of it, under current law.One way to ensure and protect yourself is to mail yourself a copy of the demo and don't open it.It will have a postmark etc. on it and thats all you need.You can also got thru the copyright office but its currently 30.00 a tune, but for indie artists a simple copy mailed to themselves is sufficient.Hope this helps.
 

cbstrat

Member
Messages
425
I understand the PA copyright for writing the song and lyrics. The non-professional recording would serve that propose.

My confusion comes in that I have made a sound recording (SR). If I distribute copies of it, I thought I would need a SA copyright for that part of the process.

It seems similar to having to register twice as both writer and publisher for ASCAP/BMI if you wear both hats.
 

Somniferous

Member
Messages
1,207
As long as you wrote the material, then you are the sole owner of it, under current law.One way to ensure and protect yourself is to mail yourself a copy of the demo and don't open it.It will have a postmark etc. on it and thats all you need.You can also got thru the copyright office but its currently 30.00 a tune, but for indie artists a simple copy mailed to themselves is sufficient.Hope this helps.
Unfortantly mailing yourself a copy is not considered a legal copyright, and will not hold up in court. Poor mans copyrights really dont exist.

The cheapest option would to make a collection of songs, something like "my songs collection 1", then copyright the whole collection. If at a latter date you need more protection, the collection way prevents searching for a specific song, you can reapply each song for it's own copyright when you get the money.
 

cbstrat

Member
Messages
425
At the risk of highjacking my own thread. I'm asking if you think you should get a copyright for a demo recording regardless of it's production quality.

If you produce your own CD you must file a PA form to protect the lyrics and melody. Then you need to file an SR form for the actual recording.
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,929
At the risk of highjacking my own thread. I'm asking if you think you should get a copyright for a demo recording regardless of it's production quality.

If you produce your own CD you must file a PA form to protect the lyrics and melody. Then you need to file an SR form for the actual recording.

Well, if your concerned about someone stealing the music, audio quality doesn't matter and you should protect it. I also have some material that will be finished soon and I plan to do as Somniferous mentions, copyright the collection.....at least thats the plan for now.
 

peridot1

Member
Messages
1,264
There's so much music out there I don't bother with a copyright unless I know I have something marketable (hasn't happened yet). A lot of times I think name and image sells more than songs in a way. Like Madona's 'Like a Virgin' would have never been a hit if it wasn't for her.

But yeah you would need a SR or some type of library of congress form to protect your song from infringement. Without it no court will hear your case. Even though it's yours by definition you can't file suit.
 

johneeeveee

Member
Messages
1,613
As long as you wrote the material, then you are the sole owner of it, under current law.One way to ensure and protect yourself is to mail yourself a copy of the demo and don't open it.It will have a postmark etc. on it and thats all you need.You can also got thru the copyright office but its currently 30.00 a tune, but for indie artists a simple copy mailed to themselves is sufficient.Hope this helps.
With all due respect, mailing a copy to yourself is not a good substitute for a legitimate copyright. You should always copyright your work if you are serious about your rights to ownership. This is not my opinion, but one that has been repeated to me time and time again by reputable entertainment lawyers.

Here is an excellent article by a lawyer I have worked with quite a bit:
http://www.indiependencemusic.net/soundadvice.php

Also, you can copyright as many songs as you like as a "work", and can do it all online. For example, I have always registered all the songs for each of my records as such and it only costs $30 for the whole collection of songs. This is money well spent if you are even a bit serious about your work.

BTW production quality is not an issue.

Hope this helps and good luck - jv
 
Last edited:

6789

Member
Messages
2,855
At the risk of highjacking my own thread. I'm asking if you think you should get a copyright for a demo recording regardless of it's production quality.

If you produce your own CD you must file a PA form to protect the lyrics and melody. Then you need to file an SR form for the actual recording.
If you want to protect the recording of your song, then yes file SR to register the recording. Bands like guided by voices recorded lo-fi 4 track cassette recordings and released them as albums. whether it's hi fi or lo fi, if you want to protect it register it.

There is a way of filling out form SR so that it does the work of SR and PA -- both sound recording and composition.

Don't fool yourself with the poor man's method. if you are able to take the time to send a package to yourself, you can certainaly handle sending it to the library of congress.
 

peridot1

Member
Messages
1,264
There was an article awhile back about a Britney Spears song called 'Sometimes'. Apparently the guy who wrote it did the 'poor man's copyright' of mailing it to himself. Britney was unaware that an infringement took place so I guess it was in the shuffle somehow with one of her people. Because there was no Library of Congress form the judge dismissed the suit.
 

Big Boss Man

Member
Messages
2,455
You can get a registered copyright for both the music and sound recording at the same time for a single fee. The gov copyright web site lets you do the whole copyright registration on line now including an upload of your sound recording. It's pretty slick and easy to use. Mailing yourself a copy of your music does absolutely nothing to protect you.
 

harvestmark

Member
Messages
438
To my knowledge, at this point you would want to do the PA form, not the SR. SR is an acronym for sound recording. Unless this is the songs final form, use PA, which, if I'm not mistaken, protect the composition, not the literal recording.
Mark Miller
 

parns2112

Member
Messages
144
PA is for protecting compositions (i.e. music and lyrics)
SR is for protecting a sound recording. You can use SR to however to copyright the sound recording and the underlying composition jointly.

A song is legally copyrighted once placed in a "tangible medium" such as a recording or lead sheet. However, register your works for The U.S. Copyright Office. In a copyright infringement claim, there can be actual and statutory damages. If you're not registered, you don't qualify for statutory damages.
 




Trending Topics

Top