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How to copyright music | 5 requirements for copyrighting music for artists, producers & songwriters

Updated: Mar 14, 2021



How to copyright music | 5 requirements for copyrighting music for artists, producers & songwriters In this episode we explore 5 requirements that make a copyright valid. These requirements include the copyright notice, copyright registration, copyright publication, original works of authorship, and fixation in tangible form.

Copyright your music today at copyright.gov


Introduction

Copyright law began in England with the first printing press. The Statute of Anne was the first English copyright enacted in 1709. The term of it was 14 years from the date of publication, 14 years on renewal term and it provided for fines and forfeiture of infringing copies.

The american copyright law soon followed, on May 31st 1790, as a federal copyright law and it was basically the same as the English law.


Until the 1976 Copyright Act, protection of unpublished works were almost entirely the province of state common law. The 1976 Copyright act changed all this by eliminating common law copyright for most purposes and making federal copyright attach not from the moment of a work’s publication, but from the moment of its first fixation in tangible form.

After more than a century outside the oldest and most important international copyright convention, the United states adhered to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, effective March 1, 1989. This will be the grounds for our overview of Copyright Law.


Requirements for Copyright

1. Notice

A standard notice reads © 2020 Music Money Makeover All rights reserved

Notice was required on publications of phonorecords and fixed mediums pre 1989 Brene Convention Statutes. The 1989 Berne Convention made the affixation of copyright notices optional rather than mandatory.

New subsections of the copyright statute provide as a general rule that if notice appears on the published copy or phonorecord to which the infringer had access, a court shall give no weight to a defense that innocent infringement should lessen the actual or statutory damages


2. Publication