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How to copyright music
How to Copyright Music for the Beginner
For those wondering how to copyright music the answer can be both long and short. The first thing to remember is that most people are confused about exactly what it means to actually copyright music. Music is actually copyrighted as soon as it is presented in a fixed form. It doesn't really matter whether that fixed form is as written sheet music or as a recording.
Most people are looking for solid legal protection and while a copyright is good to have, it is essentially worthless unless you've actually gone to the effort of also registering your copyright. Rather than asking 'how to copyright music', perhaps the better question would be 'what do I do now that I've copyrighted my music?'
It doesn't really matter what you call it unless you're moving around in legal or industry circles I suppose, but I've always felt that it's a good idea to have a clue about the process in which you are embarking. Now that we've answered how to copyright music, it's time to move on to the real issue, which is registering your copyright. Music is registered through the U. S. Copyright Office. You will need to fill out an application, pay a fee, and provide a copy of your music. As far as government dealings go, this is one of the least painful. Even the fee is marginal when you consider your 'hopeful' future profits and royalties.
All that aside, there is something that is massively satisfying about knowing how to copyright music and having your first piece of music registered. Music is an art form and the ability to write music is nothing insignificant. It is a real talent that is actually quite rare. Many popular musicians today use music that has been written by others either in addition to or rather than music that they have written themselves. Even if you aren't a talented performer, it doesn't mean that your music will never be seen or heard or that you should not bother learning how to copyright music. You just might find that you are more in demand for your particular talents than you would have ever dreamed possible.
The big thing to remember though is not to sit around wondering how to copyright music but to get out there and go about the process of creating and making more wonderful music to share with the world. It takes all kinds of music to keep this world turning and there is someone out there that is waiting to hear the music that you create. The process of how to copyright music is completely free. The process of registering your copyright is worth every penny you will spend. It is important to protect your music now more than ever with piracy and widespread downloading providing significant reductions in profits for everyone involved.
The music industry is also a very fickle industry and you need to maximize your profit potential and usefulness. Once you understand how to copyright music, you need to make sure every piece of music you have has been copyrighted, then you need to go through your music and systematically register each and every piece as well. Even if you must do one piece at a time until you manage to register the copyright on them all, it is much better to be safe than sorry should you ever go to trial in a copyright infringement case. Also remember to pay it forward and support up and coming musicians by sharing the information of how to copyright music and how to register copyrights as well.
Prayers, Ploys and Passions: The Poetry that Gets Published (published poetry) Some people may tell you that poetry doesn?t get published. Published poetry is only that written by people who have already died. That is not true however. Poetry is not as frequently found as other kinds of writing, but it is a genre that is still alive and well in today?s publishing world. If you are a poetry writer, you are also probably a poetry reader. You of all people know that poetry publishers are still out there. There are specific types of poetry that tend to get published though. There are special interest outlets for other types, but in general, what gets published gets repeatedly published as time goes on. There are three main categories that currently published poetry falls into. Those categories encompass the most important interests of people today. Prayers and Matters of Faith The first category of published poetry involves faith. There are people that subscribe to all different kinds of faith and it is that belief that is at the core of many people?s lives. Atheists are a minority in the world. Since faith is such an important part of so many people?s understandings of the world, it is no surprise that it draws poetic words from those who believe. It started long ago. The Bible, for example, is full of poetry. Those people who first knew God were inclined to speak of him through the illustrative voice of poetry. Today people are the same way. Such is their deep experience with God that they must express their emotions with an emotional type of writing. Since so many people have personal experiences with God, those who do not write are interested in reading the writings of others. For that reason, matters of faith, and especially expressive prayers placed in poetry get published. Ploys and Plans for the Nation National interest is also of major interest to most people. As a group of people head through their lives, united with others of the same nationality, they must want to know where the group as a whole is headed. Much of the published poetry in this category contains hopes and dreams for a country?s future and expected path through history. More of the poetry in this category though is in protest of how a nation has forged its path as it has grown. Frustration with events beyond one?s control elicits words that can only have their full meaning in poetry. Since those of a nation are united with each other, poetic commentaries about that nation are of interest to everyone. They help each person express their feelings and frustrations and hopes for their home country. Passion and the Human Condition of Love People are obviously not only connected to each other as citizens of the same country. People need each other in a much more personal sense than that. A third major category of published poetry is that which contains expressions of love between people. Love poems are a genre that dates back, again, to biblical times. Romantic love has always been a popular theme within poetry because of the passion that can be displayed with poetic devices. Other kinds of love are also well expressed in verse. The love of a mother for her child or that of a friend for another friend is a common topic in poetry. Humans thrive on love. That is why poetry about love gets published. Published poetry does fall into three major categories. It appears in books and anthologies, but also in magazines and even greeting cards. As long as a poem is effective in describing a common human reaction to life, it will probably be passed along from person to person. Poetry is a beloved form of writing that connects people to one another. As long as humanity feels, poetry will continue to be published.
Copyright Music Infringement Copyright Music Infringement is Not Preferred Method for Music Lovers In recent years, copyright music infringement has seen an unprecedented leap in scope and scale. This is largely due to online services that allowed unchecked file sharing among their subscribers. While this abuse of copyright is not by any means limited to music, this is where the most profound effects of file sharing have been observed. Industry giants of file sharing are cropping up left and right with the demise of the pioneer for illicit file sharing, Napster. The Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) has made copyright music infringement their primary cause to fight. They estimate that peer-to-peer file sharing takes around 4.2 billion dollars each year worldwide from the coffers of the music industry. I really cannot blame them that is a fairly large chunk of change. The problem with their estimates however is the assumption that people would actually buy every piece of music they download or that they aren't buying the music they would have bought at any rate. While I by no means condone copyright music infringement or any other copyright infringement I do believe they are overestimating the damage to the industry that is being done by these file-sharing programs. One of the primary arguments that the RIAA is using in order to, hopefully, discourage people from not supporting their favorite groups and artists by buying their recordings, is the fact that new and struggling bands are less likely to continue making music because it will no longer be profitable. The bulk of musician's incomes are the result of royalties, which depend entirely on the sales of their albums. The RIAA is using the legal system to back them up by taking the fight to court. Recent claims made by the RIAA include one rather controversial claim that people ripping CDs they have bought and paid for does not constitute fair use because CDs are not "unusually subject to damage" and that if they do become damaged they can be replaced affordably. This assertion has raised more than a few eyebrows and is giving rise to opponents of the RIAA who claim that the lawsuits and crackdowns against those presumed guilty of copyright music infringement are actually hurting music sales and the profits of the music industry. During the height of Napster popularity (the hallmark by which all file sharing seems to be compared) CD sales were at their highest rate ever. People were exposed to music and groups they otherwise may not have heard without file sharing. As a result of enjoying the music by these groups people went out and actually bought the CDs of the music they enjoyed. It's ironic that the very lawsuits designed to stop copyright music infringement have actually managed to stifle file sharing enough that CD sales are dropping noticeably around the world. Opponents and critics also challenge that rather than being a source of copyright music infringement, peer 2 peer networks offer unprecedented exposure for new artists and their music. Another argument against the RIAA is that the real reason for the lawsuits against file sharer is because they want to keep the prices for CDs over inflated while keeping the actual royalties coming to the artists relatively low. The copyright music infringement claims made by the RIAA have become suspect. The music industry is currently working on ways where fans can legally download music. This will mean that fans have access to the music they love from their PCs and directly to their music playing devices without resorting to illegal copyright music infringement. The truth is that most people want to do the right thing and given viable alternative will elect to do so.