January 3, 2008

What Is A Copyright? pt.2

How Long Dows It Lasts?
A work that was created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death. In the case of “a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire,” the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Effective Date of Registration
A copyright registration is effective on the date the Copyright Office receives all the required elements in acceptable form, regardless of how long it then takes to process the application and mail the certificate of registration. The time the Copyright Office requires to process an application varies, depending on the amount of material the Office is receiving.
If you apply for copyright registration, you will not receive an acknowledgment that your application has been received (the Office receives more than 600,000 applications annually), but you can expect:
· A letter or a telephone call from a Copyright Office staff member if further information is needed or
· A certificate of registration indicating that the work has been registered, or if the application cannot be accepted, a letter explaining why it has been rejected.

Who May File an Application Form?
The following persons are legally entitled to submit an application form:
· The author. This is either the person who actually created the work, or if the work was made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared.
· The copyright claimant. The copyright claimant is defined in Copyright Office regulations as either the author of the work or a person or organization that has obtained ownership of all the rights under the copyright initially belonging to the author. This category includes a person or organization who has obtained by contract the right to claim legal title to the copyright in an application for copyright registration.
· The owner of exclusive right(s). Under the law, any of the exclusive rights that make up a copyright and any subdivision of them can be transferred and owned separately, even though the transfer may be limited in time or place of effect. The term “copyright owner” with respect to any one of the exclusive rights contained in a copyright refers to the owner of that particular right. Any owner of an exclusive right may apply for registration of a claim in the work.
· The duly authorized agent of such author, other copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive right(s). Any person authorized to act on behalf of the author, other copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive rights may apply for registration.

To register a work
Send the following three elements in the same envelope or package to:
Library of CongressCopyright Office101 Independence Avenue, SEWashington, DC 20559-6000
1. A properly completed application form.
2. A nonrefundable filing fee for each application.
3. A nonreturnable deposit of the work being registered. The deposit requirements vary in particular situations. The general requirements follow.

PA Form: for published and unpublished works of the performing arts (example : Song and lyrics , sheet music, audiovisuals including motion pictures.)
SR Form: for published and unpublished sound recordings (example: musical composition (music or words and music) and the sound recording (performance, sound recording, samples)
RE Form : for claims to renew copyright in works copyrighted under the law in effect through December 31, 1977 (1909 Copyright Act) and registered during the initial 28-year copyright term
CA Form : for supplementary registration to correct or amplify information given in the Copyright Office record of an earlier registration

What is Poor Man’s Copyright?
It’s a cheap way to copyright your work. Basically you send your work to yourself through certified mail, never open the package and your good.
There is a lot of skepticism about poor man’s copyright if it works or if it doesn’t .The thing is if you are not working for BIG company (ex. Music label) you don’t want that, but if you have a home studio go for it ( a lot of people do it).
At $45 a pop currently, submitting a form can get quite expensive. So, I’d suggest using the Poor Man’s Copyright as a temporary fix. Then when your complete cd is done, Copyright all of your songs on one form

I’ve enclosed a copyright form PA and SR for your use here:
use it with my blessings

Form PA pdf
Form SR pdf

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