August 16, 2012

How To Copyright Your Music

So a lot of clients ask us: "How do I copyright my music, and how do I do it quickly?".  Here are some helpful tips to get your copyright going and returned to you as quickly as possible!
1. Get copies of your final mixes! The US Copyright office accepts the following types of files:
FILE TYPE
EXTENSION
Data .db (Database File)
.mdb (Microsoft Access Database)*
.xls (Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet) *
Image .bmp (Bitmap Image)
.dwg (AutoCAD Drawing)
.dwf (Autodesk Design)
.fdr (Final Draft)
.gif, .giff (Graphics Interchange Format)
.jpg, .jpeg, .jfif (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
.pdf (Portable Document Format)
.pic, .pict (Picture File)
.png (Portable Network Graphic)
.psd (Photoshop Document)
.pub (Microsoft Publisher)
.tga (Targa Graphic)
.tif, .tiff (Tagged Image File Format)
.wmf (Windows Metafile)
Audio .aif, .aiff (Audio Interchange File Format)
.au (Audio File)
.mid, .midi, .rmi (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
.mp3 (MP3 Audio File or Layer 3 Audio Compression)
.ra, .ram (Real Audio File)*** 
.rmi (Resource Interchangable File Format)
.wav (Windows Wave Sound File)
.wma (Windows Media Audio File)
Video .avi (audio video interleave)
.mov (quicktime)
.mpg, .mpeg (Moving Picture Experts Group)
.rm, .rv (Real Media File)***
.swf (Adobe Flash formerly Shockwave Flash)
.wmv (windows media video)
Text .doc (Microsoft Word Document)
.docx (Microsoft Word Open XML Document)*
.htm, .html (HyperText Markup Language)
.pdf (Portable Document Format)
.rtf (Rich Text Document)
.txt (Text File)
.wpd (WordPerfect Document)
.wps (Microsoft Works Word Processor Document)**
Presentation .pps, .ppt (Microsoft Power Point)*
Compressed .cab (Windows Cabinet File)
.rar (Compressed Archive)
.zip (Zipped File)
*
**
***
For Microsoft Office files, please use version 2003 or earlier.
For Microsoft Works files, please use version 9 or earlier.
For Real Player files, please use version 6 or earlier.

2. Go to http://www.copyright.gov/forms/ 
-Fill out the Application and Pay the fee.
- The fee is only $35 if you do your application on-line and the processing is SO much faster! (See below)
3. Wait for the certificate to come.  Honestly, this is the hardest part about the whole process.  Currently (as of July 2012) the 'Average Processing Times' are 3 Months for e-filing, and 10 Months for Paper Filing.
So now the real question… Why should I copyright my music? Unless you want someone to steal your song, lyrics, and intellectual property for their own monetary gain, copyrights are the way to go.  They protect you and your music / lyrics and help ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC get you your royalties.  Although it may not seem worth the wait, trust me, IT IS.  Be careful of other websites that claim they can do a copyright faster.. make sure they are reputable and trustworthy.  The only sure way to make sure your work is safe is to file with the Library of Congress / the Copyright.gov site.  For further information, please visit http://www.copyright.gov/forms/ or ask someone at JAMBOX for advice and support!
-Taylor

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the instructions about the copyright the music.

    ReplyDelete

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