To be able to make sure that your hard work is credited to you, you have to make sure that all your original work, especially your music, are copyrighted before you share it online.Submitting your original music to be copyrighted gives you the capacity to protect your music from plagiarism (which is highly common in the internet today), by recognizing the date of your music’s creation.
There are actually countries in the world wherein songwriters and composers do not have to register for copyright for copyright directly comes along with the creation of the song. These are the countries that are members of the Berne Convention. In countries which are not members of the Berne Convention like the United States of America, it is very significant to make sure that you submit your work to be copyrighted. Copyrighting your music, however, does not need to be difficult and complicated for you can now do it online (just like everything else). Here are the easy steps in copyrighting your music online.
- Have all the necessary requirements prepared. Before doing anything else, you first have to prepare the necessary things you need in copyrighting your music. In order to send your work to the government for copyright, you should prepare the song’s title, album, artist/s, date of compositions, an agreement that states the ownership percentage of each contributors of the music (split sheet), the music, and its lyrics.
- Proceed to the Copyright Website of the United States of America. Once you are in the website, go to “how do I” then click “register a copyright” then select “log in to eCO”. When the user log in dialogue box appears, click “If you are a new user, click here to register”. Proceed to register into a new account and fill in the boxes for your name, address, country, phone details and your preferred contact method.
- Register a new copyright claim. Now that you have an account in the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO), you can now register your new copyright claim. To be able to move into this step choose “register new claim” in the left side of the web page. Three boxes in both the “yes” and “no” rows will appear. Check the box in accordance to your songs.
- When the “Type of Work” dropdown appears, select the type of media you are registering. Choose “Performing Arts” if registering the underlying work that can be lyrics of a song or a composition. When registering your music recording, choose “Sound Recording”.
- Click “New” and fill in the necessary information asked in the webpage.
- Proceed to paying for the copyright fee. Now, you are almost done with having your music protected. Pay for the copyright fee which can be through your credit card, debit card, electronic check or through the deposit account of the copyright office.
As of May 1, 2014, online registration for single application, this includes a single author, similar claimant, single not for hire work, is $35. For standard application that requires all other fillings is $55. Registrations on paper, on the other hand, costs $85.
- Upload your music. Having paid the necessary fee for the copyright of your music, you will then be asked to upload a copy of your work. The Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) has the upload size limit of 135 128kbps songs. Once done, select “upload complete”. The date effective for your copyright is the date that the Copyright Office receives your filing fee, your application and the required deposit copy of your music.