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> Copyright Protection, on Bandcamp
thefireball
post Aug 22 2012, 05:07 PM
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Hey guys,

So I am nearing closer to releasing a single on Bandcamp, which will trigger further producing and releasing my EP. How do I ensure my work is protected?


Brandon


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 23 2012, 04:44 PM
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Hey Brandon, that's great to hear smile.gif

Well, copyright is automatically assigned to the creator of the works which in this case is you. As soon as you create any piece of work, you are automatically owner of copyright.

You are always the owner of copyright unless you sign it over to another party like a publisher (which sounds scary but is normal practise) but they then enforce it for you and collect royalties etc..

But, apart from that, you are the owner of copyright already, there's no process you have to go through to 'make it copyrighted'. This doesn't mean that people can't or won't try to abuse your copyright by doing things with your music without permission but you would then have the freedom to enforce your copyright and settle any dispute. Just make sure you always have a way to prove that you are the creator of your works. Computer records alone should show that smile.gif



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SirJamsalot
post Aug 23 2012, 06:09 PM
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Here's an article I found.
http://www.farmtomarketmusic.com/How%20Do%...0My%20Songs.pdf

Pasted for your convenience in case the PDF disappears

HOW DO I PROTECT MY SONGS?
Tamera H. Bennett, Esq.*

Songwriters often come to me with the fear that their songs will be stolen if they perform them
for friends, family, potential co-writers or shop them to music publishers. I believe song
“stealing” is not rampant, but does exist. The concern of someone stealing your song is only one
reason why you should understand how your compositions are protected by the U.S. Copyright
Law. Songs written since January 1, 1978 are protected under the Copyright Act of 1976.
What does the Copyright Act protect? The Copyright Act protects original works. It does not
protect ideas. If I gave a group of twenty songwriters an exercise to write a song including
“rain,” “trains,” “trucks,” “drinking” and “mama,” they would all start from the same idea, but
express their idea in different manners. Each work would be original and be protected under the
Copyright Act.

What protection does the Copyright Act grant you? A simplistic answer is that the owner of the
copyright has the ability to license her work and to stop others from infringing her work.
What do you have to do to secure protection under the Copyright Act? This is much more simple
than you ever imagined. You have to “fix your work in a tangible means of expression.”

In nonlegal ease this means you have to take the song from an idea in your head and write it down or
record the song. Your song is not protected under the Copyright Act until it is fixed.
I like to compare the move from expression to idea to “Ordering Lunch.” When you go to a
restaurant you look at the menu, you might discuss the menu with your lunch companion, you
may even decide on the tacos and then when the server asks for your order you change your mind
and order enchiladas. When the server wrote down your order, your idea of what you wanted for
lunch was expressed on the server’s order pad. If you were co-writing a song, you might take out
a notepad and look at some ideas or phrases you jotted down and discuss those ideas with your
co-writer. When you write out the lyrics and music, or sing the song into a boom box, you have
“fixed the expression” of your ideas, just as the food server fixed your lunch order on her
notepad.

Do I have to file a Copyright Application to protect my song? The answer to this question is no .
. . But, to receive the most protection available under the Copyright Act, you should file a
Copyright Application. As discussed above, your composition is protected as soon as you “fix it
in a tangible means of expression.” Even though filing a Copyright Application is not required,
you should register your composition with the Copyright Office. The Copyright Registration is
the best evidence to submit to a court of law if your work is ever involved in an infringement
action. If you file a copyright application within five years of the publication of the work, the
court will presume the information on the registration is true. This includes the date of creation
and/or publication and the authors of the work listed on the registration.

MAILING YOUR COMPOSITION TO YOURSELF AND NOT OPENING THE ENVELOPE
IS NOT AN ADEQUATE MEANS OF PROTECTION.
Filing a Copyright Application is the
very best means of proof as to the ownership and date of creation of a composition.
Prior to suing someone for copyright infringement, you must have a copyright registration for
your work. Also, additional damages may be available to you if a copyright registration has been
filed.

Do I need to include the copyright symbol © on my lyric sheets or compact disc to be protected?
Again the answer is no . . . But, you should always include a copyright notice on each copy of
your work. The copyright notice should include either the word “copyright” or the symbol “©,”
the year of first publication of the work, and the name of the copyright claimant. Because I am
the author of this article, an example of an acceptable copyright notice for this article is “© 2001
Tamera H. Bennett.” By including the copyright notice, you put the world on notice that you are
claiming ownership in the work.

How long is my work protected by the Copyright Act? In general, the protection for a work
created after January 1, 1978 is life of the author plus 70 years. If there are co-authors, the term
lasts until 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.
If you are interested in more information regarding copyright law and the proper filing of
Copyright Applications, you can visit the U.S. Copyright Office website at
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/. You may also contact Tamera Bennett at the contact information
listed below.

Remember, if you ©REATE. P®OTECT.™

*Bennett Law Office, PC, counsels clients in the areas of Entertainment, Internet and Intellectual Property
Law. Ms. Bennett may be reached at 972-436-8141 or by email at [email protected]
©REATE. P®OTECT. is a trademark of Bennett Law Office.
Copyright ©2001 Bennett Law Office.


This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Aug 23 2012, 06:12 PM


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The Uncreator
post Aug 23 2012, 11:44 PM
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Legally it would require some paperwork and fees to be paid. I think its about $65 per song last time I checked. Although, its so rare that people actually do it, especially in the metal world. Stealing music is usually motivated by money, Metal (aside from some big names) isn't known for bringing in cash at all.

So dont worry too much about it, I had one site take about 20 songs from me and tried selling it. They are based out of russia and have done it to many people. Problem is the site is so obscure and most of the artists they do it to are unknowns like myself, it just doesnt matter. The site is so sketchy no one would dare send them money laugh.gif
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Todd Simpson
post Aug 24 2012, 07:48 AM
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It's good to start thinking of looking in to copyrights and such, but honestly at this stage of the game copyright infringement is not a problem that is worth too much of your time. I get the idea that maybe someday one of your songs might be huge and you'll want it copy protected. The truth is if anybody makes decent money with their music, and they actually wrote it, they just get a lawyer. Until there is money on the table,

OBSCURITY IS YOUR ENEMY

not copyright/piracy etc. So I"d say start looking in to that stuff, but I'd suggest spending more time on connecting with current and future fans, expanding your reach through social media and writing more material. I've seen folks get a bit too concerned about copy rights a bit too early and it can be a distraction from writing/playing/connecting with fans.

So good call on starting your copyright research smile.gif And don't worry about it for now and join Bandcamp and any other site that might help you connect with your future audience.

Just my 2 cents smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (thefireball @ Aug 22 2012, 12:07 PM) *
Hey guys,

So I am nearing closer to releasing a single on Bandcamp, which will trigger further producing and releasing my EP. How do I ensure my work is protected?


Brandon



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thefireball
post Aug 25 2012, 04:44 AM
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Thanks for these posts, guys. I was just a little worried today when WideK said his work was stolen from him and placed on 15 difference sites. mellow.gif

So how do I connect with the future fans? Not many people seem to pay attention to my Facebook posts (thanks to the faithful few)... and the crazy Facebook algorithm that only sends the posts to a handful of the fans is annoying. On average, only a tenth of my fans ever see my posts. I tried joining some other forums and promoting my music and nothing happened. Really annoying when you post this LOOONNNNG intro and a couple of people answer. What am I doing wrong? wacko.gif

I don't feel I need a twitter, nor do I want one. Is that you mean by social media, Todd? huh.gif I feel so new at this outreach stuff. hehe


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Azzaboi
post Aug 25 2012, 05:12 AM
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Copy-alright!!! If people copy your music, you can consider it good. Music should be free to share and the good stuff then spreads like a virus. People then get to listen to it, enjoy it, and some will even come back to you and pay for the original or donate.

Album Leaks: A Nightmare, or Opportunity?

Think about it for a second - Metallica is worldwide know, why? Because of what they hate, people leaching their music off napster. However, the plus side to this is free worldwide advertising and becoming loved by millions. Did they really lose any profit, due to the amount they gained back?

System of a Down, went the other way, all their new material leaked onto the web so it went into the album entitled 'Steal this album':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steal_This_Album!

They still made over 12 million sales.

Some bands are even known to leak a track or two on purpose to give people a little taste - to encouage them to buy the rest.
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PosterBoy
post Aug 25 2012, 11:02 AM
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http://www.copyright.gov/



QUOTE (thefireball @ Aug 25 2012, 04:44 AM) *
Thanks for these posts, guys. I was just a little worried today when WideK said his work was stolen from him and placed on 15 difference sites. mellow.gif

So how do I connect with the future fans? Not many people seem to pay attention to my Facebook posts (thanks to the faithful few)... and the crazy Facebook algorithm that only sends the posts to a handful of the fans is annoying. On average, only a tenth of my fans ever see my posts. I tried joining some other forums and promoting my music and nothing happened. Really annoying when you post this LOOONNNNG intro and a couple of people answer. What am I doing wrong? wacko.gif

I don't feel I need a twitter, nor do I want one. Is that you mean by social media, Todd? huh.gif I feel so new at this outreach stuff. hehe


At the moment I'd concentrate on getting a finished audio product, including maybe some behind the scenes footage etc. Then concentrate on visuals, artwork, video including promo stuff. Photoshoot and website.

Then start worrying about fanbase, getting traffic to your website, youtube, bandcamp.

Start looking at music blogs that will put you on a compilation, music forums etc

The getting the product out there side of things is more work than the music side of things, it's another learning curve and probably less enjoyable than the composing and recording. If you start worrying about the marketing etc now, it might affect your music, or at least slow down getting it finished.

It's easy and understandable to want to start the ball rolling and jump a few steps but I think it just ends up being a distraction

This will be my plan for myself, take it with a pinch of salt, but I think it helps to have a structure and game plan to work with.

This post has been edited by PosterBoy: Aug 25 2012, 11:02 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 25 2012, 12:25 PM
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For the USA look here .

Other countries vary from this by differing amounts. In my experience copyright only really comes in to play when there is an infringement and then its a matter of

1/ being able to establish that you hold copyright.
2/ being able to enforce it and in some countries this is particulary difficult.

You should look in to joining a relevant songwriting/publishing union and/or musicians union as they can advise. Oh and use metadata on your releases.

Personally I disagree with all the 'copyright doesn't matter because piracy gets you attention/market' arguments and it's very different to someone choosing to give their music away.


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The Uncreator
post Aug 25 2012, 02:08 PM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Aug 25 2012, 12:12 AM) *
Copy-alright!!! If people copy your music, you can consider it good. Music should be free to share and the good stuff then spreads like a virus. People then get to listen to it, enjoy it, and some will even come back to you and pay for the original or donate.

Album Leaks: A Nightmare, or Opportunity?

Think about it for a second - Metallica is worldwide know, why? Because of what they hate, people leaching their music off napster. However, the plus side to this is free worldwide advertising and becoming loved by millions. Did they really lose any profit, due to the amount they gained back?

System of a Down, went the other way, all their new material leaked onto the web so it went into the album entitled 'Steal this album':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steal_This_Album!

They still made over 12 million sales.

Some bands are even known to leak a track or two on purpose to give people a little taste - to encouage them to buy the rest.


Actually Metallica is known worldwide for Master of Puppets, Black Album, And Justice, etc.. The naptser incident brought them to attention of people who werent Metallica fans. I highly doubt that gained them many fans, in fact they lost more if anything. Since they already were making millions, thats quite irrelevant.

Band put many songs out before the album, they are called singles and are usually streamed freely and available for cheap. This is also what music videos do.

Music should not be 'free'. The artist deserves money for there work in some way. I am guessing you have never emotionally invested yourself in your own music or spent days on end exhausting yourself mentally and physically to get the perfect sound or take. Its work, regardless if you love it or not, it exhausts you pretty extensively at times. I would expect compensation for that. Then theres the producers work, which more and more bands do themselves, and trust me that can give you tunnel vision. The physical sales now can determine a bands profile in the industry, which is what (in a generalized way) solidifies there future more and more.

You pay for the artists music out of respect, they give you a piece of themselves, you give them $15-$20 - not an insane amount really, and a lot of times cheaper than that.

Separate rant:

Fans these days are so full of entitlement, since when do the bands owe the fan SO much? People walk around and act like since they paid money for a show they (as that specific individual) deserve something free as some kind of pseudo gesture of respect to keep them as fans. I hate, I absolutely hate that with a fiery passion that burns inside of me. If anything, the fans owe the bands, I dont necessarily see it that way, but if you wanted to be black and white about it. The band/ fan relationship is mutual, the artists release the music that we enjoy so we pay the small fee for there album, in return the artists tours/ makes more etc. There is at no point a balance of power where the fan should be convinced to stay a fan.

I seriously hate the entitlement a lot of fans carry around these days, its disgusting.
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thefireball
post Aug 25 2012, 04:56 PM
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Yeah, I am agreeing with what Brett is saying here. I don't want anybody copying my music. Most of the time when people copy your music it's so they can sell it for a profit. I am GIVING away my music!! So if somebody steals it and makes money off it, they should have their butt kicked. Indeed, I spend countless hours recording and re-recording, tweaking, critically-listening, and thinking, and to have some noob take my music away from me would tear me apart inside. Music is an emotional thing. I actually pour my emotions into my music. What I write is what I feel inside.

I hope some people will donate to my music, but I don't really expect much at all. If something is free, then most people will want it to try. This way I can get some more fans my way. It's like a risk-free eternal trial or something. tongue.gif

I do agree with the idea of just focusing on the music. Yes, I have been too busy about the fanbase. I need to chill out. biggrin.gif Thanks guys.


Brandon


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PosterBoy
post Aug 26 2012, 07:19 AM
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Remember to use us as guinea pigs for anything you do!


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 26 2012, 10:03 AM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Aug 26 2012, 07:19 AM) *
Remember to use us as guinea pigs for anything you do!


As long as I get one of those big plastic wheels to run around in !! biggrin.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 26 2012, 11:16 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Aug 25 2012, 02:08 PM) *
...
Music should not be 'free'. The artist deserves money for there work in some way. I am guessing you have never emotionally invested yourself in your own music or spent days on end exhausting yourself mentally and physically to get the perfect sound or take. Its work, regardless if you love it or not, it exhausts you pretty extensively at times. I would expect compensation for that. Then theres the producers work, which more and more bands do themselves, and trust me that can give you tunnel vision. The physical sales now can determine a bands profile in the industry, which is what (in a generalized way) solidifies there future more and more.

...

Absolutely.

Along with the musicians and the producers there are a lot of other people involved in releasing an album who work full time in the music industry and many others who work in related areas. It takes a lot of people with a lot of different skills and equipment to create a CD of proper commeicial quality. People need to be compensated, equipment bought, taxes filed, rent/mortgage and services paid for.

It costs money to record, mix, master, produce, replicate, do artwork, video/film etc for a commercial release. Whilst its great that people can have a home/project studio very few really have the experience, knowledge and skills, nevermind the equipment, space and time, to be able to release at commercial quality. Many of us in the industry have spent years learning our jobs and many of us have invested our own money in studios, etc. Just like other people in other jobs we need to be paid for what we do. If we can't make a living then we have to do something else and the Industry loses all the time, money, experience, etc that we had. Take a look at how many recording/mixing/mastering studios have closed in the last few years: there is less choice for musicians who want to record/mix/master in a proper studio with an experienced engineer.





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Be friends on facebook with us here.

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Todd Simpson
post Aug 30 2012, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Aug 26 2012, 06:16 AM) *
Absolutely.

Along with the musicians and the producers there are a lot of other people involved in releasing an album who work full time in the music industry and many others who work in related areas. It takes a lot of people with a lot of different skills and equipment to create a CD of proper commeicial quality. People need to be compensated, equipment bought, taxes filed, rent/mortgage and services paid for.

It costs money to record, mix, master, produce, replicate, do artwork, video/film etc for a commercial release. Whilst its great that people can have a home/project studio very few really have the experience, knowledge and skills, nevermind the equipment, space and time, to be able to release at commercial quality. Many of us in the industry have spent years learning our jobs and many of us have invested our own money in studios, etc. Just like other people in other jobs we need to be paid for what we do. If we can't make a living then we have to do something else and the Industry loses all the time, money, experience, etc that we had. Take a look at how many recording/mixing/mastering studios have closed in the last few years: there is less choice for musicians who want to record/mix/master in a proper studio with an experienced engineer.


I agree with everything your saying, but sadly whether music "Should" be FREE or not, IT IS FREE WHETHER WE WANT IT TO BE OR NOT sad.gif

I understand entirely the logic of railing against the idea of everyone downloading what took us time/money/blood/sweat to create.

Sadly. That's just pointless. When there is no longer any control over the distribution channel (E.G. THE INTERNET) then anything that can be shared for free, will be shared for free.

It's wrong. It's horrible. It's unjust and unfair. But "IT JUST IS".

So as much as we wish it were not so, as much as we wish people would pay and realize how much damage they are doing by "stealing" music. At some point we/you/everybody just has to get over it. We have to adapt to the biz as it is, which means learning to embrace the idea that anything we make will be shared for free on the web.

What this means for Artists, is letting go of the idea that "value added plastic/value added bytes" (e.g. cds/downloads) will be a primary revenue driver. Those days are just gone. For all but the top end of artists, unit sales are not gonna cut it. MUSIC IS A LOSS LEADER. sad.gif Sadly, it's true.

So we have to learn to monetize in other ways. Embrace it folks.


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