Are you an independent artist releasing your own music, or are you the creative director at a recording company? Either way, it’s important to protect your songs and music from copyright infringement. To prevent theft of your own work or that of a fellow artist, it’s crucial to understand what copyright for a song law is and how to protect songs and music from infringement. Protecting your creations from being stolen can be a tricky legal process. Read on to learn about the seven best ways to protect your songs and music from being infringed upon by others.
When you create a song or music, the first step to protecting your music is to understand how music licensing works. If you are using copyrighted music in your song, you must have a license to use it. You can purchase a license from other artists or from a company that has the rights to distribute that copyrighted music. Similarly, if you plan to use someone else’s song in your own recordings, you must have a license from that artist or music publisher. If you do not have a license, you are infringing on the rights of the owners of the music. The best way to avoid this trap is to have a thorough understanding of music licensing and get the appropriate licenses for your songs and music.
Another crucial aspect of protecting your songs and music is understanding how royalties work. If you create an original song and plan to release it to the public, you will likely want to be paid every time it is played on the radio, in a bar, or at the gym. That is the function of royalties. Royalties are paid to the artist every time the song is used publicly. In order to collect royalties, you must go through a collection company that is contracted by the PROs (performing rights organizations). The PROs are the organizations that collect royalties on behalf of artists.
One of the best ways to protect your songs and music from copyright infringement is to register your songs with the United States Copyright Office. The process is relatively simple, and it can be done electronically for a small fee. There are three major benefits of registering your song with the USCO. First, it establishes a record of your ownership of the song. Second, it gives you the opportunity to obtain statutory damages in court. Third, the USCO will send a cease and desist letter to anyone illegally using your music. Among all the ways to protect songs and music from copyright infringement, song registration is one of the most effective.
Trademark Your Song Title and Artwork
If you want to go the extra mile to protect your songs and music, consider trademarking your song title and artwork. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies a product or service and differentiates it from the competition. For example, there is a company called “The Happy Biscuit Company” that bakes cookies that are “Happy.” They have a trademark on the word “Happy” in association with baking goods. Similarly, if you create a new song that is a unique work, you can trademark its song title and artwork. The USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) offers a low-cost way of registering trademarks, and you can do it yourself with their online system. Trademarking your songs and music is a great way to protect them from copyright infringement.
Utilize Digital Watermarking
If you are releasing a song or music video that would likely be stolen anyway due to its popularity, you may want to consider using digital watermarking. The best way to describe digital watermarking is to say that it is like putting a logo on your music that identifies you as the creator of the song. The best examples of this are when a song plays on the radio and it has “B105” written out in a fancy font on the audio. This way, even if someone records your music and uploads it online, you can track it back to the original source.
Lock Down Your YouTube Content With DRM
DRM (digital rights management) is a technology that prevents people from illegally downloading your copyrighted content. When you upload a video to your YouTube account, you can choose which rights the video has. By selecting the “Share Video Only” or “Share with Attribution” settings, you can prevent people from downloading or sharing your video without your permission. If you’re an independent artist or record label, you can even upload your music videos to your own website with a tool like Vidify. This way, you have full control over who sees your music and who has permission to download it.
Register With IP Awareness Organizations
Finally, one of the best ways to protect your songs and music from copyright infringement is to join IP awareness organizations. These organizations are dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of IP rights, including copyrights. Joining these organizations is a great way to network with likeminded creatives while also educating yourself and others on IP rights. By joining organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Intellectual Property Office (IPO), or the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), you can get involved in protecting your rights and the rights of other artists as well.
Music is a universal language and art form enjoyed by people throughout the world. Artists spend years learning their craft, creating original songs, and perfecting their art, which is why it’s so important to protect your songs and music from copyright infringement. When it comes to protecting your songs and music, the best way to go is the legal route. You can’t rely on the hope that your songs will not be stolen; you must take action by understanding how music licensing and royalties work, registering your songs with the USCO, and joining IP awareness organizations.