Curious about the benefits of music copyright? What’s the point of officially copyrighting your music at all? This question gets asked a lot, and artists usually think that you shouldn’t worry about copyrights until a situation arises.
In most cases, independent musicians typically don’t have the resources to pursue copyright infringement cases. Furthermore, if the asset in question is making little to no money, then you may not have any damages worth pursuing. It’s also important to note that copyright technically exists as soon as you finish creating your work.
What is a Music Copyright?
Whenever a musician creates a piece of music, there are two music copyrights created. The first copyright is the authorship or musical composition of the song, consisting of the melody and lyrics. The second is what is commonly referred to as the “master recording” or, more simply, the recorded music track.
The owner of the copyright, or the musician, has exclusive rights to their work. Understanding your copyright protection is vital to making sure that no one uses your music unlawfully. As long as you are the sole owner and creator, you are the only one that can give rights to allow authorized parties to reproduce, distribute, or publicly perform or display that music.
What are the Benefits of Music Copyright?
Curious about the benefits of music copyright? Registering your copyrights provides you with several benefits and peace of mind. Don’t get caught scrambling when a copyright issue arises. Take steps to protect yourself now and avoid a bigger headache in the future.
- Certificate of Registration
There are many myths and misconceptions about what counts as proof of ownership or what will hold up in court. Do keep in mind that you can’t actually file an infringement suit until you’ve gone through the process of registering your music entirely.
When you officially register your copyrights, you are given a certificate of registration that acts as proof that you own the copyright as you say you do.
Registering your copyright doesn’t mean that someone can’t come along and say otherwise, but this undoubtedly helps your case more than it hurts you.
- The Most Effective Way to Fight Infringement
Registering your copyright does not absolve you of all problems. If you’re in music long enough, chances are you’ll find yourself in a situation where you feel someone has infringed upon your copyright or vice versa.
The benefits of having your music registered are that it helps to deter this from happening, to a degree, as there is a public record of the copyright that can be accessed.
When someone is looking to use a sample or do a cover song, for example, they need your permission to do so, and if they know who owns the rights to the music they wish to use, the better chance they have of finding you and requesting permission.
- Allows You to File Grievances
You cannot bring a case to court unless you have officially registered your copyright.
“In March of 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that copyright owners must register their copyrights and have their application approved) with the U.S. Copyright Office before a lawsuit can be filed.”
In other areas of the world, like Nigeria, Europe and Canada, you may still be able to bring forth cases but will have to provide additional forms of proof.
- Eligible to Collect More
As mentioned previously, if you have to take someone to court, the expense can be quite considerable for all parties involved. However, registration may make you eligible to collect more damages and attorney’s fees if you’re successful with the case.
- Public Record of Ownership
The great thing about registering is that it becomes public knowledge that you own the asset. It also provides a public record of everyone involved and details information beyond just ownership.
- Prima Facie Evidence
This is a legal term that simply means you have ample evidence to prove something by pointing to some basic facts. Prima Facie Evidence is obtained when you register your copyrights within five years of the publication of your content.
- Importation Protection
Suppose someone attempts to import large quantities of your CDs or vinyl, for example, and have the intention of selling these copies for a profit without your knowledge. In that case, you can attempt to put a stop to this by recording the registration of your copyright with Customs Services.
- It Helps Avoids Legal Issues
As mentioned earlier, no one wants to deal with legal cases and the fees that accompany them. While you don’t need to have a copyright to avoid legal cases, it certainly helps when approaching someone who happens to be infringing on your copyright.
- Avoids Collaboration Disputes
If you don’t register your copyrights or create an agreement with the people you are working with. By default, each collaborator will own an equal share of the content being created regardless of their contribution.
If you have the proper agreements in place, you can ensure that everyone is fairly compensated.
- Saves You Time & Money
Protecting yourself now through the registration of your copyrights will better prepare you for any future issues and disputes.
In most situations where you have to scramble and do things last minute, you will waste time and potentially a considerable amount of money over something that could have been completed in a matter of minutes and for pennies on the dollar.
- Leave a Legacy
While a lot of the discussion may seem to revolve around you, the fact remains that other people in your life could benefit from this as well.
We often see how an artist’s success can skyrocket after their untimely demise. Having the right copyright protection in place can benefit your family after you’re gone, which is never a bad thing.
How to Copyright Musical works in Nigeria
To copyright a piece of music is not as difficult as people think. Music is automatically copyrighted the moment it is created in a tangible medium like on paper or on audio recording. But it is recommended that you register it as soon as you complete the work. That way, you will have “prima facie” evidence that you were the first to create the work.
Under copyright laws, you can copyright music, lyrics, or both. You are also permitted to copyright a new song or new version or arrangement of an existing song. However, the song must be your original work, created by you, and shown to have a minimal amount of creativity. Chord progressions or song titles are not covered under copyright law. If you make an audio recording, you can copyright the sound recording with the copyright to the song itself.
Register and protect music from theft and plagiarism
1710Media provides the fastest and most affordable way for you to protect yourself and your copyrights. We streamline the process and error-proof your applications so you can avoid making expensive mistakes.
Our service includes the preparation, review, e-filing, and handling of correspondence until you receive your certificates of registration.
- Register and protect music from theft and plagiarism.
- We file your application with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
- Our service includes the preparation, review, e-filing, and delivery of your certificate of registration.
- Receive an Official Copyright Certificate. Valid for your lifetime plus a minimum of 50 years after.
- Register your songs, albums, beats, lyrics, and other musical projects.
- Enjoy protection in Nigeria and 178+ other territories.
- Registration will protect your songs, lyrics & music and will last for the whole of your lifetime plus a minimum of fifty years after your death.
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