Why copyright songs?

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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pullover
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Why copyright songs?

Post by pullover » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:28 pm

Anyone ever copyright a song? I never did it, cause I figured what's the point. I have never seen anyone who had a song stolen get compensation, except in rare cases (flaming lips sued by cat steven/ george harrison sued by whoever). Come to think of it, I have never personally known anyone to steal a song, or have one stolen.  Anyway, seams to me like a record company would take care of that for you, if you ever made it so far as a record deal. Am I just Naive? Technically it's copyrighted once you commit it to paper or tape, right, it's just more legal when you send it in to the copyright office right?
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Re: Why copyright songs?

Post by Orang Goreng » Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:08 am

pullover wrote: Technically it's copyrighted once you commit it to paper or tape, right, it's just more legal when you send it in to the copyright office right?
That's my understanding, yeah, though of course it could be hard to prove when you exactly put it on paper or tape. I cannot imagine anyone would ever be interested in nicking my stuff, so I've never really seen the point, but the singer/bassist of the band I recently joined routinely has her stuff copyrighted.
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Re: Why copyright songs?

Post by sookwinder » Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:51 am

there person who actually records the music (engineer/sound guy who ever) will own all or part of the "mechanical copyright" to the music as well.  This is what gives record companies/studios the powerr they have over the music.  Hoever in the  last 10 years with the advent of home digital recording systems (which produce high quality recordings) record companies have lost a portion of their power ... which is not a bad thing
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Re: Why copyright songs?

Post by SPudnik » Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:41 am

If your music is a hobby, then copyright is not too important, but if you publish, or are a serious composer it's very important.
When you're with a record company - They typically own it, and you... Unless something is worked out - good luck with that  :-X
A record deal usually means you're gonna get fucked at some point. Some artists even end up owing Them money.

There was an Alternative group that had a deal, and they were recording at Sound Of Music studios here - a beautiful 4 story facility with living facilities etc. Right in the middle of it the record co. decided that alternative was dead (whatever that means) and dropped them like a hot potato. If the record co. owns their copyrights they are screwed.

As I understand it, you can copyright an entire CDs worth of music for $30 [US] and it is usable in court should the need arise. Having a lead sheet with any lyrics is a plus.

If out of nowhere I heard one of my original peices from say, Soundclick on a TV commercial or other money making venue I would certainly want to go after them.

In the 70s a band I was in recorded several 30 sec ditties for the guitar player's record store radio commercials. A few weeks later a friend said, "have you heard your band on the radio yet?" Turns out that the radio station used the underscores for other ads with no permission or compensation. We were flattered and did nothing. And since there was no copyright, there was pretty much nothing we could do... 
Last edited by SPudnik on Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why copyright songs?

Post by mezcalhead » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:37 am

All of the stuff I (and the other band members) wrote for our band in Oz in the 90s was registered with APRA.

At the moment I haven't registered any more of it, but once I record it and start circulating the CDs I probably will. It's not that much of a hassle and it could save a lot of trouble later on.
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Re: Why copyright songs?

Post by jetset » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:15 pm

There's the songs (music/lyrics) and the recordings.  They are two entirely different things.  Your song is protected by copyright automatically if you have good evidence you wrote it first - recording, lyric sheets, etc.  The recording is owned by whoever paid for it, usually the record company.
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