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Copyright Music in Order to Protect Future Profits
If you are a budding artist seeking to copyright music that you have labored over, there is good news. Many people confuse copyrighting music with registering music and they are two different things. According to the law in the United States, once you have written or recorded your music in a permanent form, it is copyrighted.
Of course, it might help to first understand what it means to copyright music in the first place. A copyright is a certain legal protection that is offered to those who compose creative works. Whether those works be art, music, or the written word. According to the U. S. constitution there are limits that can be placed on the amount of time that the work is exclusively protected.
If you copyright music, this means that you and you alone have the right to use your work or allow others to use your work. You also have the right to distribute copies of your work. Whether those copies are in the form of written or sheet music or recorded music to the public as well as the right to perform your music for the public.
There is something called fair use that despite your copyright; music written or recorded by you may be used for the purpose of research, news reporting, commentary, or criticism. In other words, there are times when the use of copyrighted material is deemed appropriate without the consent of the one holding the copyright.
To copyright music alone is not enough in many cases to protect your music, at least not without going through a lot of hoops in order to do so. One of the things you can do in order to protect your copyright is provide notice of copyright. This is a simple step that includes writing a simple statement to the effect of the word "copyright", the date, and your name at the bottom of your sheet music or on the case for the recording or the actual recording itself. CD's are the most common means for recording devices today and a notice of copyright can easily be added to the exterior of your CD or on your label if you have one printed.
In case you are wondering: why copyright music? The answer is rather simple, so others cannot take credit for your creative genius. For an added layer of protection you may want to consider registering your copyright as well. Registering your copyright will provide you with formal legal documentation of your ownership of your music should anyone else attempt to lay claim to your music or any other dispute about true ownership/authorship come about.
You must have your copyright registered if you wish to file a copyright infringement suit and it is, in my humble opinion, better to not only copyright music early on but also to register your copyright before it could possibly become an issue. Registering while not entirely painless is not as difficult a process as you might think. Basically it involves filling out an application, paying a filing fee (check with the U. S. Copyright Office for the current amount), and a copy of the work being protected (this will not be returned).
It's also important to remember that your music doesn't have to be published in order for you to obtain a copyright. Music should be copyrighted and registered long before the publication process in order to protect your rights as the creator of the music. Whether you are dabbling with cute little limericks or writing masterpieces and concertos or are rock and rolls next super star you want to make sure to copyright music earlier rather than later for the best possible outcome should problems arise.
Copyright Music Infringement Copyright Music Infringement is Not Preferred Method for Music Lovers In recent years, copyright music infringement has seen an unprecedented leap in scope and scale. This is largely due to online services that allowed unchecked file sharing among their subscribers. While this abuse of copyright is not by any means limited to music, this is where the most profound effects of file sharing have been observed. Industry giants of file sharing are cropping up left and right with the demise of the pioneer for illicit file sharing, Napster. The Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) has made copyright music infringement their primary cause to fight. They estimate that peer-to-peer file sharing takes around 4.2 billion dollars each year worldwide from the coffers of the music industry. I really cannot blame them that is a fairly large chunk of change. The problem with their estimates however is the assumption that people would actually buy every piece of music they download or that they aren't buying the music they would have bought at any rate. While I by no means condone copyright music infringement or any other copyright infringement I do believe they are overestimating the damage to the industry that is being done by these file-sharing programs. One of the primary arguments that the RIAA is using in order to, hopefully, discourage people from not supporting their favorite groups and artists by buying their recordings, is the fact that new and struggling bands are less likely to continue making music because it will no longer be profitable. The bulk of musician's incomes are the result of royalties, which depend entirely on the sales of their albums. The RIAA is using the legal system to back them up by taking the fight to court. Recent claims made by the RIAA include one rather controversial claim that people ripping CDs they have bought and paid for does not constitute fair use because CDs are not "unusually subject to damage" and that if they do become damaged they can be replaced affordably. This assertion has raised more than a few eyebrows and is giving rise to opponents of the RIAA who claim that the lawsuits and crackdowns against those presumed guilty of copyright music infringement are actually hurting music sales and the profits of the music industry. During the height of Napster popularity (the hallmark by which all file sharing seems to be compared) CD sales were at their highest rate ever. People were exposed to music and groups they otherwise may not have heard without file sharing. As a result of enjoying the music by these groups people went out and actually bought the CDs of the music they enjoyed. It's ironic that the very lawsuits designed to stop copyright music infringement have actually managed to stifle file sharing enough that CD sales are dropping noticeably around the world. Opponents and critics also challenge that rather than being a source of copyright music infringement, peer 2 peer networks offer unprecedented exposure for new artists and their music. Another argument against the RIAA is that the real reason for the lawsuits against file sharer is because they want to keep the prices for CDs over inflated while keeping the actual royalties coming to the artists relatively low. The copyright music infringement claims made by the RIAA have become suspect. The music industry is currently working on ways where fans can legally download music. This will mean that fans have access to the music they love from their PCs and directly to their music playing devices without resorting to illegal copyright music infringement. The truth is that most people want to do the right thing and given viable alternative will elect to do so.
How to copyright software How to Copyright Software Sanely If you're wondering how to copyright software the good news is you've probably already done it. At least you have if you have ever written software. Most people however get confused over exactly what having a copyright for their software means and this is the trickier question to answer. First of all, thinking it isn't going to do it and you can't really copyright the things you think. Second, only those things that can be seen (when it comes to software) can be copyrighted. If you want to protect the abstract, look into patents. Otherwise if it is original, fixed, and tangible you can copyright it. Essentially you already know how to copyright software if you've put it into a finished form. Once you've written the source code the copyright belongs to you. Copyrighting software doesn't offer the protection that many people hope it will. The idea of the software and anything about the finished product that wasn't available in a tangible (visible) form isn't protected by the copyright. In fact the only thing that is undeniably protected by copyright when it comes to software is the source code. The question you should be asking is now how to copyright software, it is how to patent your software and that requires a much more involved and prolonged explanation. To obtain a patent for your software you must apply for a patent in each country that offers patents for software and in which you wish to have the protection a patent can offer. I warned you this was much trickier than how to copyright software. Then it gets trickier still. There is no universal legal definition of what a software patent is so each country that offers patents also has a different definition for what is protected by that patent as well as for why a patent will be granted. If you want to add to the confusion a little more while wondering how to copyright software, also consider the fact that your software may be given a patent in one of the countries where you applied and none of the others. Of course, if this is not enough fun for you, you can try to deal with the red tape involved in dealing with multiple governments in order to resolve any issues or disputes that may have arisen from the result of the software patents you hold. If you've forgotten the original question it was: how to copyright software? I told you that one was much easier. The main thing you need to do if you're going for international patents (which can secure a profitable future for you and your business) is to get a really good patent lawyer and have him walk you through and hold your hand for the entire process. In fact, I would say that's probably the best advice you can get. Patents are complicated and when you're not exactly sure of what you're doing, whom you need to talk to, and what the next step is you stand to waste a lot of time while taking a bigger risk. It is much easier to deal with how to copyright software on your own than it is to work out the complicated world of software patents. If this is your first time designing your own software you have every right to be nervous and excited and scared to death at the same time. Remember lawyers went to school much longer than you in order to know what to do in this situation so you should not be expected to know how to copyright software when you've never done it before.