Music is defined as a pattern of sounds made by musical instruments, voices, or computers, or a combination of these. To register copyright of your music, the music has to be your own original composition. Below are some guidelines on how to register copyright of your music, and further information about music copyright that may be of interest.
Registering copyright of your music with Copyright House not only gives your the security of knowing that your copyright ownership is registered with an independent third-party, but we store a copy of the original work with a notary public. We also offer ongoing customer support including free DMCA notices when needed and the arrangement of affidavits if the dispute goes to court.
When you have created a piece of music - written a song or any kind of instrumental piece - you have automatically become the copyright owner of these works.
As a music copyright owner you have the rights to:
The music and lyrics have to be your own original compositions.
When you make an arrangement of someone else's music, it doesn't automatically become your music copyright. The famous song "Let it be" always remains the copyright of Lennon and McCartney, however beautiful and original your arrangement may be.
When you have made a CD you then own copyright of the music, the lyrics, the recordings, the artwork on your CD and the text and images that you have created for your website - should you have one. Although you own copyright of all of the above, you need proof of copyright. The most secure proof is an independent third-party proof of copyright, which Copyright House provides.
Once you have composed your music, written your songs and put them on a CD, or website, it is advised to mention that the music copyright belongs to you. The copyright statement which you need for your publication would usually have the copyright symbol ©, then the year in which the music has been published and the statement all rights reserved. It could look like:
There are slightly different forms of copyright statements for different situations, but the statement should be clear about who the copyright owner is.
If you are a member of a band and your songs or music are written collaboratively, there will exist a joint ownership of copyright. You may wish to make a written agreement stating who owns which part of the songs or music. This statement should include what happens to the music copyright if one of the members leaves or if the band breaks up. The agreement should ideally be signed in the presence of a legal professional, such as a solicitor.
Apart from registering your copyright with Copyright House, you should always keep copies of demos and proofs of posting of your music to record companies and music publishers.
It is also important to be able to show the natural development of your musical work. For this reason every copyright account comes with a free update service to register your songs, or instrumental works at every stage of development.
The original registered work is not replaced by the updated version, but both versions of the work are registered separately. This all adds to your proof of ownership of the music.
It is important to know that the cda tracks on your CD don't contain your music. To register your music with Copyright House it is best to have it on your computer in formats such as .mp3 or .wav. MP3 files are much smaller in size than .wav files. For this reason it would be best to convert the .wav files to .mp3 before uploading your music in your secure copyright account area.
More about music copyright, music publishing and public performance can be found at:
The information on this page is not a complete guide but should be regarded as a basic overview to enhance your understanding of copyright. This is not legal advice and should not be considered as such. Some information may not be applicable in certain situations.