Music Industry AdviceQuick Guide for Song and Music Copyright

April 7, 20170

I decided to put this Copyright Registration form guide together, because I couldn’t find an easy-straightforward tutorial for copyrighting my songs.  This guide will walk you through the copyright process from start to finish with no nonsense.

If you’re wondering why song copyright is important, if not essential, consider that by holding a song’s copyright ownership its like owning the deed to a house.  If you took the time in creating your piece of work, you should take the time in protecting your art.  Copyright ownership lasts for a Lifetime + 70 years; meaning the time it takes to complete registration is well worth your time.

How to Copyright a Song Explained

Before you begin the copyright process you must register with eCO (Electronic Copyright Office).  Once you’ve created an account and signed in, you’ll see your dashboard where copyright applications can be tracked and created.  

Copyright for MusiciansNow that you have an account, you’ll be able to save your work and return to it later.  You can reach applications in progress by clicking on working cases.  To start a new application click on “Register a New Claim”.  In order to register a new claim you must answer 3 preliminary questions:

  1. Are you registering one work (1 song)?
  2. Are you the only writer and the only copyright owner?
  3. Are you the only person who contributed to the work? – did you write everything in the song or does it include samples

If you’re able to answer yes to all 3 questions, you’ll pay the reduced fee of $35.  The standard fee is $55.  I’m going to register 4 songs for College Transfer Student’s most recent release: Juxtaposition EP.  All of these songs were written, recorded and produced by me.  


How to Complete the Copyright Registration Form

In this section we’ll indicate the type of work being registered, please note that this section cannot be edited later, unlike the other sections.
Once you choose which type of work is yours, you’ll be able to work on any section at any time. However, it is easier completing the application in order.  You’ll know that a section is completed when a check mark appears next to that section.

Copyright for Indie ArtistsOnce you complete all the sections, you’ll be prompted to pay the registration fee ($55 or $35).  After you pay the fee you’ll be directed to a submission page where you’ll upload your tracks or choose to send them in by mail.  It’ll take several weeks to process the registration, but remember to check the status of your claim on a weekly basis to make sure that it went through without any issues.  

If you have any questions about specific sections during the registration process, please contact Sam Gaytan or leave a comment below.  I hope this guide helped out, for more similar content like this and band updates for College Transfer Student please subscribe to our newsletter!

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