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F**** I messed up!

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by XTREEMMAK, Feb 3, 2011.


    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    Ok background on this situation,

    I filed for copyright on my music CD by each song instead of by just the album (ended up paying way more than I should have). From what I understand, there's nothing I can do about that now... Thing is, the reason I avoided album in the first place was because the entire album isn't finished yet (only missing one song). If I had filed for copyright with the album and I later finish the song, would I have to file for copyright on the entire album again since the compilation now changes (just so I know so I dont make this costly mistake again)?

    The other thing is that on certain songs on the project, even though I hold claim to all songs, there are other people listed as claimant on select songs. Could I still file as album or would I have had to do it by the song anyway considering that I'm a claimant on all the songs anyway?
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Hello Mak..
    If you told us where on this planet "Are you Kidding?" lies, we could take the copyright of that country into consideration,as well, before giving any advice.
    At my place, you have full copyright as soon as you have composed the song. You register it with GEMA ( German version of BIEM )
    where you need to be a member of for some 30 Euro a year, receiving some other benefits, as well. Gema is not fighting for you if anybody else nicks the
    song though. You can always deposit the compositions at a notary public.
  3. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    In the US and Berne convention countries (most of the Western world), you could have filed on the compilation and then filed separately when that last song was finished. You need a form PA for your originals and a SR for the sound recordings of all, including covers.

    The PA and SR can be used to copyright a "collection", ie, album, in two forms, with two payments. Amending such a compilation with a later form is something you must look up on your government's copyright website. The laws change a lot in some places.

    When you file a copyright, you must specify all authors. That is separate from the rights holder(s). You must declare rightsholders separately on the form. Never get those two confused or:

    1. You'll end up claiming copyrights you aren't entitled to (potential felony)
    2. You'll waive your own copyrights (just plain dumb).

    For form PA (Personal Authorship), you must list all authors and rightsholders. For form SR (Sound Recording) you must list all participants and rightsholders. Once again, rightsholders may be different from authors and participants. Better get that worked out with them before you file.

    Berne convention holds that you are granted copyright as soon as the work is finished. HOWEVER, you MUST register with the government in order to be able to sue.

    In copyright law, there are many "possible combinations" that are possible. For every one of these, your government's copyright website will have a page that addresses these combinations. Look there. To list them here is impractical.

    Long time copyrighter and IP Law grad*.

    *not a lawyer!

    Author = wrote something. Music, lyrics, etc.

    Participant = played something. Guitar, drums, vocals, etc. Also includes engineers.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    One thing that copyrighting separately allows for, is selling use of single songs for other things like a movie. I believe that a song as part of a collection would have to be amended in order to be used in something other than the collection as a whole.
  5. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Copyright registration only concerns itself with registering a copyright. Rightsholders are free to license and exploit the material as they see fit.

    When you look at a "Greatist Hits" CD of a long-time act like Aerosmith or The Judds, you see multiple copyrights listed for different publishers and various groups. Rightholders licensed the material as they wished.

    Note though, the "Greatist Hits" CD requires a new form SR to register it.

    Also, you can copyright an "album" and still issue "singles" from it without a new registration (and fee). The "single" is protected by it's registration in the "album" already registered.
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Assuming by 'claimant' you mean creator/author/composer, you can file one form and register a collection of works (album) as long as you wrote or at least co-wrote each and every song on the collection.

    But if you're acting as publisher and didn't write the songs, I believe there are different standards - (maybe JohnTodd can enlighten us)
  7. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Never done that before. ;) The US copyright website can explain all, though.

    Well, update:

    A pub can be rightsholder. THe forms allow the pub to also claim rights. THat is no problem. Keep in mind that if the pub claims rights, there better be a contract between authors and the pub, or the authors can contest the registration.

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