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How to copyright music
How to Copyright Music for the Beginner
For those wondering how to copyright music the answer can be both long and short. The first thing to remember is that most people are confused about exactly what it means to actually copyright music. Music is actually copyrighted as soon as it is presented in a fixed form. It doesn't really matter whether that fixed form is as written sheet music or as a recording.
Most people are looking for solid legal protection and while a copyright is good to have, it is essentially worthless unless you've actually gone to the effort of also registering your copyright. Rather than asking 'how to copyright music', perhaps the better question would be 'what do I do now that I've copyrighted my music?'
It doesn't really matter what you call it unless you're moving around in legal or industry circles I suppose, but I've always felt that it's a good idea to have a clue about the process in which you are embarking. Now that we've answered how to copyright music, it's time to move on to the real issue, which is registering your copyright. Music is registered through the U. S. Copyright Office. You will need to fill out an application, pay a fee, and provide a copy of your music. As far as government dealings go, this is one of the least painful. Even the fee is marginal when you consider your 'hopeful' future profits and royalties.
All that aside, there is something that is massively satisfying about knowing how to copyright music and having your first piece of music registered. Music is an art form and the ability to write music is nothing insignificant. It is a real talent that is actually quite rare. Many popular musicians today use music that has been written by others either in addition to or rather than music that they have written themselves. Even if you aren't a talented performer, it doesn't mean that your music will never be seen or heard or that you should not bother learning how to copyright music. You just might find that you are more in demand for your particular talents than you would have ever dreamed possible.
The big thing to remember though is not to sit around wondering how to copyright music but to get out there and go about the process of creating and making more wonderful music to share with the world. It takes all kinds of music to keep this world turning and there is someone out there that is waiting to hear the music that you create. The process of how to copyright music is completely free. The process of registering your copyright is worth every penny you will spend. It is important to protect your music now more than ever with piracy and widespread downloading providing significant reductions in profits for everyone involved.
The music industry is also a very fickle industry and you need to maximize your profit potential and usefulness. Once you understand how to copyright music, you need to make sure every piece of music you have has been copyrighted, then you need to go through your music and systematically register each and every piece as well. Even if you must do one piece at a time until you manage to register the copyright on them all, it is much better to be safe than sorry should you ever go to trial in a copyright infringement case. Also remember to pay it forward and support up and coming musicians by sharing the information of how to copyright music and how to register copyrights as well.
US copyright law U.S. Copyright Law Covers Artistic Expression and Creative and Intellectual Works The US Copyright Law grants rights to individuals for the works they create. The US Copyright Act of 1790 has changed over the years. The current basis of US copyright law is based on the Copyright Act of 1976. US copyright law is relatively automatic. Once someone has an idea and produces it in tangible form, the creator is the copyright holder and has the authority to enforce his exclusivity to it. In other words, the person is the owner of the creation. It is not necessary that a person register their work. However, it is recommended and it can serve as evidence if someone ever violates a copyright. It is interesting to note that when an employer hires an employee to produce a work that the copyright is given to the employer. Violations of US Copyright Law are generally enforced in a civil court setting. However, there could also be criminal sanctions brought against someone who violates US copyright law. Someone that is in serious violation of US Copyright Law such as counterfeiting can find themselves on the inside of prison looking out. People need to understand that the copyright symbol is not a requirement. Someone may have a copyright, yet their work may not have a copyright notice or symbol. US Copyright Law covers a wide range of things that are derived from artistic expression, intellectual or creative work. This includes things such as literary works, music, drawings, photographs, software, movies, choreographic works such as ballets and plays, poems, paintings and more. The law covers the form of expression, not the concept, facts or the actual idea of the work. This means that someone can use another person?s idea or concept and produce their own take on it. However, copying another person?s work is a violation. It should be noted that some things may not be copyrighted but they may be protected by a patent or trademark. Individuals who have a copyright on a particular piece of work can do with it what they will. They may choose to copy it and sell it. They may display their work or perform it in public and charge admission, or they can assign or sell the work to someone else. Individuals who have a copyright can also choose to do nothing with their work, if that is their desire. However, if someone comes along and takes the work and tries to use it in some way, that person is still in violation of the owner?s copyright. Copyrights cover published and unpublished work. Anyone who is in the creative arts arena should be very careful that they do not violate US Copyright Law. For that matter, anyone who is a fan of the creative arts should make sure they are not in violation of a copyright. Simple things like uploading, downloading and sharing music or movie files can result in serious charges and fines being brought against them. With the popularity of the Internet and file sharing software there many copyrights are currently being violated. Copyright owners are starting to take a stand against them and are hunting down the perpetrators. Be careful that you are not overstepping your boundaries and violating someone?s copyright law.
Important Steps to Follow in Creating a Professional Digital Identity for your Job Search Having a professional digital identify is essential in finding new business or employment. Everyone can benefit from having a polished professional digital identity. It is key to advancing in any career. Of course, how you present yourself digitally depending on what type of career advancement you are going for. If you are starting a new business you will need to have a stellar website. A professional should consulted so that you have the best website possible. If you are interested in securing a new job, you can probably build your own website or just post your resume and portfolio. Trying to land an interview is much easier than striking out on your own so it takes a little less effort. However, no matter what your career aspirations are a professional digital identity is important. If your professional digital identity is lacking in credibility spend some time and effort improving it. A healthy professional digital identity will help you get the job you desire. Instead of spending money on business cards, invest in presenting yourself well on the web. People can always get in touch with you on the web. Business cards get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day paper accumulation that most people acquire. Locate all of the social networking sites you can. You can never be too well represented on the web. Of course, people like to shake hands and meet you in person. When circumstances permit, set up lunches or coffee dates to discuss projects or networking opportunities. For entrepreneurs, it is wise to stay well acquainted. The type of business you are in will influence what you have in your portfolio. If you are striving to build an online presence for your own personal business, have plenty of samples on your site. If you business is not one where you have samples to show, have coupons or special offers posted. Create a strong professional digital identity and you will attract more sales. Whether you are networking or building up business for yourself, you need to have a professional digital identity that people can respect. Provide a number of ways for people to get in touch with you and keep your information updated. Do pro bono if necessary. Do some things for free to gain exposure. First impressions have a big influence on what people think about you. In the past people were limited to physical or phone impressions. These days the way that employees first get to know most candidates is through their digital identity. A bad web site or a sloppy portfolio online can ruin your chances of getting a job. Make sure that your professional digital identity is well developed. One of the major mistakes people make when it comes to digital identity is registering for networking and social sites and posting less than favorable pictures and comments. Some employers check MySpace and Facebook to try to get a clear picture of the candidate they are interviewing or deciding whether or not to work with. If your Myspace page is full of pictures of you in your scantly clad bathing suit their decision to hire you or not becomes very easy. Do not use your real name to register for these types of sites. Or if you do, use the site in a professional manner. Set up your Myspace page in an attractive and professional way. Friends will be able to reach you but employers will also view you in a professional manner. A great way to present yourself well digitally is to have your own website. Upload your resume and include information about your work history. Employers will be able to review your work history more extensively making them more inclined to contact you.