As a creative, you know the importance of owning your music. When it comes to songwriting, nothing feels better than finally hearing your song being played on the radio.
When a song is played on the radio, the songwriter gets paid royalties. However, getting paid for your music isn’t as straightforward as you might think—you must copyright your song and protect it against unpaid and unauthorized use.
With that said, there are many contracts for musicians that you should have for you to protect one of your most valuable assets—your songs. In this article, we’ll give you a low-down on everything you need to know about copyright and why it’s time for you to start protecting your assets.
You Get Instant Ownership with a Copyright
The revised Copyright Law of 1976 says that a song is automatically protected by copyright once the songwriter puts the piece in tangible forms, such as on paper or a recording. But to sue for copyright infringement is another story.
To sue someone for copyright infringement, you need to ensure that your song is officially registered with the US Copyright Office. With this, you get a wide range of legal options if you become a victim of unauthorized use of material.
Your Song Must Be Copyrighted Before Its Release
The rule of thumb is you should register your song before your release to the public, in whatever platform or medium that may be. Besides, obtaining a copyright is quite easy and affordable. All you need to do is get the forms by going to the Copyright Office or requesting them online, and after that, you need to pay USD30 per song or a collection of songs.
Fortunately, if you register your songs for copyright, it is recognized in other countries, too. And with that, you get to authorize the use of your materials as you desire.
Allowing Other People to Use Your Song
Since you’re a copyright owner, you can do what you want with your song and control how people use it. With a copyright license, you’re allowing other people to sue your song without your consent. Instead, they pay royalties and notify you once it’s ready to be released.
In some cases, record companies don’t like dealing with the paperwork of compulsory licensing, and instead, they obtain a direct license from the songwriter and negotiate terms.
The Digital Dilemma of Recordings and Downloads
What happens when a private individual uses digital recording equipment to tape your tunes? Some of you might think that you can sue them immediately, right? However, the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act allows consumers to record music for private and noncommercial use. Additionally, the law also provides small royalty payments to artists and songwriters.
As for downloads, many recording companies and even artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Cheap Trick, and Gloria Estefan are not happy about this. In that regard, it’s important to protect your music with contracts for musicians to ensure that your assets are secured accordingly.
The Bottom Line: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Registering Your Assets for Copyright
Being creative, you understand the importance of protecting what you create. With that, it only makes sense that you create contracts for musicians and register your songs for copyright. Not only will you have control over how it should be used, but you’ll also get to protect your creation in the long run.
How Can We Help You?
Creating legal documents like contracts can be very tricky, especially if you’re a musician. Fortunately, Creators Legal is here to help.
Creators Legal is the first and only legal platform built just for Content Creators. Get simple, straightforward, and trustworthy creator contracts in a fast, easy-to-use platform. With a powerful guided Form Builder, a secure e-signature system, and your own personalized dashboard to store and organize all your contracts, you can get yourself protected in minutes without the need for expensive entertainment lawyers!
Want to learn more? Check out CreatorsLegal.com, where you can get single-use contracts or monthly and annual subscriptions on all contracts for creators! Try us now!