I was contacted last week by a “Copyright Registration Service” that wanted to advertise on Music Library Report. They actually had already paid for one month’s ad run (since returned). I was somewhat suspicious but thought I would check it out. The site looked very official and I thought maybe it had some tie in with the U.S. Copyright Office.
There was a lot of data on the site on how well their “registration” was protecting your music. The more I looked the more suspicious I became as there appeared to be no tie in with the U.S. Copyright Office. All they were doing was fixing a date of registration with their service, NOT the U.S. Copyright Office. BTW a quick Google search will reveal a number of theses types of services.
I asked a learned lawyer friend his take, and here is his response.
“It’s true that composers do automatically have a copyright in their work the moment that it is put into a fixed and tangible medium, whether that be on paper, tape, your DAW, or sung into a hand-held recorder, etc. But, if you are ever in a position where you need to sue someone to enforce your copyright, the work must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. It is a prerequisite — period.
Copyright suits are brought in US Federal Court. Having an official registration from the U.S. Copyright Office is your ticket into Federal Court. A Copyright Registration Service’s piece of paper will not even get you in the door. At best, it might be evidence of a date of creation. But, it is definitely not a substitute for copyright registration.”
So, there you have it. Spending money on these types of services is a waste of your money.