New Copyright Rules for “Group of Unpublished Works”

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  angopop 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #32812 Reply

    angopop
    Participant

    I noticed that the Copyright Office just changed their rules. I used to copyright all my new tracks under a ‘collection’, but now you can only copyright up to ten songs at a time.

    I was wondering if people here copyrighted each song individually, or as a group of (now) ten songs, and why ( I remember reading that copyrighting each song individually is stronger, but more expensive)?. Or can you do something else these days?

    Thanks

    #32813 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    The US Copyright Office changed the rules earlier this year. As of March 15, 2019, you can no longer register songs as an “unpublished collection”. Under the previous rules you could in theory register as many unpublished tracks as the upload limit allowed. Under the new rules, you can only register ten unpublished works as a “Group of Unpublished Works.”

    Under the old rules everything was registered under a single registration number. That meant that you really could not effectively split tracks under that registration among different publishers if you were transferring the copyright. Also, in the event that your works were infringed upon you could only seek damages for one work, no matter how many were infringed on, because everything was under a single registration number.

    I have been told by the Copyright Office that under the new Group Registration system each work will be independent and have its own registration number. The caveat here is that timing and procedure are critical. Unpublished means unpublished. You need to register your tracks before you upload them to any sites and offer them for sale to the public. If you publish first, your registration could be invalid. Timing is critical as it impacts the amount of damages that you can collect and the ability to collect for your legal fees.

    NOTE: Group Registration is not available in all circumstances. “To qualify for this option, all the works must be created by the same author or the same joint authors, and the author or joint authors must be named as the copyright claimant for each work.” For more details read here: https://www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/group-unpublished/

    #32814 Reply

    angopop
    Participant

    Thank you, MichaelL, very informative and clear.

    Each song having it’s own registration number seems like a good idea.

    Even though it will cost more as I can submit less songs, it seems like we get a bit more protection if each song is registered separately….

    #32815 Reply

    angopop
    Participant

    It seem odd that you can’t name the collection anymore. I used to name my copyright submissions “My Name Collection #1”, etc…

    Now it automatically names it after your first song title then adds “…and 9 Other Unpublished Works”.

    Any idea why that is and what advantage that has?

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