Newbie question: registering songs with PRO

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  • #11797 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    So… doesn’t that mean that I don’t need to register any of my songs with BMI if the libraries are supposed to do that … If my music is going anyplace that will not register with BMI (Like direct placement in a movie, etc), that’s when I should be registering my songs, right?

    Pretty much you got it. Register your title and let the libraries register theirs.

    #11802 Reply
    angopop
    Participant

    Thanks Art!

    #13193 Reply
    angopop
    Participant

    Similar question, but now applying this to copyright — do you register the initial title and all the alternate titles with the copyright office at the same time?

    I don’t recall a field in the application process to do that when you’re filling out the copyright application? Or do you send in a different application for alternate titles?

    #13196 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Google is your friend. This helps a little:
    http://www.copyright.gov/eco/help-title.html but you can’t copyright titles so I’m not sure there’s a point to copyrighting alt titles. Someone else will surely know more than I on it though.

    #13210 Reply
    angopop
    Participant

    Thanks, Art … I am aware that you can’t copyright the title, I was thinking of something else…

    Let me clarify. The reason we copyright is to protect our songs should someone copy our musical ideas. Many of us are re-titling our own songs and sending the same song to different libraries with different names.

    If, say for instance, one of our songs which we copyrighted as Blue Skies and then sent to one library with that name, then sent to another library as He’s So Fine, gets re-written by Mr. Plaja Rhythm who names his song My Sweet Lord, and he makes over $75,000 or enough to warrant a lawsuit (see the other copyright thread).

    Blue Skies was copyrighted, but He’s So Fine was not, wouldn’t that leave a hole in a legal situation?

    We wouldn’t be copyrighting the title, but copyrighting every instance of that particular song with each different title we give it.

    I’m not a lawyer, I just like to think I play one around the house…

    #13215 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    He’s So Fine, gets re-written by Mr. Plaja Rhythm who names his song My Sweet Lord,

    In that case they lost not because of the title but because they did sound so similar.

    I’m not a lawyer but I’m not losing sleep over alternate titles (or lack of) on my copyrights. 😉 Always consult an attorney if you are unsure.

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