Published vs Unpublished Copyright Registration

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    Art Munson

    Most of my music that I’ve copyrighted has been registered as unpublished.  However. I am aware that once a piece of music has become part of a library’s catalog it is considered to be published.


    Recently, I was able to talk with an IP lawyer (whose specialty is not music).  He was pretty insistent that it was necessary to re-register as published any music that had been accepted into a library.  I haven’t found anything on the Copyright Office’s website to back this up.  On the contrary, I found this on page 7 of Circular 01:


    “Registration may be made at any time within the life of

    the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has

    been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to

    make another registration when the work becomes published,

    although the copyright owner may register the published

    edition, if desired.”


    I’m wondering how some of you approach this issue, especially those with hundreds of cues that you register individually.  Do you register them as published from the start?  Is this even an issue to be concerned about?


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