Using music while waiting for copyright

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  • #34356 Reply
    mgv1
    Participant

    Is it advisable to wait for the actual copyright number before using music in any way online? The wait is estimated at 3 months for an application with uploaded music to process. Thanks!

    #34358 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Is it advisable to wait for the actual copyright number before using music in any way online?

    No but this is not legal advice!

    In reality, for the market we are in, copyrighting every piece of music is financially not feasible.

    #34361 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    In reality, for the market we are in, copyrighting every piece of music is financially not feasible.

    Under the current fee schedule, you can register 10 unpublished works in a “Group Registration” for $55. That seems feasible.

    Is it advisable to wait for the actual copyright number before using music in any way online?

    The US Supreme Court recently held that for purposes of litigation registration has occurred when when the Copyright office takes the final step of issuing the registration, not when the application is submitted. The timing of registration and publication can have a serious impact on your ability to receive statutory damages and legal fees in the event that someone infringes on your work after publication and before the registration is final.

    #34362 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Under the current fee schedule, you can register 10 unpublished works in a “Group Registration” for $55. That seems feasible.

    Good point MichaelL but define “unpublished”? What happens after “published” and what is the definition for copyright’s sake? See, that’s what you get for being a lawyer. Ha!

    #34363 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    define “unpublished”? What happens after “published” and what is the definition for copyright’s sake?

    17 U.S. Code §101.
    “Publication” is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.

    #34366 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks MichaelL!

    #34367 Reply
    mgv1
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for your time on this. It just seems a bit frustrating to wait so long before being able to do anything with some good tunes.

    #34376 Reply
    Logika
    Participant

    My understanding about group registration is that it could be.a problem if the destinations of the compositions comprising the group registration go to different entities, e.g. some pieces go to X library, some go to Y library, etc. Since they share the same copyright number, all the compositions in the group would really ‘belong’ to the new publisher/library when you may not want them to. Is there validation to this?

    #34379 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    My understanding about group registration is that it could be.a problem if the destinations of the compositions comprising the group registration go to different entities, e.g. some pieces go to X library, some go to Y library, etc. Since they share the same copyright number, all the compositions in the group would really ‘belong’ to the new publisher/library when you may not want them to. Is there validation to this?

    What you are describing was true under the old system of registering “collections” of works. My understanding of the new group registrations for unpublished works, implemented last year, is that each work will have a unique registration number. There are, however, other requirements. For example, “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.”

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