When you step into the ring with the big boys you’ll need to get the proper paperwork in order to protect your intellectual property. There are several ways to go about this and in this section we’ll be covering the basics, some non-conventional ways and where to get your songs registered.
It is essential to cover your electronic behind through copyright because you never know when someone might claim your original material for their own. Even more importantly you might get lucky and have someone with money try to steal your songs; one law suit later you got a brand new studio. So without any further ado let’s get on it.
Something anyone can do
This is probably one of the most primitive ways to copyright your work, now you need to realize that this is only for your protection as the author, but you won’t have much protection legally per say. This method comes down to simply burning a CD with all the tracks you want to “copyright” and with a list that states when you created each song. Once you have this done you’ll simply go to the post office, send it with the max protection on the envelope and send it to your self. When the package arrives at your house…DO NOT OPEN THE DOCUMENT! Keep that baby sealed for ever until you get into a legal dispute over who created the song. When the time comes you whip out your officially stamped posted document that has never been opened and you show everybody that indeed…it was YOU who created the song. This works almost everywhere in the world and won’t cost you an arm or a leg.
There is a virtual method that is almost the same as the one I explained above. The website is protectmywork.com and works under the same principle except that a third party will be holding the submission which when it comes to legal terms you’ll be more protected. The total costs come down to twenty five pounds per year and will allow you to copyright as much as you want for that fee. So for a DJ that produces hundreds of tracks per year, this might be a very good and viable option.
The US has a page called copyright.gov where you can register an “original work” for $35 USD. There is no specification as to how many songs can be placed on an “original work” which means that if you burn a MP3 of all your work you could register up to 100 songs as your own original work. The only problem is that you won’t have the specific licensing for each song, which means that you’ll need to make the license per song if you want to sell your music to a third party. There are other options for registration but that’s up to you to check it out.
Nimbit and similar sites
Finally there is a method if you are a dubstep maker, when you pay sites like Nimbit, Reverbnation and so forth. They will automatically register your music for you when you ask or give you the option to purchase them on your own. Normally they are pretty sage to go by and you should have no problem getting your international codes for next to nothing.
Take note that these methods will cost you money, but in essence you are only investing in your own security and peace of mind.