Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video When is a song published?, part of Music Law: Copyrighting a Song.
- One question that comes up a few times…in the application process is whether a song is published.…The answer affects the format of the work that you deposit…with the copyright office,…your ability to register several songs at once,…and how you answer certain questions on the application.…Generally, publication is related to sales and/or…distribution of copies of a work.…A song is published when copies of the song, for example,…as an MP3, CD or vinyl, are distributed to the public.…
It's also considered published when you offer somebody else…the right to sell or transfer copies.…For example, you make a deal with a record company.…Although it may seem counterintuitive,…a song is not published when you perform it at a show,…no matter how many people are exposed to it.…The same is true for performances on the radio or on TV,…or posting it online.…Unless copies, MP3s,…CDs, vinyl, etc. change hands,…a song is not considered to be published.…
What if a song is posted at SoundCloud,…but the posting is set so that others can not download it?…
Rich starts by defining what a song copyright and a sound recording copyright are—and how they're different. He defines who owns a song, and how to sort out contributions from multiple writers of the same song. Then he explains how to get a copyright registration using the U.S. Copyright Office's online application process. The course wraps up by discussing possible objections that copyright examiners may have, as well as what to do to maintain your copyright and correct any errors that crop up.
DISCLAIMER: This course is taught by an attorney (or other instructor) and addresses US law concepts that may not apply in all countries. Neither LinkedIn (including Lynda.com) nor the instructor represents you and they are not giving legal advice. The information conveyed through this course is akin to a college or law school course; it is not intended to give legal advice, but instead to communicate information to help viewers understand the basics of the topic presented. The views (and legal interpretations) presented in this course do not necessarily represent the views of LinkedIn or Lynda.com.
- What is a song copyright?
- Who owns a song?
- Evaluating cowriters and their contributions
- Registering a song copyright
- Maintaining a copyright registration