How do I copyright my music for free?

September 17th, 2021  |  by maria

How do I copyright my music for free?

Nowadays, it’s quite common to have legal battles over copyright infringements. Whether it’s a song or a creative idea, there are many copyright infringement issues worldwide.

As a musician, an artist, or a creative, perhaps this has got you thinking of protecting your work if a dispute arises.

“How do I copyright my music” is a constant fear for many artists and musicians, with some wondering just how to go about it. Let’s walk you through how to copyright your music and other creative works, shall we?

Understanding how copyright works

Here is some shocking discovery for you, you can automatically copyright your music. All you have to do is putting it down in record.

And no, that does not mean heading to the studio to copyright your music. It simply means that writing down your music lyrics on a piece of paper or recording the audio will automatically copyright your music.

If it’s that simple, then why does the legality of copyright get complicated?

Well, copyrighting a song is quite simple, as shown above, but you also need to register and, most importantly, protect your music.

Here you need proof, including dates and stamps, to authenticate that you wrote the song before someone else.

See it this way, if you hear a song on the radio or online streaming services, quickly write down the lyrics, and start a copyright infringement dispute, how will the courts authenticate your claim?

Well, it all comes down to the dates on your lyrics. So, when you hear people say about the process of copyrighting your music, it’s about proving you wrote it first.

How to copyright your music in the UK

In the UK several laws protect music and creatives. The laws are the "Copyright act of 1911", "Copyright act 1956", and "Copyright, Designs  Patents Act 1988". Under this law, you must prove that you are the owner and the corresponding dates are proven.

So, to get something of an official and verified date, simply write the song or record and audio mail to oneself. On the envelope, ensure you seal it and sign your name on the seal.

Use a registered post to do this, and once you receive it, don’t open it but rather keep it safe.

The main reason for all this is to get an official stamp from the post office, which can be used to verify that you wrote the song on a prior date. In case of a copyright infringement issue, the dates and signature will come in handy.

If that feels like a lot of work for you, use the services of a solicitor or bank. Put the song in writing on paper, or an audio recording, seal it and give it to your solicitor or bank.

They are safe custodians and will come in handy in case of a copyright dispute. But keep in mind that there will be a custodian fee charged by the solicitor or bank, usually charged annually.

Those are the two common ways of registering your copyright work in the UK.

What else do you need to know about copyright work in the UK

Well, while the copyright registration process is quite simple, there is something else you need to keep in mind. As the author or composer of the music, you will be given all the moral rights of the piece. This is not transferrable and will only apply to one person, though there will be waivered altogether.

The copyright is applicable for seventy years under the laws in the UK. Apart from that, copyright work in the UK is also applicable in almost all countries globally, thanks to the Universal Copyright Convention and the Berne Convention. The longevity of the copyright is applicable for each country though it should not be over 70 years.

Our Final Thoughts

Copyrighting your work is an important step in protecting your intellectual work. It all starts with putting your song into writing or recording, audio. Register the copyright to get the verification which will come in handy during a court proceeding.

The specified date on your mail or solicitor will prove that you are the original owner. The law allows any British citizen, resident or domiciled, or working first written in Britain to be protected under the Copyright laws.

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