Ways to copyright your stuff


Slow Diver
Registered User
Joined: 02/27/02
Posts: 379
What are the ways you guys use to copyright your stuff?
Question No2(might sound funny to some people but I 'm totally uninformed in these matters)If I post a song of mine on some site (for example GT) can this serve as an evidence that this song is actually mine and not of Fred Durst who heard it on GT and put it in his album?
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# 1
trendkillah
Senior Member
Joined: 06/08/00
Posts: 490
Copywriting is done differently in different countries. I suggest contacting the organization that takes care of that stuff in your country, and ask them how to do it.

As for posting stuff online. If you haven't copywritten it, anybody can use it, and copywrite it under their name.

Though, if you post stuff onhere, guitartricks, I think the webmaster actually owns the rights to it. I could be wrong though.
# 2
Slow Diver
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Joined: 02/27/02
Posts: 379
Well, I don't realy want to rely on my country's copyright laws because right now we have huge problems with that -- there is a lot of corruption and dirty stories around it. I just will mention that the best selling artist here who is a hip-hopper steals his music from little known us rapers and puts bulgarian lyrics and here nobody makes a big fuss about that
I am asking then if there is some kind of international organisation through which I can copyright my stuff and thus to court marshal anyone anywhere who steals my work.

(maybe from what I've said you have the impression that I consider myself some kind of genius composer whose works everyone would want to steal. Its not like that, in fact the chance that somebody tries to steal something mine is very low, however I want to have everything mine clearly under my name just ... for the sake of it.)
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# 3
trendkillah
Senior Member
Joined: 06/08/00
Posts: 490
There is no international organization that I'm aware of. Though maybe you can have your stuff copywritten abroad, maybe you should check out that option. I think in America it's enough to send in a recording.

BTW, if that rapper does steal stuff from others, and is getting away with it, he just hasn't been caught yet. If he's stealing from a U.S. artist, he'll be in trouble sooner or later. This has nothing to do with the country he lives in, but with the country the artist he's stealing from lives in.
# 4
Digit
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Joined: 01/24/02
Posts: 242
If you post your song on several different servers around the world, (like mp3.com, mp3.com/au, garagband.com...etc.....) it should be good enough proof if it ever went to court. All you have to do is supeona (sp?) the records of the company that's storing the song and you'd have the proof of the dates you uploaded them.
Your main problem though, whether you've copyrighted your songs or not, is how good a case you have and can you really afford to pursue it if it goes to court.
Even if you have a strong case, the winner is usually going to be the one who can afford the best legal team and puts on the best case.
If you go up against Sony, they'll have 10 lawyers working 24/7 and keep you tied up in court for years.
If you can't afford to keep pursuing your case, you're screwed. If it's a matter of a song sounding just 'similar' to yours and there's even a slight chance that you might lose, you aren't going to find a lawyer willing to keep working on the case on a contingency basis.

I suspect this is why you hear things like car commercials with very familiar sounding tunes in them, like Little Green Bag in one commercial I heard... it uses the exact same mix, timing, instruments and style but the notes have been changed. You can't prove it's your song because they can just pull out the sheet music and prove you wrong.

Either way, it's like the O.J. trial. If you take it to court, you take your chances and it's up to a jury to decide who put on the strongest case... and for most people, the thought of going up against a huge record company and possibly hurting their future career (ie, being known as a potential litagator and getting blacklisted) or mortgaging their house to fight them isn't worth the fight. And unless the song was a multi million dollar seller, it's doubtful that you'd win more money than your lawyer would cost.

Hopefully though, the shame of everybody knowing you ripped somebody off would be enough to stop most people from even trying. I couldn't live with myself if I stole somebody's idea and ended up with a hit song that wasn't really mine. The negative publicity itself could destroy your career.

# 5
Azrael
Gargoyle Instructor
Joined: 04/06/01
Posts: 2,093
there is no REAL copyright for your music - only if someone takes exactly what you played/recorded and says it was his own - then you have a chance.

Normally you just register your stuff by sending a tape or notes or a midifile from your compositions to the facility that is dealing with this stuff in yer country (for germany and austria its the GEMA and the AKM)

Now if someone plays your stuff live (cover) or on radio, he has to pay a fee for it. If someone covers you, he also pays a fee for it. if someone takes only several riffs from you he is free to do so. as far as i know this is regulated by the number of identical bars. If a song has more than X identical bars with another registered song, then it is considered as a cover and you have to pay for it.

[FONT=Times New Roman]Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. What you decide to do every day makes you a good person... or not.[/FONT][br][br]

# 6
Azrael
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Joined: 04/06/01
Posts: 2,093
thatz the reason why i hardly ever post my own compositions anywhere on the net.

[FONT=Times New Roman]Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. What you decide to do every day makes you a good person... or not.[/FONT][br][br]

# 7
Slow Diver
Registered User
Joined: 02/27/02
Posts: 379
Yeah,
I actually was asking that because I thought of posting some of my stuff.
Now I see that I won't do that.

But that's really ugly, you know? The internet is suppused to be a medium through which people can share ideas, give their opinions and what it turns out to be is that you should trust nobody and everybody is afraid of everybody. We should try to figure out a way to fix this, shouldn't we?
The world is loaded, it's lit to pop, nobody is gonna stop!
# 8
trendkillah
Senior Member
Joined: 06/08/00
Posts: 490
Originally posted by Slow Diver
you should trust nobody


That is basically what it comes down to. Though, "nobody" should be rephrased as "nobody online".

Look at it like this. You think inventors let fellow-inventors(who are direct competition) check out their stuff and give their opinion on it before it has been patented?

Just let people you know and trust listen to your stuff and let them be the judges.
# 9
kingdavid
Registered User
Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 1,149
Originally posted by Slow Diver
Well, I don't realy want to rely on my country's copyright laws because right now we have huge problems with that...

I hear that the RIAA(The Recording Industry Association of America)can copyright your stuff,assuming you trtust America's copyright law.
These websites might give you some ideas about copyrights:
http://www.riaa.net
http://www.socan.com
http://www.cla.co.uk
http://www.lib.virginia.edu/copyright/copylaw.html
http://www.strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrksv/cipo/cp/cp_main-e.html?icservices=e_cop
http://www.copyright.com.au

# 10
Josh Redstone
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Joined: 07/16/02
Posts: 838
This may have been mentioned before, but what about mailing something to yourself? Does that actually work?
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# 11
Slow Diver
Registered User
Joined: 02/27/02
Posts: 379
Well I read on GW white zombie's guitarists column and he said that in the court thay wouldn't take it because it is possible that you can cheat with that. As the guy said: "Remember your report card?" :D
What I have thought of is making a video in which you show a place which shows the date and time, kind of like Big Ben, and at the same time you play yor stuff on a tape before the camera.
What do you think about that?
Sound engeneers, do you think one can cheat with this method?
The world is loaded, it's lit to pop, nobody is gonna stop!
# 12
Frosty Marine
Registered User
Joined: 05/09/04
Posts: 1
So if you take video game music tabs from this site and put them in songs for commercial use, do we have to pay royalties to the company that the video game tab was covering?
# 13
HDJ
Explanation: Southerner
Joined: 05/10/04
Posts: 1,445
I don't know if this is true or not, but, a lawyer told me this......

Record your song or songs, put them on a C.D., and mail it to yourself. Be sure to use an envelope that seals up nicely. When you receive it in the mail, don't open it, put it in a safe place. When you mail it to yourself, the post office will stamp the date on it. Because the post office is a government office, the sealed C.D. in the envelope would prove that you wrote and recorded the song(s) as of the date on the envelope...Not exactly a copyright, but I was told it would hold up in court if that situation ever came to be.....

Like I said, I don't know if this is true...Has anyone else ever heard of this?
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# 14
HDJ
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Joined: 05/10/04
Posts: 1,445
Sorry, I just noticed the topic of mailing the songs to yourself has already been covered....I'm an idiot.................
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# 15
iamthe_eggman
Grizzled Spellchecker
Joined: 05/09/00
Posts: 2,233
I've never really understood this. What if you mail yourself an unsealed envelope? You could put whatever you want in there; gum wrappers, underpants, Jimmy Hoffa, more unsealed envelopes.
... and that's all I have to say about that.

[U]ALL[/U] generalizations are [U]WRONG[/U]

[/sarcasm]
# 16
HDJ
Explanation: Southerner
Joined: 05/10/04
Posts: 1,445
Good point Eggman......I never thought about it that way. Forget the mailing to yourself, it can be cheated.............
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Havoc Din
# 17
Jolly McJollyson
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Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Originally Posted by: trendkillahThat is basically what it comes down to. Though, "nobody" should be rephrased as "nobody online".

Look at it like this. You think inventors let fellow-inventors(who are direct competition) check out their stuff and give their opinion on it before it has been patented?

Just let people you know and trust listen to your stuff and let them be the judges.


Weird...you've been here since 2000, and this is the first time I've ever seen you post...I think I might be going insane.
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# 18
The Ace
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/27/03
Posts: 802
The mailing yuorself thing does work. Have you ever got an unsealed envelope in the mail? Probably not, think about it. The post hast to seal it, cuz otherwise they'd be out of business, I mean what if somebody like lost their house cuz the stuff in the envelope fell out?

Or maybe I'm just hoping it does, cuz the CD that I cut has that copyright on it. :o
There are only two important things in life - There's music and theres girls, not necessarily in that order....
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# 19
The Ace
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Joined: 11/27/03
Posts: 802
The mailing yuorself thing does work. Have you ever got an unsealed envelope in the mail? Probably not, think about it. The post hast to seal it, cuz otherwise they'd be out of business, I mean what if somebody like lost their house cuz a payment thing in the envelope fell out?

Or maybe I'm just hoping it does, cuz the CD that I cut has that copyright on it. :o
There are only two important things in life - There's music and theres girls, not necessarily in that order....
The Ace's Guitar Tricks
# 20