1. #1

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    I'm in the process of copyrighting an album of some tunes and see that there are two options: PA (performance arts) and SR (sound recording). I have made some basic (two guitar) recordings outlining the complete melodic structure of each tune, but the final arrangements will involve different instrumentation and could easily end up being longer.

    As I'm not interested in copyrighting the "recording" as such, I have considered that I should go for the PA option, but have a doubt regarding whether they require sheet music. If not, and the recording (mp3) alone is sufficient, I'm also not sure whether to upload separate tracks (there are 8) or one long mp3 with the tunes back-to-back.

    ?

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    I'm in the process of copyrighting an album of some tunes and see that there are two options: PA (performance arts) and SR (sound recording). I have made some basic (two guitar) recordings outlining the complete melodic structure of each tune, but the final arrangements will involve different instrumentation and could easily end up being longer.

    As I'm not interested in copyrighting the "recording" as such, I have considered that I should go for the PA option, but have a doubt regarding whether they require sheet music. If not, and the recording (mp3) alone is sufficient, I'm also not sure whether to upload separate tracks (there are 8) or one long mp3 with the tunes back-to-back.

    ?
    That's how I did it some years ago, registering both songwriting and performance copyrights by submitting a ten-song demo as a collective work. No issues from them. No written music was submitted. Copyright was approved.

    Put each tune onto one sound recording, submit at the same time, subtitle each piece, you're good. Sheet music is not required, and you can copyright separate pieces that way, because they're all part of an organic piece, the album, as well.

  4. #3

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    I don’t have experience with this, but I’ve considered doing something similar, submitting a collection of 10 recordings for songwriting copyright. It seems to be allowed in the US:
    https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ50.pdf

  5. #4

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    If you're doing this to protect your intellectual property, you might also consider registering it with BMI.

  6. #5

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    BMI is a performing rights society. Maybe ....

    So, I need to register my music as a PA (performance arts) work on one single recording, detailing each tune. Good to know they don't require a notated version as that would take me ages.

    One thing: I read (on the BMI site, I think) that if you make a new version of an old song, (aka a derivative work), it should be (re-)copyrighted, noting the ways it’s been altered from the previous version. As I mentioned, the final arrangements will differ from the basic, bare-bones versions I intend to upload now; horns, percussion etc and they are likely to be longer: ie, repetions of sections and some harmonic embellishment. Would this constitute a new version from a compositional standpoint?

    The main reason for copyrighting this stuff is to get it done before sending it out locally and seeing who's up for playing it! A synth version would be a second-best option, but I don't have the right hardware for that right now.

    Cheers

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    I don’t have experience with this, but I’ve considered doing something similar, submitting a collection of 10 recordings for songwriting copyright. It seems to be allowed in the US:
    https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ50.pdf
    This is what I did with my 2002/2003 solo album UTONIA. I sent in my two cds for deposit in the Library of Congress early in 2003. I finally got the paperwork in late 2004.

    It took what seemed like forever, and that was when the government was still making an effort to function. So be patient. But you legally have your copyright from the moment you put your creation in a fixed form. Just be sure you affix your copyright notice on whatever you put out there.

    Good luck.

  8. #7

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    In addition to the great advice noted by others in this thread, be aware that there are sneaky folks out there who will simply snatch your material for their own purposes. So once you've done your due diligence, continue to search the web for your songs if possible.

    I produced a CD for my vocalist wife several years ago and all of the songs were ASCAP or BMI protected. However, a few years after it was released on CD Baby and other outlets, I was informed of a rapper who had sampled my music as well as my wife's vocals. I reached out to him and threatened to sue, report him to ASCAP and BMI, etc. Turned out that he was just a wanna-be rapper with zero skills, no morals and even less money. All he knew was how to pirate other artist's material.

    Just be aware that once your music is 'out there' it like the wild west. Protect your work product and keep checking for low life thieves.