Copyright Your Music
It is important that you copyright your music before you have it uploaded to YouTube or in fact anywhere on the web. This is relatively easy to do and will protect you from having your song claimed by someone else. Here is a list of steps that we follow to copyright our music.
Step 1 – Record your composition onto something physical. This could be creating a score of your music and print it out or making an audio recording of you playing your composition and then burning it to a CD.
Step 2 – Create and printout a Copyright Ownership Statement (a template for this is available for download at the bottom of the page) and then sign it with the date you are posting it on.
Step 3 – Put your recording and the statement into an envelope then you need to post it to yourself or someone else you trust like your parents. The idea of this that you are using the Post Office’s date stamp to prove that you had created your music at this time so there are a few things you need to do. You need to sign and date the outside of the envelope, making sure that your signature covers both the flap and the body of the envelope. You’ll want to write the name of the composition on the envelope too so that you know what it is later on. Then you need to ask the Post Office to date-stamp over your signature, again covering the flap and the body of the envelope. Also ask for a proof of postage certificate. You might want to send it as a signed-for package since this will create a trail in the Post Office records that you would be able to call on as further evidence if you ever needed to.
Step 4 – Do not open the envelope! This is your only proof that you have composed this music prior to the date of posting so store it in a safe place exactly as it arrived together with the certificate of postage. Do not open the envelope as this will make the package invalid as evidence.
This might seem like a lot to do but in reality it only takes a few minutes and it will be worth it in the future.
Please note that none of the Fern Sessions members are professionally trained lawyers and this is just our own personal experiences. As such we cannot accept any responsibility for any damage caused by the use of this advice and templates. Remember that you are responsible for protecting yourself.