How To copyright A Song

Under international law, copyright is the automatic right of the Creator of a Work. This means that as soon as you write down a song or make a recording, it's Copyrighted. In order to enforce the copyright, though, you'll need to be able to prove your ownership. In the Bahamas, that means you need to register your song with the government's copyright office. This will make it much easier to assert your rights if your copyright is infringed.

Read on to learn more about how to protect your song with a copyright.

Copyright Fundamentals

There are two copyrights to every recorded song. If you have ever looked carefully at the back of a CD, you may have noticed a © and a ℗ symbol. These symbols represent the two copyrights that that are associated with every recorded song. The ℗ symbol stands for "Phonogram," or the actual recording of the song (Sound Recording), while the © symbol stands for "Copyright," meaning the song itself (Authorship/Composition).

Let's use the song "Crazy," written by Willie Nelson, and popularized by Patsy Cline on her 1961 release Showcase, as an example of these two copyrights. Decca records (now part of Universal Music Group) hired Patsy Cline to perform Willie's song. Because Patsy was signed to Decca at the time of the recording, the recording of Patsy singing Willie's song is owned by Decca, providing them with the copyright for the recording (the ℗). As the composer of the song, Willie Nelson owns the copyright associated with the song itself (the ©). In many instances, the owner of the copyright would work with a publishing company to administer and exploit their copyright.

More on this soon.

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