Goner Message Board
 | Forums | Register | Reply | Search | Statistics | Manual |
Goner Message Board / Goner Records / copyright questions for the clueless
Posted: Jan 1, 2005 10:53 pm
say youve spent years writing lyrics and arranging music -as well as money in a recording studio- and you have this master copy--

what next- copyright? surely i just dont give my finished product to the first guy with a small label who wants to release it- there has to be a contract or at least some kind of signed agreement--right?

help please?

and feel free to email me if you dont want to post


im willing to pay/barter for your time and energies and help with this

Posted: Jan 3, 2005 7:35 am
Copyrighting isn't a problem. It's pretty easy to prove you did something. Publishing what you need to take care of. Register with BMI (you can do it online). After you've registered send in a copy of your stuff (they'll give you the details of what they need), and that'll be proof that you at least had those songs at that time. Voila! Copyrighted.
Posted: Jan 3, 2005 9:27 pm
Or you could put a copy in a package & mail it to yourself & never open it. With the Postal Service stamp(acts as a government seal) on the outside, It will hold up in court if need be.
Posted: Jan 7, 2005 2:45 am
thank you both
Posted: Jan 7, 2005 6:46 pm
Don't worry about copyrighting it, a copyright was automatically created as soon as you wrote it down or recorded it in the studio. The laws changed in the late 70s so there's still a lot of wrong info floating around. check out http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html If you want to spend $30 and register it with the copyright office, you can, but it is not a requirement anymore. If you want, you can put "(c)2005 Nikimemphis" on it as formal notice that you claim a copyright in it and not giving it away, but that is also not necessary.

Just keep a record of who you sent it to so that you have proof that they had access to your song. Proving that the label had access to the song is the hardest part of a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Sending yourself something in the mail doesn't hold up in court anymore either since postmarks can be forged easily.

Posted: Jan 13, 2005 2:01 am
DOOOOOOD you should do as much as you can to prove as early as possible you created somthing!!!

trust me, even having your name printed on the product don't mean you will not have to prove to someone down the line your artistic ownership of you creation...

i know it sounds stupid, but i give a copy of everyting i do to my lawyer. even if it's just a 7'' on solid sex lovie doll!!! HA HA

if you create some thing and someone with more money than you wants it, YOU WILL LOSE!!! just decide right now if it's worth it or not

Posted: Jan 13, 2005 2:14 am
I thought you hated lawyers.
Posted: Jan 13, 2005 4:44 am
just send them to me..everybody
total insanity sauce
Posted: Jan 13, 2005 7:02 pm
I usually do the "mailing it to yourself" thing. You can even do it with just a tape of the stuff. Those dated stamps are for real. That's one thing the Post Office is good for.
Posted: Jan 13, 2005 8:40 pm
yeah, i do hate lawyers...
Posted: Jan 13, 2005 9:34 pm
listen to hement he knows what's up (i think he went to school for it)
Posted: Jan 15, 2005 12:59 pm
Mailing yourself something does not hold up in court as proof of a date. All it does is waste a stamp and an envelope. It is easier than you think to forge. All you have to do is mail an empty unsealed envelope to yourself. It will arrive still unsealed and postmarked because the postoffice will not seal it for you. Keep it until Nikimemphis' song comes out at which point you can burn her song onto a tape and put it on the envelope. Voila, you have a sealed envelope postmarked before her song was published.
Who would do something so shitty? Lawyers.
Any decent copyright attorney has a box full of unsealed envelopes already postmarked just waiting to show a jury how worthless mailing an evelope to yourself is.

E-mailing the song to yourself or someone else using a large service like AOL hotmail or yahoo is a lot harder to forge if you have to prove a date.
But like I said before, the more important issue is proving whether the copyright infringer had accesss to your song.

Posted: Jan 16, 2005 12:05 am
The mail-yourself thing is a way to prove prior art in case someone else tries to claim copyright on your own work. It was a DIY legal trick used a lot in the 50's and 60's. Nifty little fact, but I wouldn't put any faith in it holding up in a modern courtroom in this day and age of Intellectual Property.

I'm no lawyer, but if I were you, I would go through the industry-standard procedures (BMI, ASCAP, etc.). It's a bit more effort, but that's kind of the point here. If it comes down to it later, you have a paper trail as evidence that you went to certain lengths to protect your "intellectual property".

As for signing contracts, etc. I have to recommend a using a lawyer (that you trust). I've had contracts handed to me making promises that, in reality, the promiser would not legally be forced to keep and other such non-intuitive nonsense.

It's just like how the grocery store puts up signs saying they're not liable for damage done to cars by shopping carts, but in reality, they are. Or elementary school permission slips for field trips that don't hold up in negligence cases, etc.

There are certain things legally that you can't agree to, certain things you don't have to fulfill, tricky wording, local, state, and federal laws. Too much for someone like me to keep up with, especially in such a money-grubbing, back-stabbing industry.

Anyway, that's my $0.02.

Posted: Jan 16, 2005 2:28 am
Just registering it with BMI or ASCAP doesn't really do anything. You need to register it with the Copyright office--the Library of Congress, if you want an ironclad court-admissible proof that you said you created something when you say you did.

Even that doesn't mean you created it. You could send a copy of your hot new hit "Johnny B. Goode" to them; they'll register it, but I don't think they have people listening to demos in Washington and deciding "man, this is truly original!" It just means it's registered, so you can ask for damages if, for some reason, your case against Chuck Berry goes to court.

All of a sudden I think this is a really dumb discussion. hgupta clearly knows what he's talking about.

anyway, Niki, I can't wait to hear this song you spent years on...I bet it's really great.
Please pay/barter me for my time.

Posted: Jan 17, 2005 12:26 am
so youve come to collect dr -in these parts we pay in livestock- hows two chickens and an albino fledgling--

thanks folks- really-- to cover every angle-im copyrighting the cd- the sr version/sound recording-mailing it in to the copyright office with thirty bucks- as well as mailing the cd with lyrics- just in case-to myself --annnnd am going register with bmi - oh and thanks to gupta saving any emails to/from label guy

Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message

Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.

  Goner Message Board Powered by PHP Forum Software miniBB ®