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US Copyright Office registration is NOT required for copyright protection, as this is automatic once work is in tangible form. We document this evidence of copyright.

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How to Copyright Songs and Music

How song and music copyright works!

Copyright registration fees and turnaround time

    DON'T PUT IT OFF!  Registering provides immediate evidence of your copyright's tangible-form date.
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Music does get stolen! Copyright is automatic (when original work is put in tangible form). But to maintain PROOF of your copyright, ALWAYS professionally document your songs!



Our CEO is a U.S.-licensed attorney with 35+ years exp.* We guarantee the fastest service, the best customer support, state-of-the-art security, and an A+ rating from the #1 business rating bureau.



Have just a few songs to register? Pay $29.95 total to register up to 4 songs at a time. Simple forms, fast service. Or you can snail-mail them for slightly more.



Have a lot of music to register? Register as many songs as you like, anytime, for just $99.95 (just use our Instant Uploader). All songs are registered for LIFE!


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General Info About Music Copyrighting
— this is not legal advice (for that please contact a local attorney)   •   this is public information to help you begin your own due diligence —

→   What Are Your Rights as a Composer?

These rights are known as "intellectual property rights" and are granted by federal law (with more than 160 countries having treaties honoring each country's copyright laws, see our FAQ #9).   These are "ownership" rights that usually attach to the actual songwriters of the original work, both of the music and the lyrics.  Among these rights is the exclusive right to basically do whatever you want with the music and songs you write (while no one else can, without your permission or without paying royalties).

If the song has just a single songwriter, figuring out who holds the copyright is pretty simple.  But problems can arise when there are multiple composers.  If there is no agreement available among multiple composers, the law will generally assume that everyone has an equal interest as joint owners of the copyright.  So if you DON'T want it to be that way, make sure you have a separate written agreement which specifies what percentage each songwriter has contributed, or how to otherwise split up the copyright ownership for purposes of future royalties, sale of publishing rights, etc.  We've written a short article on this subject here.
→   Songwriters Under Hire

An exception to the actual composers of the material owning the copyright is when they are "under hire" by someone else.  In other words, if the songwriter(s) are employed by someone (or by a company) to specifically write songs for that person or company, then the copyright holder would be that person or company who hired the songwriter(s) to do that (and NOT the songwriter).

→   Length of the Copyright

The owner of the copyright - be it the actual composer(s) or whoever hired them - has exclusive legal rights to all money and benefits from the copyrighted material for a certain period of time.  That time can vary from country to country, and can also depend on when and where the material was written.  But generally, the life of a copyright usually lasts for about 50 to 70 years AFTER the last original songwriter of the piece has died.
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*™ does not provide legal advice or legal services and registers all songs in its own archives, thereby preserving a dated, fixed record of their tangible form.  It is not affiliated, nor registers material, with the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, or any government agency (as this is not required to secure copyright protection), and is not affiliated with any third-party company listed herein.  By using this site, you agree to all Terms of Use.    For address info, Click Here.

The Unlimited Registration Plan has a one-year renewable registration period — but even if you don't renew, songs already registered within that period remain registered.