• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Topic: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering who here has experience copyrighting and publishing their work before?

    For me, the issue has just recently popped up. For example, I composed a solo piano piece that was played at my composition recital, and a lot of people told me raved about it afterwards and said that I should get it published. That was interesting because I had never thought about before. I also have no idea how to do it.

    Then tonight, I was listening to one of my pieces and my mom came in and said "you should get that copyrighted and get the Cleveland Orchestra to play it." Now maybe she's being a bit ambitious, but I had never thought about that before and it doesn't hurt to try.

    So now the question is, how?

    Also I was wondering how often do people here obtain official copyrights to their pieces? Always? Sometimes? Never?

    I assume for your movie and game scores you're always slapping a copyright on that for sure. Can you copyright the whole score as one or does it have to be piece by piece?

    If anybody could shed some light on these issues for me (and for other noobs that I assume are out there), that would be very helpful.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    As far as I know:

    Official copyrights: You have them already. You don't need to register a work of art in order to obtain copyrights. It's yours!
    The unofficial truth: It would be really nice to find a registration office (copyright registration that is) and send them the score. For a set fee they will keep it in their library with dates and everything, so you will have proof that it's yours. Otherwise, if I (for example, which I won't) show up claiming that the piece you wrote is mine, how will you prove it's not? Unless you want to end up in court fighting over analysis of the said piece.
    In some countries it does apply to send a sealed 'sign for' envelope to your self and never open it. In the UK it works, but not in Greece for example. With this method you get a fixed dated, from the Mail office, of when the envelope was send. since the envelope contains the score, then you have some kind of proof that this piece exists from that date onwards...

    In the UK you ca register for the same fee as little as 1 page (although it would be a tad silly), or a batch of works (a suite for example, but 1 work never the less), or a whole CD (as in an album).

    Publishing: Of course, first register the piece and then find a publisher. There are myriads small details about rights and royalties and the rest, for which I know very little. One thing though is to take care not to give away the rights to the publisher (although I think that it's dead difficult to do so). Furthermore, I think that it's pretty difficult to get published, especially in the normal big publishing houses, where you get only by having a friend who telephoned, or by winning MAsteMusic2007 or something...

    Have you made the score yourself? In Finale or Sibelius? Cause you could publish it yourself (not that you would never gain access to the stores this way, but you could have copies and sell them yourself). Can I ask why you want it published? Is it because you want it to be better known? Because you think, you deserve money for your work? I'm just asking out of curiosity really...

    good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    between this place and that place
    Posts
    689

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    copyright? you don't know own jack till you go here and fill out a form
    copyright.gov
    now for publishing you will need to find a publisher that is interested in that style and it won't be about publishing the music as a score but for audio shiz.

    Your teacher should have some sort of conection or get you started in some sort of direction or whatever.

    What you want to do is try and get your music placed in something then you'll get royalties gain connections and all that.

    Clevand orchestra huh. Alright give them a score with the mochup and talk directly to the director and see what happens, you'll need to hire or have a professional orchestrator go over your music and make it so it can be played for the orchestra and includes doing parts for all instruments.

    here's what you do you take and start composing some more pieces and set up piano recitals in your home town with your mom there and then start getting known a bit, then take and have those recitals recorded. now you have something to work with dig it!
    good luck man
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA
    Posts
    1,425

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    I started my own publishing company last year, ( SightSea Music ) and found all the necessary information on the internet to get me to a point where I could do it.

    It's not difficult. Just start using google.

    Copyright, is of course, "implied" just by the fact that you wrote it, but if some one steals it, and files the papers before you do, you're probably gonna be SOL without an expensive court battle and even then after, there's no guarantee that you'll prevail, even if you are the actual composer.

    I registered 108 songs, all mp3 on a DVD ( with a backup ) and published them at the same time with 1 form "PA" as "SK_Collection_1_2006" for a cost of $45.00.

  5. #5

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeCat
    copyright? you don't know own jack till you go here and fill out a form
    copyright.gov
    now for publishing you will need to find a publisher that is interested in that style and it won't be about publishing the music as a score but for audio shiz.

    Your teacher should have some sort of conection or get you started in some sort of direction or whatever.

    What you want to do is try and get your music placed in something then you'll get royalties gain connections and all that.

    Clevand orchestra huh. Alright give them a score with the mochup and talk directly to the director and see what happens, you'll need to hire or have a professional orchestrator go over your music and make it so it can be played for the orchestra and includes doing parts for all instruments.

    here's what you do you take and start composing some more pieces and set up piano recitals in your home town with your mom there and then start getting known a bit, then take and have those recitals recorded. now you have something to work with dig it!
    good luck man
    Sorry but I disagree completely to your whole post:

    1.
    British law states that an individual's work is placed under copyright law as soon as it leaves that person's mind and is placed in some physical form, be it a painting, a musical work written in manuscript or an architectural schematic. Once in physical form, as long as it is an original work (in the sense of not having been copied from an existing work, rather than in the sense of being novel or unique), copyright in that work is automatically vested in (i.e. owned by) the person who put the concept into material form.
    . Taken from wikipedia about copyright law in the UK. further in wiki we find:
    In the United States, copyright has been made automatic (in the style of the Berne Convention) since March 1, 1989, which has had the effect of making it appear to be more like a property right. Thus, as with property, a copyright need not be granted or obtained through official registration with any government office.
    link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

    copyright is ownder the minute the work of art is born, or even concived in somae cases. but as I said, how do you prove it (and thus the registration comes in).

    2. Publishing I immediately assumed the score. Why the music/mp3/wav file? I think that it is pretty obvious we're talking about the score here. If by any chance the initial poster is interested in publishing the music, then itunes, CDBaby or whatever is the way...

    3. Depening on what he knows, he could very well orchestrate the piece himself and make the parts himself. It's not THAT difficult to do really!

    I'm not trying to insult or anything, just to educate. Sorry

  6. #6
    Senior Member Richard Berg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    232

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    Assuming you're in the U.S., copyright has been automatic and immediate since 1976. No registration required (unfortunately).

    If you are serious about publishing then be careful about posting midis/mp3s/etc. It's a lot harder to negotiate a commercial contract if the work is already available on the web for free.

    The best way to get local ensembles interested is to have your fans request it. All good orchestras devote some program time to contemporary and/or modern composers. Give more concerts in the area, see if you can maintain the same buzz across a few audiences. If all those people call the Cleveland program director then you have a much better chance.

  7. #7

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    Wow guys, thanks for the replies. This place rocks,as usual.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Have you made the score yourself? In Finale or Sibelius? Cause you could publish it yourself (not that you would never gain access to the stores this way, but you could have copies and sell them yourself). Can I ask why you want it published? Is it because you want it to be better known? Because you think, you deserve money for your work? I'm just asking out of curiosity really...
    Good information Nikolas, thanks. Yes I make all my scores in Finale. Publishing myself doesn't really help because I have nobody to sell it to, haha. Maybe if I had a a website (which is a whole other issue I know nothing about ) . Why do I want to publish? Well I think it's an excellent piece that other people would enjoy playing, and who doesn't want money and recognition? I just think it's good enough to be published. Whether it ever is... well that of course is another story

    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeCat
    copyright? now for publishing you will need to find a publisher that is interested in that style and it won't be about publishing the music as a score but for audio shiz.

    Your teacher should have some sort of conection or get you started in some sort of direction or whatever.
    What do you mean not being about the score? Thats what I'm interested in publishing. Impossible?

    Oh and my teacher didn't even come to my recital ("something unexpected came up"), and hasn't returned my e-mails. I don't think hes going to be of much help.

    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeCat
    Clevand orchestra huh. Alright give them a score with the mochup and talk directly to the director and see what happens, you'll need to hire or have a professional orchestrator go over your music and make it so it can be played for the orchestra and includes doing parts for all instruments.
    I am professionally trained so I think all the parts are fine, I can do it myself. The piano recital is not a bad idea, except I'm not a very good pianist and I'm more interested in writing for orchestra and media.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_Karl
    I started my own publishing company last year, ( SightSea Music ) and found all the necessary information on the internet to get me to a point where I could do it.

    I registered 108 songs, all mp3 on a DVD ( with a backup ) and published them at the same time with 1 form "PA" as "SK_Collection_1_2006" for a cost of $45.00.
    Pretty cool, but I'm talking about publishing the actual scores.

    Any luck selling the music?


    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    2. Publishing I immediately assumed the score. Why the music/mp3/wav file? I think that it is pretty obvious we're talking about the score here. If by any chance the initial poster is interested in publishing the music, then itunes, CDBaby or whatever is the way...

    3. Depening on what he knows, he could very well orchestrate the piece himself and make the parts himself. It's not THAT difficult to do really!
    Nikolas is right, I am talking about the score. Also I orchestrated the whole piece, I am trained, it should be fine. Although I have little experience having my music performed and zero experience have an orchestra piece performed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Berg
    The best way to get local ensembles interested is to have your fans request it. If all those people call the Cleveland program director then you have a much better chance.

    Thanks for the advice. I am going to try to meet with the program director, which probably ranges from near-impossible to impossible.

  8. #8

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen McMahan
    So - now we are taking Wikipedia to be authoratative? Kind of like putting your faith in the tooth fairy. Not exactly a credible source!
    Indeed... I agree. Didn't have much time to search (so the term "wiki" went pretty fast.

    Automatic protection

    There is no official registration system for copyright in the United Kingdom (UK) and most other parts of the world. There are no forms to fill in and no fees to pay to get copyright protection.
    So long as you have created a work that qualifies for copyright protection, that is it falls into one of the categories of material protected by copyright, you will have copyright protection without having to do anything to establish this. It is a requirement of various international conventions on copyright that copyright should be automatic with no need to register.
    To help protect your copyright work, it is advisable to mark it with the © symbol, the name of the copyright owner and the year of publication. Although this is not essential, it will let others know when the term of protection started and hence whether it is still covered by copyright, and indicate who to approach should they need to ask permission to use the work.
    Taken from http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy/c-claim/c-auto.htm
    Intelectual property office of the UK.

    Feeling better everybody?


    I assume that 'sign for' in the UK is the same as registered in the US. And in Greece indeed it does not work, simply because the courts do not have in their system the process of opening an envelope in front of the judge. So you cannot open the envelope in the court, so it does not work. On the contrary you can go to a solicitor and make legal doc mentining the date the work was first created (see payed the solicitor :P).

    Sorry about the wiki link. Indeed it's not the best link, but it does serve the truth most of the times as well as here...

  9. #9

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    bond, one other thing.

    I had a string orchestra piece performed a couple of months ago (still to get the recording :@). Thing is that the conductor is also rather young (around 35 or so). I really wanted the piece to work, the orchestra was made up of students, so I went to every rehearsal. you know what? He really enjoyed that. Cause you never get the composer to be next to you and explain things (because they're all dead ). Anyways, the past Thrusday I went to his place. We discussed and I got a commision, for a choir he's conducting. Ok, it's not the London Philharmonic, but that's the way things move more or less. You need to show things, things you've done, things you've played, things you've created, recitals, etc.

    This is also a good place to get advive for a site btw

    Also taking feedback on the piece in question could work here (or other forums). but as said, if you are scared of the copyright, then it's a shaky place to do so... I generally have no problem posting music or/and socres, but it's up to you...

  10. #10

    Re: Getting copyrights/publishing your music

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen McMahan
    So - now we are taking Wikipedia to be authoratative? Kind of like putting your faith in the tooth fairy. Not exactly a credible source!
    Actually, recent independent studies have shown that wikipedia is nearly as accurate as britannica.

    In any event, I'll agree that neither is the actual laws, which can be found at www.copyright.gov. Direct from the source (US Law):

    'Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. “Copies” are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm. “Phonorecords” are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LPs. Thus, for example, a song (the “work”) can be fixed in sheet music (“copies”) or in phonograph disks (“phonorecords”), or both. If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.'

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •