A copyright is establishing ownership on any intellectual property such as a song. The moment your music is put to paper and or recorded, it is unofficially copywritten. You never to have worry about your ownership unless, there is someone who produces something remarkably like your song and who has also written the song down or recorded it. Then you may have a court battle on your hands. However, the final and most official way to copyright a song is to copyright an original work (the composition and the recording), which must past certain test to verify originality.
Your best option is to copyright your song before you record it and release it, whether that’s locally, nationally, or worldwide. That way you are protected from any unauthorized use of your music. If someone does steal your music, you decide to sue, you can collect lost profits, damages, and legal fees from the lawsuit.
If the song was written and recorded but not copyrighted before you filed the suit, you can only collect damages and lost profits. You cannot collect legal fees for the suit. The law states that you can only collect legal fees when your copyright is being violated.
The copyright itself will last throughout the lifetime of the composer or writer and 70 years after his or her death. After that the song is in public domain to be used freely by anyone. The copyright can be transferred to family or loved ones, or charitable organizations in a will. The ownership will last if the original copyright would have (70 years after the death of the creator will end the ownership of your heirs). So, if you have great-great-grandchildren, they will not benefit from the copyright beyond the lifestyle they were fortunate enough to be raised in because of the profits generated by the song.
There are certain limitations for someone choosing to sue over the unauthorized use of your song. If you leased beats off the internet to compose a Hip Hop song, you don’t have an original composition of your own creation. It cannot be copyrighted, and you would not have a valid claim in a court of law.
Another limitation occurs when you give a recording studio the rights to your music. At that point, any recordings they release because of that recording session could be in question.
The choice to copyright your music depends on you. Do you intend to make a career in the music industry? Do you believe your music has a wide appeal? It only takes $35 to copyright a song and $55 for multiple works.
To get started, contact the U.S. Copyright Office at www.Copyright.gov. Follow the prompts to register your music. The moment the U.S. Copyright Office receives your musical submission and its processing fee, you are protected. However, to receive a registered copyright of that submission, it takes approximately three months.
Whatever, your decision to copyright or not to copyright. Good luck. But remember, your music is your creation and if you have recorded it or wrote it down, it is protected as your original creation, but you are limited if you do not copyright your music.