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Author Topic: Copyright Sheet Music  (Read 460 times)


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Copyright Sheet Music
« on: 10-02-17 at 09:13 am »

My fiance is a pianist and we have a question regarding copyright. When he sends his sheet music of his composed songs to the copyright registration, does he also have the rights for all the audio recorded songs of that sheet music? Or do we have to send everything in separately (Audio/Sheet Music)?
The waiting time for the registration of copyright is 6-8 months. Can anything happen in the meantime to his work? Did something like this ever happen in the past - stealing of work? We are very uncomfortable sending uncopyrighted files through the internet.

Thank you very much in advance!


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Re: Copyright Sheet Music
« Reply #1 on: 10-11-17 at 07:34 pm »

This is a bit of a complicated subject, but I will try to outline the basics.

First, your composition is protected by copyright law as soon as you create it.  There are additional and important protections obtained when you register the copyright, but you are protected during the period when you are waiting for the registration.

Your copyright on the composition prevents others from performing or recording the work.  But if you do choose to make your own audio recording, you should also register the copyright for that recording.

There are some things you need to know about the "first recording" - please read this article:

As I said, this is a complicated area.  I strongly suggest you consult with an Intellectual Property attorney who has experience in music licensing.  You can usually get a referral through your local or state bar association.

Oh, and yes - people certainly steal music!  Unfortunately, if someone does steal your work, you will need to sue them to recover damages (and possibly punitive fines).  That's another reason to consult an IP attorney - so if you ever need to take legal action against someone, you will have an established working relationship with an attorney.


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Re: Copyright Sheet Music
« Reply #2 on: 10-28-17 at 11:08 am »

Thank you very much for replying! Your information really helps us.

My fiance just finished his first sheet music book, so he'll be more comfortable with registering it, knowing that he is protected.

Have a nice weekend!


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