- Is there a previous verification to make sure a song isn’t already copyrighted?
No, there is not. Not here, not anywhere. This is one of the most common misconceptions on music business. And the reason why such verification does not exist is simple: It would be impossible to do so. With thousands of songs being created every day (maybe millions) throughout the world, such analysis couldn’t be made on a reasonable time. That leads you to understand that yes, there can be a song copyrighted under two or even more different people. In that case, the person holding the oldest dated proof of copyright must be recognized as the real author. To make that clear, imagine what would happen if you take a song like “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” (from Bob Dylan) and have it registered with the US Copyright Office under your name as the songwriter. Even if Bob Dylan eventually never registered his song with the Office, you will not be recognized as the songwriter for that song. More than that, you also would probably have to face a criminal prosecution, because the real author of the song certainly has an older dated proof of copyright.
- Is the US Copyright Office the only way to have my songs protected?
No, absolutely not. As mentioned on other areas of our website, registering your song with the US Copyright Office is not the only way for you to protect your copyright. Besides, “No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright.” – Circular 1, US Copyright Office, Library of Congress. We strongly recommend you to read this document, as it has been proven to be an excellent tool for ending several misconceptions that were taken for granted through the past years. We also encourage you to register your song with the US Copyright Office (if you are an American and your song was first released in the US) at your convenience of time and budget.
- For how much time is my song copyrighted?
The protection for the rights of a songwriter is never less than the author’s life plus 50 years (Berne Convention). In the United States, it’s the author’s life plus 70 years. The copyright protection we provide has no expiration date. You will never be charged other than for the credit of R$ 5.86 that is necessary for uploading each song.
- Is it necessary the music sheet for my song?
No. The tools at CopyrightedSongs.com deal with the sound file you submit, instead of the music sheet. Just make sure the vocals are clear, upfront and represent the correct melody. If, for example, the singer improvises all the time and doesn’t sing the correct melody, you are protecting his improvisation instead of your original creation. Pasting the song lyrics when submitting your file is not mandatory, but recommended.
- Will the arrangements be also copyrighted?
Yes, it will. Just make clear who is the responsible for creating the arrangements listened on the audio file you are submitting. The correct field for that information is "Additional Information". E.g.: "Additional Information: Arrangements by John Doe, Document # 123.456.789".
- After my song is removed from the website is it still copyrighted under my name?
Of course. The Copyrighted Songs Certificate© you receive is a certified document that has no expiration date, and whose validity does not depend on how much time your song was available on the website. It is important to understand that the protection we offer is valid independently from our website status. Even in the unlikely event that we go out of business, your proof of copyright (the Copyrighted Songs Certificate© along with your audio file) is not affected in any way. Always make sure to have safe backups of your song (the sound file we provide you for download) and of your Copyrighted Songs Certificate©.
- Can I submit a song with no lyrics?
Yes. If your song has no lyrics you are just required to select “Instrumental”, which is the last option at the drop-down field named “Language”. If your song has lyrics but you don’t have lead vocals recorded, you can paste the lyrics (or type it) on the proper field and submit an audio file with an instrument playing a solo line, preferably mixed upfront, of the lead vocals melody.
- How does the Copyrighted Songs Certificate© protect my song?
If you correctly provide your personal and song information, your certificate will leave no doubt you are the person described as the songwriter (and not a homonym, for example). The Waveform Image, Hash Data Values and Lyrics (if any) make clear that the song described on the document is the one represented by the audio file you uploaded to our website. Every Copyrighted Songs Certificate© is a Certified Document, legally binding, reliable electronic document that can be used in court as proof of copyright.
- Is this protection good in court? Is it like the register at the US Copyright Office?
Yes. The protection you can obtain at Copyrighted Songs is good in court. Your Copyrighted Songs Certificate© is a certified document, so not any court shall deny its integrity, its origin and its timestamp. Keep in mind that your Copyrighted Songs Certificate© is only fully valid if presented along with the audio file we provide you at our site, both files unaltered, so always keep your safe backups. Of course, there are several differences between using Copyrighted Songs and the US Copyright Office. Although both methods are designed to effectively protect your copyright, there are advantages for each one. That’s why we require you to browse through our website, to read the – Circular 1, US Copyright Office, Library of Congress and seek for independent advice from a copyright and intellectual property lawyer.
- For how long time will my song be displayed on the website?
It will be displayed for one year minimum, although our intention is to keep it indefinitely. If you wish to remove your song before or after that one-year period, you can do it any time by login in to your profile and following to the Songwriter’s Area.
- Is it like mailing a CD of my songs to myself for having it copyrighted? Like the Poor Man’s Copyright?
No, absolutely not! It’s too bad that many people have recurred to that idea to protect their songs. On that process, the songwriter sends his songs through the mail (on a CD or tape) to his own address, receives the package but never opens it. The idea is to bring that sealed envelope (which has a date stamped on it) to court if necessary. This is known as the Poor Man’s Copyright, and although the principle is correct, it has been proven to be ineffective, once it can be easily faked. Another idea is to simply e-mail the song to a friend or to another account belonging to the same person, once the electronic message has a date on it. Once again, the principle is correct, but can be faked. Malicious software claim to be able to change dates and even the content of e-mails, and even if it couldn’t, just imagine the trouble on taking a representative from Hotmail, Gmail or any other major company to be your witness in court, affirming that such message wasn’t subject to malicious manipulation. That’s the reason why there are companies who are government accredited for securing digital information, with legally binding seals and protective features, ensuring the integrity and time-stamp of digital information. That is basically our idea: Taking that accredited security to you, protecting your musical creation through the Copyrighted Songs Certificate©.