Registering Your Music?

Discuss everything related to production, recording, composition, etc.

Moderators: Joe., lisa, luketeaford, Kent

Post Reply
Common Wiggler
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:07 am

Registering Your Music?

Post by Fabong » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:14 am

It is a goal of mine to release some music on Bandcamp this year. I was wondering what "paperwork" you do before releasing your music as there is conflicting information on how much is required, necessary or recommended on the internet, particularly given most sources are trying to sell related services.

Are you registered with a PRO? Do you copyright your music? What about digital radio royalties? Do you get UPCs for your tracks?

There are a lot of decisions to make (or ignore) and I thought hearing from you guys would help me out. I am sure there is a wide range of stances in our userbase from "Don't bother with any of it" to "I do the lot and it's my favourite part of releasing music" so hit me up, I'm interested to hear.
Avant Garde a clue

User avatar
Space Jack
Posts: 4949
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:37 am
Location: Zurich

Re: Registering Your Music?

Post by flo » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:18 am

Depends what your goal is...

Theoretically, "copyright" is immediately generated the moment you create something. The hard part is being able to proof and enforce that. A cheap and easy way is to send yourself a registered letter with a DVD or USB stick inside containing all the info you want to "proof" - audio files, lyrics, artwork, project files, and so on; then do not open the letter! That sort of evidence is usually accepted by courts and so on. Basically, it's a way to validate that something was created before a specific date (a computer's "created / modified on [year, day, month]" statistics are easily manipulated and thus worthless).

On the other hand, if you want money from radio airtime of your tracks, you need to be a member of some society managing the collective rights for music, such as the MCPS-PRS in the UK or GEMA in Germany. You basically transfer them the right to collect that money for you. Or you can try and collect the respective money yourself, but good luck with that...

That's the musician's perspective, as far as I can see. There's some more points to consider for a label, particularly if you plan physical releases (rather than digital only).

Hope that helps and cheers :guinness:

User avatar
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 450
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:07 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Registering Your Music?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:15 am

I have a registered company and with that I have bough ISR (International Standard Recordning) codes . When I release something "official" (that is, on some other platform than soundcloud) these codes are embedded to my songs and the album.

Practically that means that my songs exist in a legal point of view, and that I (or rather my company) collect the revenue (if any) that the songs generate. I suppose it also strengthen my claim if someone would steal my music, which I find highly unlikely.

I don't know if this is connected to copyright. When I release, the ISR are registrered to the company, but the copyright is on me.

User avatar
Michael O.
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: New Orleans, US

Re: Registering Your Music?

Post by Michael O. » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:49 pm

Assuming United States: you’d register your already copyrighted (as things are copyrighted upon creation) material with the Library of Congress (words/music, and either as individual compositions or an album). This copyright is then recognized internationally thanks to the Berne Convention, at least theoretically lol.

You’d definitely want to hookup with a PRO to get remunerated- in the States the big ones that are open to anyone (I.e. not invite-only) are BMI and ASCAP. It also behooves one to hook up with the Harry Fox Agency (not a PRO, they handle mechanical licenses specifically).

Those are the basics, at least here in the states, that will help protect your intellectual property and allow you to be paid.

User avatar
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Registering Your Music?

Post by StillNotWorking » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:37 am

If not signed with a label you still need a music distributor to have music snatched up by streaming services. My understanding they then handle some of the copyrights for you depending on how much money you give them. For instance TuneCore take a fixed yearly fee for each album, but you need to pay more if you want them to handle YouTube for you.

Not sure if this has been discussed on MF? Very interesting, — hopefully those guys are the good guys.
Every melody has been copyrighted!
looking for service manual for the Clavia ddrum AT or ddrum III

Post Reply

Return to “Production Techniques”