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#1112383 - 08/05/16 01:37 PM Copyright words and music separately???  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 155
Donna Dutchess Offline
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Donna Dutchess  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
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WNY, USA
I was given the strangest advice yesterday. "Make sure you copyright the words separately and the music separately. that way no one can steal the lyrics from you." I have never heard this before and have always just done both together. This came from a copyright lawyer. Thoughts?


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1112385 - 08/05/16 02:32 PM Re: Copyright words and music separately??? [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: May 2001
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Well,
No. You can only copyright a song one time. Simply speaking you can and should send a basic sound file to the copyright office. On the copyright form you simply check words and music in the block that asks type of authorship.


Ray E. Strode
#1112424 - 08/06/16 01:38 AM Re: Copyright words and music separately??? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Sounds like an attorney with visions of winning the "lawsuit lottery". Complete nonsense. You actually CANNOT copyright the lyrics and music separate. No one STEALS anything, that is a myth. Everyone borrows and everything comes from something else. I am sure this Lawyer will help you copyright the phrase "I Love you" since no one has ever done that before.

Probably be a good idea to not take legal advice from someone who specializes in personal injury. I hope you haven't paid him anything, because that is what he/she is worth. Make sure you sue HIM for Legal malpractice. Maybe he'll end up with the same attorney that had the recent "Led Zepplin/Stairway to Heaven" lawsuit that got laughed out of court. He got suspended from practicing law, is being countersued for all damages and court costs, and is getting everything he so richly deserves for bringing such a huge slice of idiocy.

Birds of a feather...

MAB

#1113108 - 08/14/16 05:34 AM Re: Copyright words and music separately??? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Thank you for beating me to it Marc.


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#1118897 - 11/04/16 05:58 AM Re: Copyright words and music separately??? [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Originally Posted by Donna Dutchess
I was given the strangest advice yesterday. "Make sure you copyright the words separately and the music separately. that way no one can steal the lyrics from you." I have never heard this before and have always just done both together. This came from a copyright lawyer. Thoughts?



Well, if you want to pay twice as much for a copyright, go for it, otherwise, the advice is nonsense.

Also, the advice demonstrates lack of knowledge of what a copyright is. A registration with the copyright office is NOT a copyright. It is just a protection of the copyright which was created the moment the song was put in "tangible" form, either on sheet music, or an audio recording. Once they are put to tangible form, the lyric and music are inextricably bound, unless there is something in writing and mutually agreed upon that states otherwise. This is why I have a collaboration agreement with collaborators which has language that states "both parties agree that a state of copyright does not exist until the composer registers the copyright with the copyright office" because if I allow a lyricists lyrics to be put to my song, I want to get feedback on words and music together before I allow a binding copyright to exist.

In fact, some might argue your registration is a waste of money until you release the song, because the odds of someone stealing is farely remote.

Becuase my melodies are composed long before anyone puts words to them, I copyright the music indepedent of any words and music version. I do this because when lyrics zre added at a later date, that version will exist as a "derivative" of the original. A derivative copyright is one where the lyricist registers the copyright of the words and music but, on the copyright application, excludes the music from protection ( it's already registered and the registration number is referenced in the exclusion section in the application ). As a derivative, the gives me the freedom to find another lyric, if it is proven ( by my own determination ) that the lyric is holding the melody down. I do this because Im not as good at judging lyrics as I am music and don't trust my own judgement, I let others and feedback tell me. Often, the feedback from friends is not as good as the professionals in the industry ( but the reverse, indeed, could be true, as well ).

Last edited by pathardy; 11/04/16 06:19 AM.
#1119297 - 11/11/16 02:05 PM Re: Copyright words and music separately??? [Re: Pat Hardy]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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In the past there were songs, Instrumentals that had words added to them sometime later.
San Antonio Rose by Bob Wills was first only an instrumental but words were added sometime later. So it is done from time to time but if you have songs with both words and music you would register both at the same time. Just send a complete file and check the blocks words and music.


Ray E. Strode

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