International Song and Lyrics Copyrights

While no creative work is automatically protected worldwide, there are international treaties which provide protection automatically for all creative works as soon as they are fixed in a medium. There are two primary international copyright agreements, the Buenos Aires Convention and the Berne Convention.
In most countries copyright lasts a minimum of the life of the composer / creator plus a minimum of 50 years. This is for most types of recorded, written, dramatic and artistic works,

Song and lyrics Copyright Registration - Is it Worth it?

In general, copyright registration is a simple formality intended to make a record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration.

To Fully protect your rights in a court of law it is vitally important you have proof of copyright ownership. To back up any claim should a conflict of rights to a certain piece of work arise a copyright certificate would suffice.

What is Not Protected by Copyright?

Several categories of material are generally not eligible for copyright protection. These include among others:
  • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded.)
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or colouring; mere listings of ingredients or contents.
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration.
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources.)

Copyright Infringements.

Today's technological innovations present almost limitless opportunities for the worldwide distribution of copyrighted works. But these same technologies make it possible for anyone to pirate works with a single keystroke.
Unauthorised publishing, broadcasting or copying even a small part of a song or piece of music will undoubtedly deny the original creators of all the revenue and recognition that is normally generated by a successful composition.

Click here to learn more about Copyright and Music

Copyright gives the creators of a wide range of material, such as literature, art, music, sound recordings, films and broadcasts, economic rights enabling them to control use of their material in a number of ways, such as by making copies, issuing copies to the public, performing in public, broadcasting and use on-line. It also gives moral rights to be identified as the creator of certain kinds of material, and to object to distortion or mutilation of it. (Material protected by copyright is termed a "work".)
The purpose of copyright is to allow creators to gain economic rewards for their efforts and so encourage future creativity and the development of new material which benefits us all. Copyright material is usually the result of creative skill and/or significant labour and/or investment, and without protection, it would often be very easy for others to exploit material without paying the creator.

How to Secure a Copyright.

The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration.

  • Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. "Copies" are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm. "Phonorecords" are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture sound tracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LP's. Thus, for example, a song (the "work") can be fixed in sheet music ("copies") or in phonograph disks (" phonorecords"), or both.
  • If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.
  • Registration may be made at any time within the life of the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to make another registration when the work becomes published. Although the copyright owner may register the published edition, if desired.

Poor Man's Copyright.

The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself in a sealed envelope or package is often referred to as a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the text of international copyright law that recognises this as a reliable alternative to registration. Therefore, the process of placing reliance on the “poor man’s copyright” is not a viable substitute for registration.

Song and lyrics Copyrights - Online or by Regular Mail.

To register copyright ownership of all music based original works, please visit our sponsor "Songrite Copyright Office". See how easy and cost effective it is to register the copyright ownership of your songs, music, lyrics, poems etc. The Songrite Copyright office can register the copyrights of all music based intellectual property and all original written and recorded works from single compositions to complete albums.

Learn how to register the copyrights of your songs, music and lyrics

Copyright actually exists the very moment an original song, lyrical work or piece of music is created and fixed in a tangible and accessible form or media such as it being recorded or written down. However, should that work become subject to a dispute or be infringed upon, proof of copyright ownership is not only essential it is also a legal requirement in a court of law. 

Proof of copyright ownership in documented form is easily obtained in one fast, efficient and economic transaction with the Songrite Copyright Office.

All composers / authors who register their songs, music and lyrics are issued with an individually numbered copyright certificate plus a song composite document both of which detail the content and the relevant composers of all the registered works including the date of registration.

Songrite Copyright Office Registration

Songrite Copyright Office International Copyright Registration of Songs - Music & Lyrics.

Learn more about Copyright and Related-Rights, Treaties and Laws Copyright Laws & Treaties

To see What Rights Copyright Provides the creator /composer Copyright Rights

How do I obtain Copyright Protection in another country than my own ? Copyrights in Other Countries

What is the term of Copyright and Intellectual Property all about? Intellectual Property

Collective Copyright comprises two main sets of rights: the economic rights and the moral rights. Collective Copyright

Downloading music or movies using peer-to-peer networks can be a temptation. It’s easy, it does’t cost anything,  Copyright and Online Music

Copyright is the means by which a person or a business makes a living from creativity. What is Copyright?

Copyright protection is limited to an author's particular expression of an idea, process, concept, and the like. Authors Expression

Performers are entitled to various rights in their performances, whether these take place on the stage, Performers Rights

Sampling is the use of portions of prior recordings which are incorporated into a new composition Music Sampling

About the information given on this web site

Please note. The intention of this web site is to make available wide-ranging copyright information while offering basic copyright education to our visitors. Many of your questions and queries on the subject of copyright may be answered within this web site or through the recommended links and resources provided on our page. The information contained within this site is offered as a consideration to visitors and at no time should the information be construed as legal advice; for all legal matters, we encourage our visitors to seek the assistance of an attorney.


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