How can you copyright music for free?
This article explains how to copyright music for free. The rights assigned to music copyright owners are enshrined in laws in many countries worldwide.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was established in 1967 and is the:
The protection of literary and artistic works was established in its Berne Convention in 1986.
The International Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights Organization or ICRIPRO. The organization is the
global forum for Copyright and Intellectual Property Right services, policy, information and cooperation. It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states (ICRIPRO, 2022),
Music copyrights are important documents that verify ownership. Music copyrights also place a time stamp on the ownership oof the work.
Traditionally, music copyrights were done by government agencies. One of the best known is the US Copyright Office.
What is a copyright?
A copyright reflects the ownership of intellectual property. The owner of that intellectual property is assigned the exclusive right to perform the work, copy, distribute, adapt and display it without paying a license.
In this instance, the creative work is music. However, copyright laws also refer to works that include:
… books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, websites, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings (ICRIPRO, 2022),
Copyrights protect the original expression of an idea in the form of creative work, but not the idea itself.
What are specific rights assigned to copyright owners?
According to ICRIPRO, (2022), copyright owners are really the economic rights owner of a work. They can prohibit or authorize the following activities in relation to their work:
- Translation of the work into other languages.
- Broadcasting of their work by radio, cable, or satellite.
- Public performance, such as in a play or musical work; (or in public places).
- Adaptation of the work into mediums such as novels or film screenplay.
- Reproduction of the work in various forms, such as printed publication or sound recording;
- Recording or the work in other formats such as compact discs, DVDs (USB Drives).
- I would like to add streaming of the work on places such as video-sharing sites or social media platforms.
Can music copyright be registered?
Music copyright can be registered in countries at a cost with the legal authority responsible for doing so or with the ICRIPRO.
The ICRIPRO further explains that under the Berne Convention, copyright protection has to be obtained from ICRIPRO through its agencies or partners.
This applies if the copyrightable work has been published internationally in more than one country or in any international platform. The rationale is that the legal agreements would cover disputes.
Copyright registration in most countries is not mandatory, but voluntary. While copyright registration is useful, the rights of copyright owners are not observed in some nations.
(ICRIPRO) affirms that it is the only organization to provide a Copyright certificate with unique alphanumeric digits contained in four boxes.
Can music copyright be registered online?
Over the past few years, online websites began to offer copyrighting services.
Some of the main advantages include:
- Instant retrieval of the copyright document and
- Provision of a time-stamped document.
- Some offer systems for monitoring and taking down of illegal users of one’s work.
- May be less costly than in country.
- No provision for a copyright search to protect from indemnity.