Do I Need To Copyright My Music?
In this blog post, we examine whether copyrighting one’s music is necessary for the benefit of interested readers as well as the procedures to be followed if it is.
Why should my music have a copyright?
When you record a song, copyright protection is automatically granted.However, if you want the full force of the law on your side, you must register the copyright.
There won’t be much protection available to you unless you register a copyright. What you should know about copyright and registration is provided here.
You’ve probably heard that you have copyright protection as soon as you produce a work and record it or write it down. Although the protection is limited, this is true.
Registration is the best course of action if you wish to take advantage of all the benefits and protections that copyright law has to offer.
What copyright safeguards?
A creative, literary, theatrical, or musical work is protected by a copyright. This encompasses artwork, books, music, movies, software, and even advertisements. Ideas are not protected by copyright laws.
A physical medium must be used for the work. Copyright protection is automatically activated as soon as a work is converted into a physical form; further action is not necessary. When anything becomes tangible, it may be read, seen, or heard by others.
You have the sole right to, as the author of the work:
- Share or release the work
- Create duplicates of the work
- Create copies of the work
- Perform the work
- Display the work
Any of the aforementioned rights can be sold or licensed by the creator. However, it will be considered a copyright violation if someone tries to distribute, publish, copy, perform, or display the work without your explicit consent.
Whether or not the work is registered with the government’s copyright office, it may be subject to legal repercussions. A copyright is currently only valid for as long as the creator is alive plus 70 years.
Advantages of registering for copyright
The following are some benefits of copyright registration:
- Public document: When a copyright is registered, it is made public in the searchable database of our government’s copyright office. People can easily locate and recognize that it is a copyrighted work because it is a public record.
- The power to sue for infringement: You cannot file a copyright infringement action if your copyright is not registered.
- The lawfulness of the copyright: In a case alleging copyright infringement, the registration certificate will serve as factual support for the legality of your copyright.
- Legislated damages: Without copyright registration, the only form of compensation is actual damage, which may be negligible or challenging to establish. You are entitled to statutory damages and attorneys’ expenses if you register your copyright.
You should register copyright if it is essential to your company. Your legal rights will be strengthened, and if you are sued for copyright infringement, you will be entitled to more money in damages.
Copyright registration offers important legal protection even though it is not required. It makes it simpler for others to locate your protected content.
It may assist you in avoiding costly and disruptive litigation. And that is crucial if you ever find yourself bringing a claim for infringement.
Copyrighting a song requires talent, time, and work. Not everyone has the necessary skills to do it. Even while writing, recording, and releasing a song or album may seem like the end of your work, you should protect your song by registering it with the appropriate copyright agency before declaring victory.
Yes, obtaining copyright protection for your song is essential since it is simpler than ever for others to utilize your creation in an improper manner without giving you the proper credit.
It is especially crucial to think about copyright protection if you are a rising musician, since you might not have the strength of character to fight back if your song is improperly utilized.
An intellectual property right known as copyright registration in India declares the ownership of the artist or author over their works. Additionally, it grants them the sole right to exploit their inventions. Additionally, it covers authors of plays, novels, and other creative works, as well as those who create cinematographic movies and sound recordings.
There are various advantages to copyright registration, including the rights to copy, disclose information to the public, modify works, and interpret works. The major goal of this registration is to compensate the author or creator of the work by protecting their ownership interest in it.
The good news is that song writers and producers can now obtain protection for the music and lyrics of their songs.
Advantages of music copyrighting
- No other corporation or business entity may violate your work
- The copyright registration certificate is accurate and in force for the owner’s lifetime plus 60 years.
- Copyright infringement is a cognizable offence, and a police report will serve as a record to halt it.
- In the event of an infringement, a civil lawsuit may be brought in the location where the copyright holder is located.
- In addition, if they intend to create any new work based on a copyrighted work, they must obtain permission from the owner and, if necessary, pay royalties.
Documents Needed for Music Composition Copyright
- The no objection certificates (NOCs) of the publisher, producer, author, composer, and all other people involved in the composition of a song should be provided when submitting a copyright application for a song.
- Two distinct samples or copies of the work that are both original. It might be a song recording in this instance, and music notation is necessary for copyright music registration.
Indian music copyright procedures
Step 1: Filing the Application
Filling out the copyright application correctly through a copyright attorney’s portal is the first step in the procedure. The candidate may submit the application directly or through a third party they have authorized.
The application must be submitted with the necessary supporting documentation. After the application has been filed, a diary number will be generated, which can be used to track it.
Step 2: Formality Check
There will be a formality test or check when the application is accepted. This will be done to make sure your work satisfies the necessary criteria for copyright registration.
If your application doesn’t pass the formality check, a letter asking for further details or justification will be delivered to the applicant.
Step 3: Waiting Period
The application or request proceeds on to the publishing step, where other parties might contest your claim if the formality check goes smoothly or if it passes after you respond to the questions posed.
There is a 30-day window for considering their objections. Your application will be sent to the auditor for review if there are no objections. If there is an objection, you must go through one more step.
Step 4: Hearing
A report will be provided to both parties in the event that an objection is made regarding the copyright. The Registrar may request a hearing after you submit a response.
Both parties will have an opportunity to play their parts at the hearing. Your application will be sent to the auditor for review after the hearing if you win.
Step 5: Registration Granted
The application will eventually be sent to the Registrar. Additionally, they will decide whether or not to grant you the copyright registration based on their final examination.
You will be informed if they approve the registration and you will then have full legal control over your song.
When your completed application documents are received by our government’s copyright office, your registration becomes official. If you submit a paper application, you will receive a certificate of registration instead of an email confirming receipt of your application unless more information is required or if your application has been refused.
In India, a copyright application for music contains the following:
- E-Filing of copyright application
- Registration of copyright (Form-XIV)
- Change in particulars
- E-filing of Application for Copyright Society
- Registration/renewal of Copyright Society (form VIII & IX)
- Registration/renewal of Performers’ Society (form XI & XII)
- Obtaining the final status of the application
How much does music copyrighting in India cost?
Any literary, artistic, or musical creation is only protected when a registration application has been made. On the government of India’s copyright office’s official website, a work may be registered through an electronic filing procedure.
The copyright office, which sets the fee for the application for registration of copyright, is located in New Delhi.
The prescribed fee for copyright registration for musical, theatrical, and artistic works is Rs. 500 per piece. The application price for sound recordings is Rs. 2000 per work, whereas the fee for copyright registration in cinematographic films is Rs. 5000 per work.
The lyrics to songs are protected by copyright laws in India for both published and unpublished creative musical compositions. As soon as a musical composition is produced in a fixed format, such as sheet music or an audio recording, a copyright for that music is established.
A melody or song idea cannot be protected by copyright. When copyrighting music, copyright owners have additional legal rights thanks to copyright laws. The procedure for copyrighting music is simple.
Note: Short words, song titles, and band names are not protected by copyright.
What is the punishment in India for music copyright violations?
The unique legal right that the owner of a creative work, literary piece, musical composition, or cinematic film is secured is known as copyright. A photograph, a poem, a novel, a song, or even computer software might be considered an artistic creation.
The right guarantees that the artistic work belongs to its owner, who may use the work for a predetermined amount of time.
The Copyright Act of 1957 governs the owner’s sole legal authority.For literary, theatrical, musical, and artistic works, the copyright work is protected for the duration of the author’s lifetime plus 60 years starting from the year after the author’s death.
Up to 60 years after the year of publication, cinematographic films, sound recordings, pictures, and other media are protected.
It constitutes an infringement of the copyrighted work if anyone utilizes such a work who is not the rightful owner. When someone else purposefully or inadvertently duplicates or otherwise makes use of another person’s creative work without giving them credit, that action constitutes infringement.
Copyright infringement happens when original works are imported or sold without the owner’s consent.
The court may issue an interlocutory injunction to stop a copyright violation. A copyright lawyer in India who handles copyright cases can assist with this. Law companies in India assist with registration and represent their customers’ interests throughout court proceedings.
Infringers who are responsible for infringement may also be asked for a financial remedy. The violator faces a sentence of at least six months in jail and up to three years in prison, as well as a minimum fine of Rs. 50,000 and a maximum fine of Rs. 2,00,000.
Owners’ rights to copyright
Why should my music have a copyright? The owner of a music copyright is granted a range of rights regarding their copyrighted music, including:
- The right to make public copies of the sheet music or audio recordings and to sell or distribute those copies. According to the “first sale” doctrine, the owner of the copyright is entitled to make a copy and distribute it first. After that, third parties are required to pay the copyright owner a licensing charge.
- The right to create derivative music from the original musical work.
- The right to publicly play the musical composition. When a piece of music is performed, the copyright owner is paid royalties.
- The right to publicly show the musical composition.
Registration of copyright
Although copyright owners are not required to register their rights with the government’s copyright office, doing so grants them additional legal protections, such as:
- It makes the copyright and the date it was created public record.
- It enables the owner of the copyright to bring a legal action against anyone who violates it.
If someone violates a music copyright, the amount of damages the copyright owner can claim depends on the date the copyright was registered.
- The owner of the music copyright is entitled to the appropriate attorney’s fees and statutory damages for each violation if the copyright is registered within three months or before the copyright is violated.
- The copyright owner can only be compensated for actual damages if the infringement occurred before the music copyright was registered.
The restrictions on copyright
The “fair use” theory allows for the restricted use of copyrighted content without violating the rights of the copyright owners. Examples include news reporting, parody, instructional applications, and commentary or criticism.
Copyright grants holders some exclusive rights to their work and safeguards original musical works in a set format. Owners of copyrights are not required to register their works with the government’s copyright office, but doing so gives them legal protection against copyright infringement.
It is abundantly obvious from our discussion thus far that musical creations are protected by copyright not just in India but also internationally. Therefore, for obvious reasons, we advise all aspiring musicians to copyright their music in India. We anticipate that all of our readers who want to pursue music as a career in India will find this blog helpful.