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Protecting Your Work

by Vid Warren

On an album that you buy in the shops or online, there will be two types of copyright:

The copyright you recognize as the © symbol applies to the composition, musical score, lyrics, as well as any artwork or cover designs. This is for the creation of the ideas. When you write a piece of music, it is automatically yours until 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which you die. You don't have to register it either. You will need to prove that you are the author of your works (should somebody claim them as their own). The best way to do this is to SEND YOUR WORKS, (RECORDED AND/OR WRITTEN + ARTWORK), TO YOURSELF BY SPECIAL DELIVERY. Include a piece of paper saying your details and 'All rights reserved'. Do not open it until you are in court proving that it's yours.

When you sign to a record label, the 'traditional' © copyright is what you are selling them in return for 'advances' (loans) to make and distribute your album.

The other type of copyright is the copyright on a recording. This is shown as the 'phonogram copyright symbol' (a 'p' in a circle rather than a 'c'). This copyright lasts for 50 years from the date that the recording was made.

So protect your work now before you get ripped-off!

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