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Copyright question (pro & con)

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Barry Finn 09 Jul 98 - 11:55 PM
Chet W. 10 Jul 98 - 05:45 PM
Max 10 Jul 98 - 06:34 PM
Roger Himler 11 Jul 98 - 12:44 AM
Barry Finn 12 Jul 98 - 10:30 PM
dick greenhaus 13 Jul 98 - 11:20 AM
Earl 13 Jul 98 - 12:36 PM
Barry Finn 13 Jul 98 - 02:53 PM
T. in Oklahoma 13 Jul 98 - 03:55 PM
14 Jul 98 - 08:17 AM
Earl 14 Jul 98 - 05:15 PM
Bert 15 Jul 98 - 09:20 AM
dick greenhaus 04 Aug 98 - 10:09 PM
BSeed 05 Aug 98 - 12:53 AM
dick greenhaus 08 Aug 98 - 10:36 PM
gargoyle 08 Aug 98 - 11:05 PM
BSeed 09 Aug 98 - 03:21 AM
BSeed 09 Aug 98 - 03:40 AM
Bob Schwarer 10 Aug 98 - 08:42 AM
Jerry Friedman 10 Aug 98 - 04:29 PM
BSeed 13 Aug 98 - 12:00 AM
With out Hope 13 Aug 98 - 12:43 AM
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Subject: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 09 Jul 98 - 11:55 PM

I'm sending in some songs (6) for copyright reg. I'm debating whether or not to put them all in as a collection & save a good chunk of change or put them in separatly & spend. Thanks , Barry


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Chet W.
Date: 10 Jul 98 - 05:45 PM

Many are more expert than me, but I was advised against this practice because, I was told, if the time comes when you want to grant license to one of the songs, you can't. If you copyrighted them as a collection you have to make them available as a collection. Get this verified.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Max
Date: 10 Jul 98 - 06:34 PM

Wait for Bert to see this, he told me a good and easy way but I forget it. I have mixed feelings about the whole mess, but that's just cause I trust everybody.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Roger Himler
Date: 11 Jul 98 - 12:44 AM

Barry,

I just returned from a workshop at Common Ground on the Hill where precisely this question was asked.

The answer there was, yes, you can copyright a collection. The major advantage is that there is only one fee so it is cheaper. The individual songs will be protected this way.

The disadvantage comes when someone is searching for your copyrighted song. It will not be listed and won't come up in a copyright search. Only the name of the collection will be listed. This makes it harder for other artists, who might want to use your song (and pay you for it,) to find the song and most especially you the songwriter and copyright holder.

They said if you get rich later, you can go back and copyright the individual tunes for a new fee.

Hope this is helpful.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Jul 98 - 10:30 PM

Thanks all for responding, any further input would still be very heplful. Thanks Barry


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 11:20 AM

Seems to me that there's only two reasons to copyright a song: a) So that if someone else wants to record or perform it, you can get a piece of the action and b) So that if YOU record or perform it,nobody will be able to make a sucussful claim that it's his song.

b) is self-evident. All you need for that protection is to mail yourself a copy of the song (certified mail) and not open the envelope until you're challenged.

The same protection would work for a), but there's less of a chance that Willie Nelson will stumble across the song and earn you thousands of bucks recording it. If you want exposure, try posting the song (WITH copyright info) to the DT; people looking for this type of music are much more likely to find it here than at, say,ASCAP or BMI


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Earl
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 12:36 PM

Technically, a song has automatic copyright protection the first time it appears in print or on record. Registering with the government adds a lot of weight to your claim if there is ever a dispute over authorship.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 02:53 PM

Dick, I've been told that mailing to yourself won't hold up well in a dispute, as to why I'd want to do it: some songs I've written, I'm very proud of the results, some come from a love & some from a loss & some of it comes from extreme pain, I'd be flattered if they were sung by others but as any craft I'd want credit. Dick, as for posting to the DT you have my "Ida Lewis" in there (it's copyright is 1997) & I've posted in a thread, my song "You wouldn't Know It To Look at Me" (see Feedback thread), I can post that again with copyright if you'd like. Thank you all for responding here. I've decided to chip away a song at a time, for now, rather than a collection. Barry


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: T. in Oklahoma
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 03:55 PM

I too have heard that mailing to yourself is chancy at best. I don't know for sure (i.e. this is not legal advice, does not establish a lawyer-client relationship, I am not a lawyer, etc.) but maybe getting your lead sheet notarized is an alternative way to create a record of your authorship, if you don't want to spend the fee to register the copyright.

Registering the copyright appears to have certain legal advantages, see 17 U.S.C. 411,412.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From:
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 08:17 AM

The notary doesn't know if you wrote it or not. All he/she will do is notarize your signiture as true.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Earl
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 05:15 PM

In a sense what the copyright office does is similar to what a notary does. They don't verify that you wrote the song and they don't check to see if someone else already has a copyright on it. All they do is certify that as of the day they stamp it, your claim has been officially recorded. If there is a dispute it is settled in a court of law and, ideally, whoever has the strongest evidenece will win.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Bert
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 09:20 AM

This is an interesting site, I don't know if I agree with everything he says but it's worth reading. go here

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 10:09 PM

Hi- For what it's worth, I have a quote for y'all. Anyone care to guess where it comes from?

"Any arrangement or adaptation of the compositions in this book without the permission of the copyright owner is an infringement of copyright"

I'll post the source in a day or so.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: BSeed
Date: 05 Aug 98 - 12:53 AM

I was wondering if posting your song to a thread would be the same as mailing yourself a copy via registered mail. There would be a dated record (you can save it to your personal file cabinet--in aol--to keep a public record of it). Or send it via e-mail to someone and save your e-mail with the e-mail documentation. Is there a permanent record someplace of either of these kinds of communication, or is it all ultimately dumped? I know the total volume of e-mail must be staggering. Anyone know? If you can, it's both a way of protecting the song and getting an audience for it.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Aug 98 - 10:36 PM

"Any arrangement or adaptation of the compositions in this book without the permission of the copyright owner is an infringement of copyright"

The quote I posted previously is taken from a Woody Guthrie songbook.

This land may be your land, but these songs distinctly ain't. No matter where Woody lifted them from.

Seems to me that singing a song written by someone else isn't nearly as serious as trying to prevent others from singing that song. Whether or not it's "adapted".

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: gargoyle
Date: 08 Aug 98 - 11:05 PM

There's only 12 possible notes in a range.

Seems that by this time in history EVERY tune has borrowed something fromm something else. (And Standford University kids and Boulder Colorado kids have developed the way to show if something is "borrowed.")

But, there 26 letters in the alphabet. (And "cyrptologists" will tell you that's a plenty) But how many WAYS can can the achin/breakin/partakin aspects of love be told....there's a many.)

So...copyright the words....but don't be a "horse's petuey" and have your ancestors challenge the right of little boys and girls girls to sing around a campfire about an America that is Beautiful.

Personal opinion...post it to a "public-database" loose all rights....but, become "one with the world."


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: BSeed
Date: 09 Aug 98 - 03:21 AM

Gargoyle, I think by posting it to a public database clearly identified as your creation, with a clear time of "publication" protects your song just as much as a self-addressed registered or even notarized letter containing the song would. To test that I posted one of my songs to a new thread: Movement songs. I would be gratified if other people played it, but publishing or recording for profit gets me royalties, I would hope. --seed


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: BSeed
Date: 09 Aug 98 - 03:40 AM

gargoyle, i think the important thing is making public of my authorship of a song, with a recorded time and date, would establish my ownership as well as written, registered, even notarized publication or release on record, tape, or cd. To test that theory, I posted a song right after first posting to this thread. It's on a thread called "Movement Songs," and while I am claiming ownership, I am giving full rights for performance but not for publication or recording without payment of royalties, unless the publication or recording is to benefit the victims of the US sanctions against Iraq. My extensive legal experience, gained from reading Grisham, Tannenbaum, Turow, et al, convinces me that the law is on my side.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 10 Aug 98 - 08:42 AM

Grab a look at two articles in the Sept 1 issue of PC magazine.

1 "Those Pesky Copyrights" by Bill Machrone 2 "The Software Protection Racket" by John Dvorak

I don't agree with the whole thing, but give it a read and comment.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 10 Aug 98 - 04:29 PM

Like T. in Oklahoma I'm not a lawyer, I don't even play one on TV, but I have doubts about BSeed's suggestions of posting a song to a database, saving it in your AOL file cabinet (whatever that is), or e-mailing it to yourself.

I imagine the purpose of copyright registration is to establish the DATE that the song (or whatever) existed and you knew of it. Same with the mail-it-to-yourself dodge, becaus of the postmark. If the date is before anyone else can prove knowledge of the song, you can make a good case that you wrote it.

To do this you need a permanent record with a reliable date. I don't know how easy it is to forge the date on an e-mail message, but I'll bet it's easy. That would make e-mail pretty useless as evidence. (Plaintiff: But I don't know how! Defendant's attorney: Do you expect the jury to believe that?) You could ask AOL how permanent their file cabinets are and how tamper-proof the date stamps are, and maybe Max could give us that information for the Mudcat forum.


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: BSeed
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 12:00 AM

How about it, Max? If I keep the threads with the songs I enter on my personal page thread list, will the song and the date posted be still there, capable of print-out, say ten or fifteen years down the line? --seed


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Subject: RE: Copyright question (pro & con)
From: With out Hope
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 12:43 AM

BSeed....PLEASE give it up....

Ain't no body goin a wanta plageriz them lyrics.

The tune is 'public dominan"

If ya wanna sell it...then do....(Its a lotta work)

Ah tink Ah'll writ ma own song...."Ah coulda been a zillon air but they wodn't zing mah zong"

Sorry....look up the word "hubris."


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