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Music Licensing Reform


1. Could you please let me know, Are forms available free from the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent & Trademark Office?

Official's award-winning Official Copyright(tm) on the net as well as software practice in order to automate as well as streamline picking as well as doing types. Although totally free copyright types are available on the Copyright laws Office, filers include inquired each of our software as well as on the net equipment to help with picking the suitable form, doing the areas, access every one of the connected data as well as equipment to handle as well as monitor registrations.

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2. Could you please explain what is the Difference Between a Copyright, Trademark & Patent?

Copyright protects original artistic, literary, dramatic, musical and other intellectual property works, including compilations such as multimedia works and computer programs and websites. You can not copyright an idea! What you can claim copyright in is your original expression of an idea that is "fixed" in a tangible form of expression (e.g. written down). You also can not copyright names, titles or short phrases. In some cases, names may be protected by Trademark law. Copyrights are filed with the U.S. Copyright Office. Filing a copyright is automated and streamlined through the Official Copyright Software and online filing products.


Trademark protects titles, words, names, symbols, logos and designs that are used to identify a business's goods (trademarks) or services (service marks) that are used in commerce. Trademarks are filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Trademark applications can be completed with an easy step-by-step automated process using the Official TrademarkT Software product.


Patents are used to protect inventions. A patent is applied for and includes a search for conflicting patents or inventions and consists of claims that are typically drafted by an intellectual property or patent attorney. For more information about filing a patent, call the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (800) 786-9199 or visit the USPTO website:



3. Why is it Important to File a Copyright Registration with the Copyright Office?

Filing Copyright Critical for Full Rights. Did you know Copyright protects your rights in a work for your lifetime +70 years and is recognized in over 70 countries worldwide?

Legal battles over rights to music, films, websites and other intellectual property works are making headlines around the world. Don't wait to file. Filing with the U.S. Copyright Office is the best and only full strength legal protection. It not only creates a public record of your claim to copyright in a work at the Library of Congress, but a law suit can't be filed in U.S. court without it. Plus, you risk losing significant damages if a copyrights not filed and someone infringes on your work.

Official Copyright streamlines filing and makes it easy to not only know what and how to file, but to also manage your copyright throughout the life of the registration.



4. What are Copyrightable Works?

Musical Works & Sound Recordings (Form PA)

Songs, lyrics and recorded works...;

Performing Arts Works (Form PA)

Works for theater, television, radio, film, etc. including scripts...

Fiction & Nonfiction Written Works (Form TX)

Novels, poetry, textbooks, stories...

Computer Programs, Multimedia & Websites (Form TX+)

Software, websites, databases, and other "compilations"...

Fine, Graphic & Applied Art Works (Form VA)

2-D and 3-D works such as photographs, drawings, greeting cards, games...

Architectural Works (Form VA)

Including plans & tech. drawings;

Other Works:

Serial Works (magazines, newsletters), Vessel Hulls, Circuit Boards, Corrections, Renewals, Document Cover Sheets, etc.

5. Does Copyright Protection Last expire?

Under current law, copyright for works created on or after January 1,1978 begins the moment a work is created and is "fixed in a tangible form." Copyright protection generally lasts your lifetime plus 70 years. For works by more than one author or anonymous works see Circular 1, "Copyright Basics" for more info.


6. Are their works NOT Protected by Copyright?

* Ideas, concepts, discoveries and principles;

* Formulas, processes, systems, and methods; (but may be the subject of a Patent)

* Words and short phrases such as names, titles, and slogans; (but may be a Trademark)

* Familiar symbols or designs; or mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering or coloring.

* Works not fixed in a tangible form of expression (e.g. a performance that is not recorded or written down)

* Works consisting ENTIRELY of information that is common property, with no original authorship (e.g. tape measures, rulers, tables from public documents)

7. Are my ideas Protected Idea?

An often misunderstood concept in Copyright is that you can not copyright an idea. What is protected (and can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) is your expression of a concept or idea - and not the concept or idea itself.

8. What are my "Copy" Rights & What is "Fair Use" of a Work?

In general, the moment an original work is created in fixed form, the author owns the Copyright in the work unless it is a "work made for hire" (as in the case of an employee working for an employer; then the employer is considered the author of the work) or, unless it's a "joint work" in which two or more authors are claiming copyright.

Those rights remain with the author unless the author specifically transfers them in writing to someone else. (Note: Even though ownership of the rights to a work can change, the author of the work remains the same). Copyright law protects the work you have created from "unauthorized copying, reproductions, sale and other forms of infringement."* There are some limitations to these rights under the doctrine of fair use, for example, in the case of educators and librarians.


9. When can I use the Copyright Notice on my Work?

Using the copyright notice is not required under current law for a work to be protected by copyright. It is, however, recommended that the notice appear on all copies of a work. A copyright notice informs the public the work is protected by copyright, identifies the owner of copyright and shows the year of first publication (for unpublished works, shows the year it was created). Also, in the event that a work is infringed the court will not allow a defendant to claim "innocent infringement" if it carries a proper notice. The copyright notice consists of: The "©" symbol (or the word "Copyright" or "Copr.") followed by the year of copyright and name of the copyright owner.

For a "sound recording" on a phonorecord (disk, tape, etc.) (but NOT including the sounds of motion pictures or other audiovisual works) the notice is: The phonorecord symbol "?" (the letter "P" in a circle) followed by the year of copyright and name of the copyright owner.

10. Who may file a Copyright Application Form?

The author: This is either the person who actually created the work, or, if the work was made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared.

The copyright claimant: The copyright claimant is defined in Copyright Office regulations as either the author of the work or a person or organization that has obtained ownership of all the rights under the copyright initially belonging to the author. This category includes a person or organization who has obtained by contract the right to claim legal title to the copyright in an application for copyright registration.

The owner of exclusive right(s): Under the law, any of the exclusive rights that go to make up a copyright and any subdivision of them can be transferred and owned separately, even though the transfer may be limited in time or place of effect. The term "copyright owner" with respect to any one of the exclusive rights contained in a copyright refers to the owner of that particular right. Any owner of an exclusive right may apply for registration of a claim in the work.

The duly authorized agent of such author, other copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive right(s). Any person authorized to act on behalf of the author, other copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive rights may apply for registration.

There is no requirement that applications be prepared or filed by an attorney.

11. Can I Copyright the Name of my Band?

No. Names are not protected by copyright law. Some names may be protected under trademark law. Trademarks are filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Trademark applications can be completed with an easy step-by-step automated process using the Official TrademarkT Software product.

[ 12. How do I get permission to use somebody else's work?

You can ask for it. If you know who the copyright owner is, you may contact the owner directly. If you are not certain about the ownership or have other related questions, you may wish to request that the Copyright Office conduct a search of its records for a fee of $65* per hour. For additional information, request Circular 22, "How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work." (* U.S. Copyright Office fees subject to change)

13. Somebody Infringed my Copyright. What can I do?

A party may seek to protect his or her copyrights against unauthorized use by filing a civil lawsuit in Federal district court. If you believe that your copyright has been infringed, consult an attorney. In cases of willful infringement for profit, the U.S. Attorney may initiate a criminal investigation.

[14. Is my Copyright Good in Other Countries?

The United States has copyright relations with more than 100 countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights. However, the United States does not have such copyright relationships with every country. For a listing of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States, request Circular 38a, "International Copyright Relations of the United States."

15. How do I get my work into the Library of Congress? (the below information is taken from

Step 1

Sound Recordings

Follow these steps to register your recording of music, drama, or a lecture:

Make sure your work is a sound recording. Sound recordings are “works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.” Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures (go here to read details:

Copyright registration for a sound recording alone is neither the same as, nor a substitute for, registration for the musical, dramatic, or literary work recorded. The underlying work may be registered in its own right apart from any recording of the performance, or in certain cases, the underlying work may be registered together with the sound recording (go here to read details:

Note: To register performing arts works, see the Performing Arts instructions.go here to read details: about the registration of musical compositions and sound recordings.

Step 2

Put into one envelope or package:

  • a completed application Form SR
  • a $30 payment to "Register of Copyrights."
  • nonreturnable copy(ies) of the material to be registered (read details on

Make sure your work is a performing arts work. Performing arts works are intended to be “performed” directly before an audience or indirectly “by means of any device or process.” Included are (1) musical works, including any accompanying words; (2) dramatic works, such as scripts, including any accompanying music; (3) pantomimes and choreographic works; and (4) motion pictures and other audiovisual works.

Note: Performing arts registration is not the same as registering a sound recording. Read more about choosing the correct registration method. To register sound recordings, see the Sound Recordings instructions. Read more about the registration of musical compositions and sound recordings.

Step 2

Put into one envelope or package:

  • a completed application Form PA or Short Form PA (choose which form to use)
  • a $30 payment to "Register of Copyrights."
  • nonreturnable copy(ies) of the material to be registered. (Read details on deposit requirements for musical compositions, motion pictures.

Please read this important notice about mail delivery disruption.

Step 3

Send the package to:

Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

Your registration becomes effective on the day that the Copyright Office receives your application, payment, and copy(ies) in acceptable form. If your submission is in order, you will receive a certificate of registration in 4 to 5 months.

For more details, please see Circular 45, Copyright Registration for Motions Pictures Including Video Recordings; Circular 50, Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions; Circular 55, Copyright Registration for Multimedia Works; and other informational circulars.

Library of Congress,

Collections Policy Office

101 Independence Avenue, S.E.,

Washington, D.C. 20540.

16. How much of Someone Else's Work can I use Without Getting Permission?

Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of specific number of words counts, a certain number of musical notes, or percentages of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances. See FL 102, "Fair Use" and request Circular 21,"Reproductions of Copyr. Works by Educators and Librarians"

17. How do I contact the U.S Copyright Office?

202-707-3000 general number

202-707-5959 copyright office information specialist

Other Copyright Questions:


* Can I Copyright the Name of my Band?

* How do I get permission to use somebody else's work?

* Somebody Infringed my Copyright. What can I do?

* Is my Copyright Good in Other Countries?

* How do I get my work into the Library of Congress?

* How much of Someone Else's Work can I use Without Getting Permission?

* How do I contact the U.S Copyright Office?

*****Information taken from website and other online resources.


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