Dealing with Copyright Infringement

Awhile back, my friend wrote a beautiful song. Then he heard his song being played over in Japan. I got to thinking about Copyright issues after I saw someone rename one of Bruce Hornsby's song... This is what I learned from a friend's article.

* Dealing with Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is a big problem on the internet. What's worse, the content of your website is the easiest thing to steal. Just search with part of your content as keywords and you'll find out that a lot of your content has been copied without your permission.

* Getting Copyright

(The following must not be considered legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please check with your lawyer.)

Article by Akinori Furukoshi of

As you know, copyright protects your work. In most countries, copyright is automatically in effect at creation. So you don't have to register your work. However, registering your work with a government agency is the best way to prove you're the copyright owner in a court of law. Practically, it's worth paying for registration when you've written a book, but it's not worthwhile for a small work, such as a newsletter. In that case, you should opt to use "poor man's copyright," which means you mail a copy of your work to yourself via the postal system and keep the delivered mail unopened. This is a strong argument for establishing that the contents of the unopened mail were created before the date of the postmark on the envelope. (Still, you shouldn't treat this as a replacement of registering work with the copyright office.)

* Taking Advantage of Infringement

The grim fact is, whether you have a copyright or not, people will plagiarize your work whenever they want to. Otherwise, the use of file sharing software wouldn't have become a problem. I'm not suggesting that you let people get away with it, but that finding a way to turn infringement into promotion of your site is more important than protecting your products. For example, you can use all sorts of copy protection techniques, but if it causes too many problems in using your products, you'll lose paying customers. On the other hand, if you let people copy some of your work, your site will get more popular as more copies are made. (This is called viral marketing.)

Knowing that someone is stealing your work is quite irritating, but keep your focus on taking care of loyal paying customers, not the people who steal.

Copyrights (Songwriters)
What is a Copyright? As a songwriter do I need one?

COPYRIGHT 1) n. the exclusive right of the author or creator of a literary or artistic property (such as a book, movie, or musical composition) to print, copy, sell, license, distribute, transform to another medium, translate, record or perform or otherwise use (or not use) and to give it to another by will. As soon as a work is created and is in a tangible form (such as writing or taping) the work automatically has federal copyright protection. On any distributed and/or published work a notice should be affixed stating the word copyright, or copy or "c" in a circle, with the name of the creator, and the date of copyright (which is the year of first publication). The notice should be on the title page or the page immediately following, and for graphic arts on a clearly visible or accessible place. A work should be registered with the U. S. Copyright Office by submitting a registration form and two copies of the work with a fee which a) establishes proof of earliest creation and publication, b) is required to file a lawsuit for infringement of copyright, c) if filed within three months of publication, established a right to attorneys' fees in an infringement suit. Copyrights cover the following: literary, musical and dramatic works, periodicals, maps, works of art (including models), art reproductions, sculptural works, technical drawings, photographs, prints (including labels), movies and other audiovisual works, computer programs, compilations of works and derivative works, and architectural drawings. Not subject to copyright are short phrases, titles, extemporaneous speeches or live unrecorded performances, common information, government publications, mere ideas, and seditious, obscene, libelous and fraudulent work. For any work created from 1978 to date a copyright is good for the author's life, plus 50 years, with a few exceptions such as work "for hire" which is owned by the one commissioning the work for a period of 75 years from publication. After that it falls into the public domain. Many, but not all, countries recognize international copyrights under the "Universal Copyright Convention," to which the United States is a party."

A tale of 2 Copyrights: Composition and Master

I came across this website

I was a bit confused and my friend James cleared things up a bit for me:

"The gentleman is pointing out that in a recording there are potentially two copyrights at play.

1. The basic song is owned by the songwriter/publisher and a license has to be obtained to use it.

2. Once the recording is made, provided that the proper licenses have been secured, the artist/record company owns the copyright to the recording.

If someone wanted to use the recording commercially in another use, he/she would have to get permissions from both parties.

If someone wants just to use the song and then make their own recording of it, there would only need to be permission obtained for the song itself, usually through Harry Fox.

It seems that what this web-site is selling music that once you pay their fee, you can use it in any manner you wish without having to worry about copyright of the song or the recording. This takes away that hassle of getting licenses and takes the way the worry of a copyright infringement lawsuit."

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