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Thread: So let's delve deeper into Copyrights

  1. #1
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    So let's delve deeper into Copyrights

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    So over the years we have had some back n forth discussions on the need to register your songs with the U.S. copyright office to protect them...

    The moment you create a copyrightable work that work is protected by copyright laws. The caveat being that in order to sue someone in the United States for copyright infringement you must register that work with the U.S. copyright office. Though I agree the old poor mans copyright was a weak way to protect, I have held the stance that in this digital cyber age the moment I have e-mailed that work to various people or posted that work online be it Facebook, Soundcloud, Soundclick , Itunes HR.com etc....I have created a digital time stamp that can be used as legal evidence and proof of the date of creation and can obtain a copyright for my work with that evidence....and then sue the rat bastard that stole my work and made a gazillion dollars with it ...See that's the rub...The only reason to have a U.S. issued Copyright is if you are going to sue somebody for stealing / using your work...I don't want to burst any bubbles here but the likelihood of 99.9% of us poor slobs having a work worth going to court over is nil. So as incredible of a songwriter, singer and musician as I am, I have never copyrighted any of my work...but I have posted it out on the net and shared it in multiple places that are digital proof that the work is mine and existed since X date...so if by chance I am so lucky as to win the incredible singer, songwriter and musician lottery and have one of my works "borrowed" and that person starts making some serious money from it....at that time I will give notice to the offender to cease and desist and register my work with the copyright office to go after said offender if they are making REAL $ with my work...

    That's me and that's my strategy..

    I subscribe to several recording tutorial, business tutorial e-mail chains and some of you may have heard of Silverscreenmusic.com Matt has his schtick to try and lure you into working with him to get your music in TV and movies..

    His latest little business is Songsecure.com where he explains a lot of what I already mentioned above but leads one to believe his digital documentation is "special" and uses a patent attorney in the video below to explain why his new little business is a smart way to register your songs...

    I call bullshit that I need his service and that by e-mailing a work via gmail to myself or anyone else I have admissible evidence and solid proof of the existence of my work and the date it was e-mailed. That conclusion is based upon Section 65B – Admissibility of Electronic Records

    Sec. 65B(1): Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any information contained in an electronic record –

    which is printed on a paper, stored, recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer
    shall be deemed to be also a document, if the conditions mentioned in this section are satisfied in relation to the information and
    computer in question and shall be admissible in any proceedings, without further proof or production of the original,
    as evidence of any contents of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.

    So for me I ain't copyrighting nothing and I'm not paying songsecure a dime cause I don't need em...

    Here's the Song Secure Lawyer giving his pitch as to why the service works...which IMO bolsters my stance that we don't need to get a U.S. Copyright ....until we do...and it's never too late to get one if you have solid proof of the date of creation....

    https://songsecure.com/copyright/legal-information/
    Last edited by TAE; 04-03-2018 at 14:16.
    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

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    While you technically have established some kind of "paper" trail with emails and such, my assumption, based on what I've read, is that you'd never find an attorney who would take your (or anyone's infringement) case without having a real copyright, unless you were paying handsomely, up front, with no expectation of getting that money back; i.e., no chance for a contingency payment kind of deal. That's what I've heard, anyway.

    Now, as to the chances any of the millions of laboring songsmiths out there will even pen something that ends up being worth something, well, yes, something like playing the lottery. But, some folks do win, and I guess the actual copyright is one of the costs of a ticket, presumably.

    I know at least one guy who writes really good, clever songs, possibly even commercial, but does not copyright. Everyone else that's really trying to scratch out maybe just money for new strings and is writing songs does copyright AFAIK, though they typically batch them up and submit as a single performance. (It's the date on the piece of paper that ultimately would decide any actual quibbles, not your emails.)

    There's actually a very, very long thread over at the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (umgf.org) about this in the General Musical Topics sub-forum. It's so long and old the law has changed since it started! Worth wading through at least once, though it may not ultimately be clarifying.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    While you technically have established some kind of "paper" trail with emails and such, my assumption, based on what I've read, is that you'd never find an attorney who would take your (or anyone's infringement) case without having a real copyright.
    You can't file a copyright infringement lawsuit without a copyright issued by the United States copyright office so yeah.. a lawyer could get disbarred for saying he could take a case without one...you can't...The point is..."if" by some crazy fluke, one of my "works' ever "hit's the big time " via a thief and it merits me putting out the $$.... then and only then will I apply for a copyright and I will get it issued because I have U.S. court admissible evidence that I created it on X date via the digital venues I mentioned.... This is what Securesong is saying except they would like you to believe you need their service to actually have it be admissible....but as per 65B mentioned in my first post ...That ain't so...the multiple places I post my works all are digital timestamps of it's origin...and admissible in court as such...

    To each his own and more power to those that feel safer doling out money prior to there being an actual potential infringement monetary opportunity to go after...which as previously mentioned is likened to the odds of winning the lottery...It may be only a few hundred dollars for each poor soul trying to protect their works at $35 a pop...but I would venture Billions of revenue for the Copyright office for copyrights that will never see a courtroom...ever.

    Me...I'm not playing that shell game.
    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

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    For us average Joes, it would seem this copyright business is, basically, just insurance. Buy it or not, it's up to you. Now if you're an established artist, you need to cover yourself - it's just good business practice.

    Some 43 years ago I wrote an instrumental which was performed by our band, and we had 500 45s stamped for gigs. I had no intention of copyrighting until someone showed interest for a possible theme song. I quickly submitted it for copyright.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAE View Post
    ...It may be only a few hundred dollars for each poor soul trying to protect their works at $35 a pop...
    You can copyright a batch of songs, e.g., a CD, (SR form) in a single submission for the same fee. There are some restrictions, but that's what many of the folks I know do. IANAL, but, the point is, even though you have individual songs, copyrighting the entire work protects everything, i.e, all the parts. No need to submit every song individually. Of course that really only works if your relatively prolific I suppose.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    I kind of like receiving that copyright envelope in the mail. Makes a project seem more official.

    Is it worth $35? Eh... maybe once a year or so?

  7. #7
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    I'm currently in the process of getting a patent on a showerpan system I came up with....I've spent over $5K on it to date with the lawyer, getting it written up , drawn and submitted...It may not get granted.... It might and I will then be able to show it at the trade shows and maybe get a big player like Masco to license from me...That's my gamble and I may loose but the odds of it being a tool to make some decent cash are worth the gamble. Unlike the copyright which I can apply for "after" the horse is out of the barn, I must apply for the patent before I go to market with it as I only have a year of selling it / marketing it before I can no longer get a patent on it. So on the patent which BTW is only good for between 17 and 20 years it is something I must do prior to letting out into the world...

    with copyright I can wait as long as I want to get it registered with the Copyright office and the only reason I would ever need to is if I am going to sue somebody for using it without my permission...for it to be worth me suing them ( for those that have actually paid lawyer fees and have a grasp of what it takes financially to sue successfully somebody ) That work is going to have to of been producing some serious profits into the millions.

    Just because you have a patent or copyright doesn't mean you you are protected from someone stealing your idea or work...They only prove it is your idea or work...the catch 24 is in suing and that takes CASH The Beastie Boys used Mr. Ed's voice ( I am the executor of of Alan Rocky Lane's estate) on their time to get ill album without my permission and no compensation to me.... Try as I might I could not get an attorney to take the case on a contingency...it represents a few 100K at minimum if we are successful and nothing other than court cost and lawyer fees if we fail...seems legit , seems like I would win, I control the rights of his usage and get royalty checks and request to use his image and or voice for movies and commercials ...just got a a whopping $25 royalty check for his usage in Dr. Dolittle ...we got about $70K when they used his voice without permission on a Tostitos commercial back in the 80's ... My point is even if you have a copyright it is going to have to be a REALLY successful unauthorized usage to make it worth going after.....

    I get it...it provides a sense of security ...our tunes are our children....Based upon the Securesong pitch and what I have been saying ....that all you need is proof that you are the original creator and have a digital proof of the date of creation you have all you need to get that blessed U.S. copyright if one of your babies is stolen and actually ends up meritting the hundreds of thousands of dollars in court cost it will take to to go after the thief...As I see it registering prior to that is a total waste of time, energy and money...but again that is just my perspective based upon the experiences and information I have come across....

    Rocky was my Dad's step brother.... that's how I ended up as executor years later


    Fun story...

    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

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    Lucky for the Beastie Boys!

    Copyright is such a weird area. As things stand now, everything copyrighted is going to stay copyrighted as long as Disney exists, but every creative idea is built on tons of preceding ideas. It's especially pronounced in sampling/remix culture, where you not only borrow the ideas of your predecessors to create something new, but often their actual recordings.

    Given my druthers, Mr. Ed would have passed fully into the public domain sometime between 2006 and 2016 (40-50 years), but obviously that's not how it actually works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    Given my druthers, Mr. Ed would have passed fully into the public domain sometime between 2006 and 2016 (40-50 years), but obviously that's not how it actually works.
    Film is a whole different ball of wax and it has shifted over time....Screen Actors Guild oversee's the royalties for him.... Video tape did not exist when I love Lucy was produced...so when it went to video and Lucille sued for royalties on every video tape sold...she lost... it was not a format covered in the SAG contracts at that time of production...dang!
    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

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