How do you copyright or protect your shared music?

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Mistro17
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post 11 Jun 2020

I know there's a place to register for protection. I'm just curious how users here do it on average. Like say you are not financially ready to register but you have a song you want to share at the present time, is there something we can do that can still count as proof of authorship? And how do you handle a situation where you're not completely done with your track but want to share it to get feedback to make it better? Just asking before I begin sharing over the internet.

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zero-13
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Post 11 Jun 2020

+1 This is an amazing, important question(s) from OP, way ahead of myself but also would also be very much interested in learning from anyone's firsthand knowledge.

Propellerhands
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Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 11 Jun 2020

Look, if your issue in 2020 is how to protect your bedroom produced track instead of how to gain at least 100 people audience then you are doing it wrong.

The best protection is to never publish it and keep it to yourself and maybe let your mom and dad listen to it.

When I started making music, protection of my tracks was the least of my concerns. I wanted audience, I wanted to be heard, I wanted that people pirated my stuff, I wanted people remixing my stuff. How else would I be heard? By releasing it on beatport, charging 2 dollars a track and getting 70 dollars a month (if you are lucky)?

If your track is never pirated ("stolen") then you don't exist and nobody heard of you. This is my motto. If you produce music that people like they will pay for it. If you produce music and your concern is that nobody steal it, then you won't be heard. And I know of tons of bedroom producers who barely earn 5 dollars a month simply because they hide their stuff.

In this Internet age, piracy is your friend. Copyright is your enemy. And been like this for at least a decade.

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Benedict
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 11 Jun 2020

Proof that you did it and published it before the other guy is THE only realistic proof. You have your DAW Files and YouTube/Bandcamp have the dates you published it. That proves it was yours first more than anything else you do. Put a Creative Commons badge on it if you like but that it is more for if you want to let people have some rights. Even there, most people will ignore the rules you laid down.

If someone steals off you and leads your thing to a level of success that you haven't they just did you a HUGE FAVOR as they:
a) proved your thing is worth stealing
b) showed you how to do what you didn't know how to do, possibly exposing your stuff to an audience that you hadn't accessed
c) made money or fame you can redirect back to yourself
d) gave you lots to talk about on your Socials about as you prove that you really did that thing (people love a drama)

While I don't encourage stealing and I'd be mighty pissed, that is also a gift. Just imagine how blessed Queen/Bowie was with Vanilla Ice's stupidity - not only did they earn more money but it reminded the public how cool Queen were. Same with The Verve and The Rolling Stones.

Always remember that 99% of the time when someone steals it is because they are Lazy and therefore unlikely to do anything useful for anyone. Just block their scuzzy ass and see what from the points above you can gain.

:-)

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fieldframe
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Post 11 Jun 2020

Excellent advice in this thread. Finding an audience is the hardest part in music; focusing on protecting your work only makes it harder.
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PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 1082
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Location: Colombia

Post 11 Jun 2020

Propellerhands wrote:
11 Jun 2020
Look, if your issue in 2020 is how to protect your bedroom produced track instead of how to gain at least 100 people audience then you are doing it wrong.

The best protection is to never publish it and keep it to yourself and maybe let your mom and dad listen to it.

When I started making music, protection of my tracks was the least of my concerns. I wanted audience, I wanted to be heard, I wanted that people pirated my stuff, I wanted people remixing my stuff. How else would I be heard? By releasing it on beatport, charging 2 dollars a track and getting 70 dollars a month (if you are lucky)?

If your track is never pirated ("stolen") then you don't exist and nobody heard of you. This is my motto. If you produce music that people like they will pay for it. If you produce music and your concern is that nobody steal it, then you won't be heard. And I know of tons of bedroom producers who barely earn 5 dollars a month simply because they hide their stuff.

In this Internet age, piracy is your friend. Copyright is your enemy. And been like this for at least a decade.
70 per month? That's quite a lot if you're not on a decent label.

5 per month and hiding their stuff? They're doing something right! That's amazing. How do I do that?

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Mistro17
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post 12 Jun 2020

Thanks for the advice! These answers actually make me feel good about my attitude about the arts in general. For years I been complaining that artists are always waiting for someone in a suit to give them a big financial break before just unleashing and sharing not only for exposure, but to have fun and let the craft shine. Exposure is priceless. I make game assets for free that got so popular, I was given 3 life changing European trips by the publisher that I would not be able to afford just by having fun with my gift. Probably a LOT of talented people out there who remain undiscovered because of their unwillingness to share because of money. I see art more as a public service than something to hoard to myself (I'm a visual/graphic artist). I'm not actually trying to become a career musician. I'm using my music as backgrounds for my cinematic art but if I happen to share something in my videos that's worth stealing to someone, at least I would know what to do or how to handle it. I just wanted to know if there are standard rules in the music community regarding this subject. I'm new to this and heard a lot of horror stories about the music industry in general.

So, as long as we have proof of our original works that have dates within the files, it's not necessary to register for copyright? At what point would registering be a good thing to do if at all?

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Benedict
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 12 Jun 2020

Mistro17 wrote:
12 Jun 2020
So, as long as we have proof of our original works that have dates within the files, it's not necessary to register for copyright? At what point would registering be a good thing to do if at all?
Broadly yes. There are technical things you can do but like anything in the law, while there is a law again robbing banks, it doesn't stop it from happening. It is all a case of cleaning up afterward. Mostly the really boring end of registration of works is done by the Publishing Company. Seeing you don't have one there is little to steal in effect.

As for music being a thing you share. That is great. Just don't feel that you can' charge for it if you wish as music is as much a value-exchange as a cup of coffee, a game, a Dr visit, or any other transaction that makes our world worth waking up to.

:-)

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zero-13
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Joined: 16 May 2020

Post 15 Jun 2020

Thanks guys! This is awesome, exactly the kind of knowledgeable, lay of the land insights I was hoping for!

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Oquasec
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Post 15 Jun 2020

You already own all the copyrights when ya made the song, but here is some good stuff to add to it http://www.gcglaw.com/resources/enterta ... right.html
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