Hillside, IL asked in Copyright for Illinois

Q: How do i copyright my music?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Indianapolis, IN

A: I presume you mean how you register a copyright to your music. You fill out a form and file it with the Copyright Office. The form to use depends on whether your "music" comprises lyrics, a recording, or both. see www.copyright.gov for details. However, if others contributed to the music (e.g., fellow band members) you may need to get written assignments from them of their copyrights.

Paul Overhauser

317 891-1500


1 user found this answer helpful

Alexander B Blum
Alexander B Blum
  • Evanston, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: In order to have a copyright for your music, you would look to 17 USC 102, of the Copyright Code, and it would have to be:

1. Creative

2. Original

3. Fixed in a tangible medium

Creative means it must have some "creativity", which is a low requirement.

Original means it must be your own work.

Fixed in a tangible medium is the easiest concept here to explain. Your copyright, or music in this case, must be preserved recorded or otherwise stored. It can be on a hard drive, usb drive, ipod, zune, minidisc, memory card or etc.

In short, your original, creative music that is somehow recorded IS copywritten!

Registration of your copyright is not required, as it has not required since 1976. You would need to register your copyright in order to file suit against an infringer, and to have other legal rights. So, it is definitely a good idea.

This does not constitute legal advice, please do not be foolish enough to take legal advice from the internet. Go consult with a qualified attorney for your legal issues, before it turns into a legal problem.

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