Charlestown, IN asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for Indiana

Q: I'm 17. I want to copyright one of my songs. Is it possible that I can copyright it? Am I able to use it in court too?

Like say I get the copyright while I'm a minor. Someone else tries to claim the song as their own. Will I be able to take that to court and show that it's copyright by me? Even if I am a minor? In the State of Indiana.

1 Lawyer Answer
Will Blackton
Will Blackton
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: Minors may claim copyright, and the Copyright Office issues registrations to minors, but state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors.

According to Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: The following representatives may sue or defend in federal court on behalf of a minor or an incompetent person:

(A) a general guardian;

(B) a committee;

(C) a conservator; or

(D) a like fiduciary.

This means that you'd be able to enforce your rights, but you would likely need a guardian or someone, sometimes known as a "next friend," to bring suit on your behalf. Minors' claims are often raised by their parents as "next friends."

For information on relevant state laws, consult an attorney licensed in your state.

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