This is how copyright law works for music. Please read this carefully because it’s very important, especially as an independent musician. The moment that you put your musical idea into a form, for example, recording it, you legally are the copyright owner of that composition of music. No matter what it is you made, the second it’s recorded, you are the copyright owner. That’s how copyright law works for music.

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You are the copyright owner. There’s no certificate needed, but to prove in court that you’re the copyright owner, the best thing you can do is register it with the United States Copyright Office. This might be necessary if you think someone might steal your idea. If this is the case, you can register it with the copyright office. 

How to register your music with the copyright office

You want to go to this direct link to the copyright office. What you’re going to do is make a username and you’re going to fill out the correct form for your track and do it right through this website and make payment. In two months, the copyright office will send you a certificate with proof that you’re the copyright owner. You can copyright a single track or a complete album. The price changes from time to time, but this will cost you are $45-$65.

This is not something that digital distribution company, like DistroKid, or a publishing admin, like Songtrust, will cover. You have to do it yourself but remember it’s only necessary if you want the proof that you’re the copyright owner. Because by law, the moment you record music and put your idea into a form, you’re the legal copyright owner.

Let me know in the comments how you feel about how copyright law works for music. And check out the various income streams there are for independent musicians.

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