ION INDIE MAGAZINE December 2015, Volume 19 - Page 56

much proof as you can that you, in fact, own the work. Registering your works with the United States Copyright Office gives you another level of proof, and can allow you to collect more money if you ever win an infringement lawsuit. Here's the basic steps. a. Go to the Copyright Office website at www.copyright.gov/. b. Click on "Register A Copyright.” c. Click on "Log in to eCO." If this is your first time, register a new account. Now, you need to decide what kind of work you are going to register. Since we're focusing on musical works, you have two different possible forms. d. e. A PA form registers songs only. It can be used to register more than one song, but every song must have the exact same writer or combination of authors. One fee for each form. An SR form will register songs, sound recordings, artwork and the compilation. And the songs don't have to be all the same. (Hint: this is the method record labels use to register works.) One fee can cover all these items at once. The website will correct most issues with your submission. Once the registration form is filled out, you will be able to upload digital audio (and graphic files, in the case of an SR form) to complete the registration online. You can refer to the latest schedule of fees from the copyright office at: http://www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html It will take a few months for you to receive your registration paperwork in the mail. (Yes, they still use snail mail.) Once your songs have been registered, the website will give you a unique number for each work. You'll need to start a record of these numbers. In fact, you'll begin from here to collect a lot of data on your works. Now that you technically ARE a publisher, it’s time to start acting like one. That means keeping track. We’re going to cover this next time. Paul Bordenkircher has spent the last three decades building a wide base of knowledge in the fields of studio production, live sound, publishing, marketing and promotions. Mesa Sand Music, part of the Mesa Sand Ventures, LLC family, offers independent artists the kind of background and knowledge gained only from hands-on experience in the challenging entertainment industry. In addition to teaching at University of Nevada Las Vegas, he's also the developer for SongNook, an organizational tool for songwriters. His Music Biz Blog is at: WWW.MESASAND.COM