ION INDIE MAGAZINE September 2016, Volume 28 - Page 104

SONGWRITING SERIES By Paul Bordenkircher As we continue on your responsibilities as a publisher, we cover one of the most banal, trivial--but also one of the most important--aspects of managing your catalog. How important are proper song credits and copyright notices? Oh, I don’t know…if you do them wrong, you can potentially LOSE THE RIGHT TO ENFORCE YOUR COPYRIGHT. It’s true. If you ever get into a court case over one of your songs, and your copyright notices were incomplete or otherwise incorrect, they can argue they were unaware WHICH rights were protected, and your notice makes it impossible to know. If you lose the case, you may lose the ability to stop other people from doing the same infringements. Important enough for ya? My biggest shock when it comes to copyright notices is not that a lot of individuals don’t understand it. I’m often stunned to find even see major corporations get this stuff wrong. Don’t believe me? Check the credits on iTunes sometime--AFTER you read this, or course! Now sharpen your pencils, this one’s worth taking notes. Copyright Notices Copyright notices declare to the world who owns the copyright, when it was copyrighted, and (usually) who to go to when you need a license. And they have to be written a certain way in order to be enforceable. Here’s a couple proper examples: