ION INDIE MAGAZINE September 2016, Volume 28 - Page 105

• Copyright 2012 Pale Rider Music (SESAC) • © 2016 Mesa Sand Music (ASCAP) • © 1995 Stupid Music (admin in the USA and Canada by Weasel Music) c/o Evil Corporation Music Publishing/BMI As you can see from the third example (patterned after a CD in my collection), a publisher can require a bunch of extra data in their copyright notices. But in order to be fully legal, a copyright notice is deemed correct when it contains all three of the following, in this order: 1. The word “Copyright” or the circle-c icon--NOT both (anybody at Apple reading this?). This declares the statement as a copyright notice. 2. The year the work was created--NOT when it was first released (If you don’t remember the difference between released and created, check back to one of our earlier installments). Copyrights are in force as soon as a work is fixed in a permanent medium, such as the first recording. Yes, even a demo counts. 3. The owner of the copyright--in this case, Mesa Sand Music. I’ve included the PRO designation in all the examples. It is optional but highly recommended, especially for independent releases. That way, radio stations and other outlets who may want to play your music automatically know your works are registered, and they are covered for any public performances. Song Credits In contrast, song credits include both writer credits and the copyright notice we just covered. This gives music supervisors, A&R directors, and anyone else interested in your works all the vital details. Here’s the full song credit for an actual song, written by my wife (sorry, blatant plug there…). I Hate California Written by CJ Borden, Robert Ferrari © 2012 Mesa Sand Music (ASCAP)/Robert Ferrari (BMI) In this example, we’ve made it a bit more complicated: two songwriters with their own publishing companies, and different PROs. So a proper song credit contains: 1. Full song title, including any alternate names, featured artists, etc. 2. All songwriter names. Writer order doesn’t matter, though it’s common practice to put them in the same order as the publishing companies they belong to in the copyright notice. 3. The proper copyright notice. In the case of multiple publishing companies, it’s best to group them by PRO – all ASCAP first, then BMI, then SESAC, as an example. And if you DO have the good fortune of someone wanting to use your track in some way, guess what information they are going to require from you? That’s right - the full song credit information. By the way, it also helps you get paid later on!