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FDP Forum / Tin Pan Alley - Songwriting / Copyright office. Time to issue a new copyright?

Next 20 Messages  


Jan 3rd, 2009 09:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Has anyone done this lately?

I submitted new works via mail last June 1.
It took until July 1 for the return receipt to be returned to me.
The check for $45 was promptly cashed.
I have yet to receive a stamped/processed copyright form, and the latest submission also does not appear when searching their web site.

I realize that they may be busy, but come on here......



Feb 15th, 2009 05:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

So no one here has copyrighted anything lately?

Contributing Member

Crozet, VA

Feb 15th, 2009 06:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think it took 6 months or so for me to recieve something back in the mail from the LOC. I'd wait a little bit longer.


Contributing Member

Willoughby, OH , USA

Arrogant ho
Mar 13th, 2009 02:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Actually you own copyright as soon as you compose the tune. It is just not registered until they cash your check, so you have no proof of copyright until then.



Mar 14th, 2009 11:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks to all who have responded.

"Actually you own copyright as soon as you compose the tune."

I'm sure you know this, but..... In theory, yes. Morally, yes. Spiritually, yes. In court against a bus load of lawyers from a major record company, good luck.

Yeah, I know that theoretically when they cash the check that they have received *something* from me. (Actually, we don't know that they have received anything other than the check to cash, but we'll assume here.) I kept a copy of the form that I sent them. I also have their US Mail return receipt for *something*.

However, if it ever came to it, how would I actually prove that the works that I sent them were with the check that was cashed? Call me paranoid or skeptical or whatever, but until I get that hot little piece of paper back from them I won't rest easy.

Also call me hallucinogenic or intoxicated to think that I might come up with something that someone would want to steal.

(This message was last edited by ejm at 11:08 AM, Mar 14th, 2009)



Apr 13th, 2009 01:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

This "goverment" of which you speak works so slow that they would have to speed up to stop. It has been over 10 months and still no certificate.

Contributing Member

Dallas, Texas

Saving the world from bad programming
May 7th, 2009 12:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

EJM, I am somewhat up on this stuff because my oldest son, who wrote songs, was suddenly and tragically taken from us last summer, and I am in the process of getting his last two collections copyrighted (or, more properly, getting the copyrights REGISTERED since, as was pointed out above, the copyright actually exists already).

As a courtesy, his employer put me in touch with an intellectual properties lawyer (he worked for a company that designs, implements and supports web sites for the real estate industry), who answered a lot of my questions.

This lawyer told me that the turnaround time on copyright applications submitted through the mail is at about 2 years now. Steve (my late son) had three other collections copyrighted a few years back and, yes, the turn-around time back then was about 6 to 8 months, but the lawyer told me that right now the U.S. copyright office is processing web submissions a lot faster, and that they seem to give them priority (although we're still looking at several months).

I have also been talking to a friend who owns a music publishing business. He said that only about 2% of songs that are written and submitted for publication are ever commercially viable. He also said that most successful publishing companies will not accept unsolicited material, due in part to the risk of getting sued. So the likelihood of your music being stolen is quite low.

Since you have the cancelled check and the return receipt, I'd say you are in pretty good shape in the unlikely event that somebody tries to steal any of your songs.

(This message was last edited by Thommie at 12:06 AM, May 7th, 2009)



Sep 12th, 2009 09:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just an update: 15 months and still no certificate.



May 30th, 2010 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

Two years and still waiting..........



Jun 26th, 2010 11:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

Got the certificate yesterday.

Approximately 2 years and 1 month.

Contributing Member

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jul 8th, 2010 10:47 AM   Edit   Profile  


Contributing Member

Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Jan 31st, 2011 12:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

And this is the same government that runs our postal system and wants to run our ??????



May 7th, 2011 07:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I use the the copyright website and file electronically and I usually get a cert in 3 to 5 months which is still a long time but better than 2+ years!

Contributing Member

Dallas, Texas

Not Legal in California
Aug 7th, 2011 11:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Durph +1

My last copyright, submitted electrnically, only took 4 months.

I did a "hybrid" submission (submitted the info electronically but had to mail hard copies of the recordings and music, since the work was considered to be "published" already) back in the fall of 2009, and it took 9 months.

Anyway, ejm, I'm glad you finally got your certificate.

Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member

USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Dec 6th, 2011 10:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

The patent office is worse...three years and counting on mine. Good luck.


vero beach, fl

That was broke
Feb 21st, 2012 04:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

I read once you just have to mail your song to yourself and never open it. The postal mark will contain the date. If anyone tries to use your song you have a sealed federal stamped/dated envelope. Makes sense or?

Gene O.
Contributing Member

NE Ohio

Nov 9th, 2013 09:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

Okay, time to open up this forum again! Yay!

Since I and a fellow band mate are going to embark on some songwriting, and performing those songs out, this thread seems pertinent, so I'll just extend this one instead of opening another.

Gary, what you are describing sounds like what I've heard referred to as a "poor man's copyright". I was thinking about that exact same thing this morning. If we want to write a couple songs, and play them out soon, we need protect them in some way, and the registered mail routine sounds like the way to go for quickie protection.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Nov 11th, 2013 12:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, but that may not hold up in court.

An original work is technically copyrighted the second it's put into a "fixed" format -- that is, recorded or written down. That's it. BUT, if someone steals your song, you don't really have a leg to stand on to prove it's yours, UNLESS it's registered with the Copyright Office.

Mailing it to yourself is a nice idea, but it's not legal evidence. If someone else actually copyrights the stolen song, and all you have is the un-opened envelope, you still may lose the case. The only guarantee is to formally register it.

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 02:45 PM, Nov 11th, 2013)



Nov 13th, 2013 09:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

In court today, in this corner, we have Gene O and Gary 101, with their supposedly unopened envelope, and truth and justice on their side.

In the opposing corner we have "band x" being represented by 50 lawyers from "record company y".

OK, place your bets.

(This message was last edited by ejm at 11:38 AM, Nov 13th, 2013)

Contributing Member


Nov 13th, 2013 10:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

This thread is unbelievable! I have some new songs to copyright, but it almost seems like a waste of time and money.

ANOTHER ISSUE - My new band will be performing and ultimately recording some songs I wrote back in 2002. I can't remember if I copyrighted these or not! (:oD

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FDP Forum / Tin Pan Alley - Songwriting / Copyright office. Time to issue a new copyright?

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