Now that you know the importance and benefits of officially copyrighting your music, you will need to know where and how to register your music. There are a couple of options and some are a lot easier than others.
There is the more DIY route where you essentially go to your countries respective Copyright Office website, print off a paper form and provide the details of your copyright request.
This option can be a bit complicated due to the fact that there are so many different forms associated with the different types of copyrights you can register. If you don’t know what you’re doing you may run into a lot of issues.
You can also do this digitally on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website, but again, it’s extremely complicated and offers numerous ways to make mistakes when filling out the application.
It’s also worth noting that the U.S. Copyright Office does not refund money, so if a mistake is made, it could take them months to inform you that your registration was done incorrectly which means you have to submit, and pay for, a new application.
Just think about any government form you’ve had to fill out, they never seem straightforward and easy to understand.
Luckily there are some amazing services out there that are making the process of copyrighting your music a lot easier for creators.
They have simplified the process by taking care of all the heavy lifting. Thus reducing the headache and time it takes to submit your copyrights correctly and ensuring that the correct forms are being submitted based on the information you provide.
While there is nothing wrong with submitting the documents on your own, I’d prefer to keep things simple, save time and be confident that things are being submitted correctly.
Cosynd is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to protect yourself with simple copyright registrations and agreements.
They help creators register their copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office which as we have discussed grants you many protections, including the right to file a lawsuit among other things.
When you use Cosynd, they will review your application, file it on your behalf, and work with you and the Copyright Office to correct any issues that occur.
Furthermore, they make the whole process of registering easy. Just answer a few questions to create customized U.S. Copyright Office applications and agreements that cover all of your copyrights.
The best part of all, you eliminate the need for physical paperwork, allowing you to not only work from one document that all of your collaborators can see, e-sign, and update easily.
Let’s dive into how you can register your copyrights and create agreements.
How to register your copyright using Cosynd
Step 1: Sign up for a Free Account
Head to Cosynd.com and create your free account if you haven’t already. No credit card is required to sign up so you can get a feel for Cosynd before having to pay a cent.
Click on the Sign-Up Button.
You will then need to choose the specific service you require but again you will not need to pay for anything or provide credit card info at this point.
All basic split sheet agreements are free of charge and do not require a credit card. Only when you want to complete a work for hire agreement, premium split sheet, producer agreement OR send a completed Copyright Registration application to the U.S. Copyright Office, does a user have to provide a credit card. A user can walk through the whole process without entering a credit card.
Once you select a service you will need to provide your name, email and a password.
Next, you will need to confirm your email address.
This link in your email will take you back to Cosynd allowing you to Sign In.
Step 2: Register your profile
Once you get inside the Cosynd Platform for the first time it will be important to set up your profile. This will help streamline the process of future copyright registrations and agreements.
Cosynd also offers users the option of being featured on their various platforms. This is 100% optional and free of charge.
Once you have finished creating your profile, you’ll be able to access the main dashboard.
Step 3: Click on the Copyright Registrations link
Head to the Copyright Registration section in the top menu. To begin the process of registering your work with the U.S Copyright Office, click on the Register Your Copyrights link.
Step 4: Select the type of work you are registering
Next, you will need to select the type of work you are registering. For most of you this will be music but you do have other options to choose from if they apply to your situation. For the purpose of this example we will focus on music.
Step 5: Select the type of copyright you are registering
This is very important as this will not always be the same especially if you are working with others.
Remember the breakdown of a song is as follows:
1) The Composition: Is the original idea of the song put in some tangible form, such as lyrics and chords written on paper. Essentially, you can think of this as the music and lyrics of a song. They are typically owned by the songwriters (which could also be the artist) or the publishers.
2) The Master Recording: Is the final audio recording of a song, also known as a mechanical reproduction of the composition. Again this can be summed up as a recorded version of the composition (or, of the music and lyrics). These are typically owned by the artist or the record label.
If you are selecting the Musical Composition + Sound Recording option you must keep in mind the following:
“To register compositions and sound recordings on the same application, all of the authors must have created both and the claimants (owners) must also own both. If this is not the case, you will have to register the compositions and sound recordings on separate applications.”
Step 6: Select the number of works you are registering
According to the U.S. Copyright Office requirements, you may only attempt to register multiple works on one application, if the claimants, authors, their roles, and the publishing information are identical across all of the works. If not, you will need to create separate applications of each work. The works also need to be part of an official collection, like an album.
Meaning if each song on your album for example is composed of different collaborators then you will need to register them individually.
Step 7: Provide details of the specific work
This section is not mandatory if you are registering a single work however you will need to provide a Title in the following section.
(Multiple Individual or Single Work)
You will then need to provide release information, specifically if the work has been released already or not.
If the work hasn’t been released yet then you will simply need to provide the expected completion date. Note per the U.S. Copyright Office’s rules, no more than 10 unreleased titles can be added to an application. If the titles have been released, you can add as many titles as there are on your album.
If the work has already been released it will be important to provide as much relevant information about the release as possible.
Step 8: Add your work titles
Next, you are prompted to add the specific title(s) of the work you are registering. You will only be able to add multiple titles if you previously selected to register multiple works.
Step 9: Add your authors
Next, you will need to add the authors (contributing members of the works being registered). Once again, keep in mind that you cannot alter the authors for each song when registering multiple works. If the authors for every song aren’t the same you will have to register each song individually.
When adding an author, you will need to provide their specific information and their contribution to the work.
Step 10: Add your Claimants
Once you have provided the authors you need to establish whether or not they are also claimants (owners of the copyright) and provide their address.
If the authors are different from the claimants that you provided you will need to fill out information related to how the claimants obtained ownership from the original authors. This is called a transfer statement. You can choose from written agreement, inheritance or other to which you will have to explain.
Step 11: Other materials
Here, you will be able to establish if the work includes elements like samples or a cover song for example.
If you select yes, this will bring you to a section to provide more details on what those other materials are.
Step 12: Primary contact & certificate
Next, you are going to provide details on who should be the primary point of contact with regards to your copyright for this specific work (this will autofill your information if you’ve already entered it previously).
You will also be sent a certificate of proof for the registration and you can provide details of where you would like the certificate sent. (this will also autofill your information if you’ve already entered it previously).
Step 13: Checkout
Next, you will need to pay for the registration of your copyright. Keep in mind that depending on your selections your pricing will be slightly different, as per the filling fees from the U.S. Copyright Office. One price is based on a simple registration and the other is for standard registration. Both will include an admin fee from Cosynd as well.
Step 14: Upload your content
Lastly, you will need to upload a copy of your content to complete the registration process.
Get Started With Cosynd Today
We hope this will help you where registering your copyrights is concerned. While there are some other options out there and available to you, we have used Cosynd ourselves and have had an amazing experience with them.
The process is simple and straight forward, meaning less time worrying and more time working on the music you love to create.
Cosynd and Music With Flavor are excited to partner to provide you with affordable, simple copyright services.
Protecting Your Content is Now Easier and More Affordable Than Ever Before. You can register a song or an entire album with the U.S. Copyright Office in minutes for as little as $25. (plus federal filing fees) per application.
You can also create FREE customized split sheets – a simple, one-page agreement that establishes the percentage of a copyright that you and your collaborators each own.
Best of all, you can protect all of your copyrights – your music, videos, images, and documents – using Cosynd.