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The New Songwriter's Guide to Music Publishing, 3rd Edition by Randy Poe

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FIVE

Securing a Copyright

One of the most frequently asked questions among newer songwriters is How do I copyright my song? Many people assume that a song doesn’t receive copyright protection until they have filled out a form and sent it to the Copyright Office. Under the 1976 Copyright Act, however, a copyright exists as soon as your song is written down, recorded, or otherwise fixed. Let’s go back to the Copyright Act for a definition of fixed.

A work is ‘‘fixed’’ in a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. A work consisting ...

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