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How do i get ownership of my music?How do I get my music noticed?

Ive been writing music and singing for years.I just started like posting it I think two ye ago. My dream is to be a professional musician performing on stage. I want to write music that can help people grow and bond with each other.

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George’s Answer

Hey Alana,

Sounds like you want to be a musician for the best reasons. Stay tough, focused, and keep at it - even in the face of multiple failures.

Your question cannot be answered in a paragraph, people write whole books about this topic... Find them and read the ones written by credible individuals, not some Joe Blow trying to make a buck giving misguided advice (plenty of that)...

On copywriting - so you don't *need* to file with the US office. It can help and offer extra protection later should a dispute arise, but not necessary as you automatically hold a copyright the minute you make a recording that has a timestamp. Most people I know file their entire catalog after a few years, as an example (you only need to pay once per application, not once every song). Do your own research on the topic.

Registering yourself and your work with a Performance Rights Organization (BMI, ASCAP, etc) is a great step if you're serious about going pro, and the best step for setting ownership. Research what a P.R.O. is, their differences, and what they do. They can also help you with self-publishing/having your own publishing entity. Publishing and registering your works through a PRO is the best way to set ownership rights, and you can split percentages if you have co-writers.

Releasing your music through a distributor (sometimes called an aggregator) such as Distrokid/CDBaby/Landr/Tunecore, etc is fantastic - even if you choose to omit big stores like iTunes, Spotify, etc. and just do through YouTube or another social media... It gets a solid copyright and added to a database where if anyone were to use your recording without your permission, it would be taken down as a copyright violation. Research those companies, there are dozens today. Most have a yearly fee you'd have to keep up with, but not all. Some are free if you look them up.

Growing your BandCamp page will be helpful as well.

A note about mechanical and publishing rights: learn and research this. In a nutshell, rights are split into those 2 categories. Publishing rights would be rights to the lyrics and melody (sheet music), and mechanical rights would be a specific 'master' recording. They are two different entities in business and legal ownership.

Aside from all this, get better every day, share your videos and music as much as you can (don't hide your art), and connect with other writers, producers, and performers to grow!


George recommends the following next steps:

Get comfortable with research!
Research different Performance Rights Organizations (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC) and publishing administration (Songtrust, Tunecore)
Research and learn the difference between mechanical and publishing rights
Research music distribution companies (Distrokid, Tunecore, Routnote, etc)
Research how to self-publish music or learn what goes into getting a publishing deal with a bigger company
Thank you comment icon I want to say thank you for ur advice It was very helpful. Alana
Thank you comment icon Comprehensive and helpful advice. Thank you for sharing your insights with Alana and our many other online learners, George! yoonji KIM, Admin
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Janie’s Answer

Hello Alana! It's fantastic to hear about your musical journey!

Here's a friendly guide to help you copyright your tunes:
1. First off, create a tangible version of your music. This could be as simple as jotting down the lyrics or recording the melody.
2. Next, you'll need to fill out the necessary paperwork. The U.S. Copyright Office will ask for an application, a filing fee, and a copy of your music.
3. Once your application gets the green light, you can start making some income from your copyright royalties.

Just a heads up, it usually takes about six months or more to process a song copyright. Also, remember that there's a nonrefundable filing fee of $35 for online applications and $85 for paper ones.

Wishing you all the best on your musical adventure!
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Alana