Every unique work you create is automatically copyrighted the minute you create it on paper or recording. However, to prevent someone from saying your work is their's, and for you to prove your work in a court of law, it must be documented in an avenue acknowledged by law. Please register your copyrighted work prior to submitting it to anyone. This will protect your hard work. The best, most recognizable way to register your copyright is through the U.S. Copyright Office. This must be done prior to distributing your work, and after your final edit of it.

Many of the links below are circulars distributed by the U.S. Copyright Office and are in pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader) format. Download a free version Adobe Acrobat Reader here.

The official site of the U.S. Copyright Office

General information of what a copyright is and why it is important is seen here on circular number 1. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Info on copyrighting music available on Copyright circular #50. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

See publications 50-56a that refer to music composition. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

For a general overview of copyright registration information, see also Factsheet FL-105 on music. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Notice of Copyright :
Before March 1, 1989, the use of copyright notice was mandatory on all published works, and any work first published before that date should have carried a notice. For works first published on and after March 1, 1989, use of the copyright notice is optional. For more information about copyright notice, see Circular 3, Copyright Notice. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Copyright publications, like the links above, will answer most questions regarding copyrights. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Copyright Act of 1909 (revised in 1973) -Title 17- click here Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Copyright Act of 1976 click here Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Copyright Acts, Laws, and Historical Lore can be found here

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Updated September, 2010

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