Music

Do I Need to Copyright My Music?

calendar30 Jan, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Do I Need to Copyright My Music?

Yes, you need to Copyright your Music in order to protect your work from duplication, and unauthorized usage by others one should definitely copyright their work. It does not bring with it any bad consequence but comes with a bundle of protection for long duration. No one else would be able to earn profit from your hard work, only you should be able to profit yourself from your talent and your hard work. One should think of ways to earn money from their musical work, and copyrighting is one of the best ways to protect and earn money from your hard work. In this blog, we will discuss do I need to Copyright my Music.

However, if you need assistance from a publishing house, in order to earn outreach, then publishing house will probably take the copyrights of your song. Since it is a complete lineage from song maker to publisher to distributors a lot of independent agencies are going to earn from your song. Then, in that case, copyrighting might not be a good option. Nowadays, a lot of artists share their work on online streaming platforms so that it can reach people and can be played even in cafes, lounges, etc so they act like distributors and earn a good share of profit from your music. Although it also helps the musician to reach himself to the public whilst protecting his name and credit on the song.

What is a Copyright?

Copyright is a mixture of two words copy and right which very clearly represents that copyright is the right to the owner of the intellectual property to protect his work from being copied or otherwise.

Copyright provides the owners exclusive right over their work for over sixty years in India. Anyone who without authorization and permission from the copyright owner uses his/her work will be held for infringement of copyright. To copyright your work means to checkmate public.

Section 13 of copyrights act, 1957[1] underlines work over which copyright protection can be taken:

(1) “Subject to the provisions of this section & the other provisions of the Copyright Act, copyright shall subsist throughout India in the following classes of works, that is to say,—

(a) Original literary, dramatic, musical & artistic works;

(b) Cinematography films; and

(c) Sound recording.

Benefits of Copyright – Copyright My Music

  • Copyright provides protection for sixty years or for lifetime and 60 years after death.
  • It provides a monopoly over the song.
  • Any person found infringing copyright will be held liable under copyrights infringement act.
  • It provides lifelong monetarily benefits.
  • Further, it protects your name and hard work.

What Does the Law Say? – Copyright My Music

Section 2(p) of the copyrights act define musical work as:

  • Musical Work means a work including music & includes any graphical notation of such work but doesn’t include any words/any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with music”
  • Now, modifying the work in the original song, and making changes according to current trends with music, this is something that we have seen quite often lately. So is this protected under the copyright?
  • Even, modifying music according to certain current world adaptation or remixing it a little different lyrics and beats is also covered under the protection of copyright. The user will have to take permission from the copyright holder even in this scenario.

Registration Process to Copyright My Music

Any person who wishes to have the copyright protection must file an application under copyright rules. Form XIV is to filled with the registrar and a prescribed fee has to be paid for the form. After filling the application, the application will be submitted with the registrar.

The applicant must have no objection certificate from all other associates in the musical work like lyricist, producer, singer etc., and the application must be signed by them. If the registrar approves the application upon his satisfaction over the correctness of the application, then he shall issue the certificate. The process has to be carried out within 30 days from the date of filling of the application.

If the registrar is not satisfied with the application due to reasons like misrepresentation of facts, or incomplete application, fraud etc, then shall hold an enquiry. The applicant is given an opportunity to represent himself before the board and prove his case. After the inquiry is concluded the registrar if satisfied shall record the applicants’ copyright details and issue him the copyright.

What Happens if I Do Not Copyright My Music?

Copyrighting music provides you legal protection, against the whole public. Nobody can put your song on broadcast or on YouTube unless you authorise them to. A person in order to use someone else copyright work has to undergo a whole process and has to pay a fee to the copyright holder. So, yes it makes money.  Unless you license someone to use your song, they cannot make any benefits out of it and if someone does such an act, then they will be liable under the copyrights act and will have to take down your song. The person will pay back for the benefits they have made since the unauthorized usage of the music.

Copyright Society – Copyright My Music

Copyright societies protect the rights of copyright holders, by managing their rights completely, they can issue license on behalf of the copyright holder for permitting someone to use their songs. They can also file case for the infringement of the copyright on behalf of the copyright owner and is basically for the benefit of the copyright owner. There are few big copyright societies who hold copyright for various copyright holders and even offer them royalty and all other benefits.

In Entertainment Network (India) Ltd V. Super Cassette Industries Ltd,  the respondent is a leading musical company who manages music and albums of various musicians, songwriters etc. they take ownership over the work and provide royalty to the copyright holders. This leading company is known to be T-series. Popularly known as Radio Mirchi is the appellant of the case named as M/s Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. ENIL. Which is a radio channel and so a broadcaster. The respondent, T-Series which is a member of copyright society claimed for infringement of copyright of one its copyright holder. The Hon’ble Calcutta High court held that copyright societies work for the benefit of the copyright holders and has a right to sue someone who infringes copyright and hence ordered for Rupees 400 per needle hour to be paid by ENIL to PPL.

Conclusion

Copyright is for the benefit of the person who has put his heart and soul in creating the art. The law chooses to acknowledge the hard work and passion of the artist behind the work. Copyright protection is only increasing day by day due to its countless benefits.

Read Our Article: How To Copyright A Soundtrack In India?

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