Before I begin talking about the actual steps you must take when it comes to copyrighting your music, you should know if you’ve already created something and put it out into the world in some way, you do already have some legal claim over it.
Whether you’re the biggest musician on the planet or someone who hasn’t yet earned a single fan, if you’ve made an original piece of music and shared it publicly, it’s legally yours. But what does that mean exactly?
If you can prove you crafted a piece of music, some lyrics, or perhaps a complete tune before someone else, you have a leg to stand on if any other artist copies what you’ve done and then also shares that with the world. Perhaps you released a single onto iTunes and Spotify. Maybe you posted it to your SoundCloud page.
Or, maybe you simply shared a recording with some friends but decided not to release it to the public. These are just a few legitimate (and easy to understand) ways you can show the time and date when your idea, and your intellectual property, was created.
Even if you don’t have a copyright on an old song, you can argue it is yours in a court of law if you find out someone else is trying to make it theirs…though the benefits are much better if you have a proper copyright bestowed by the U.S. government.
So, now I’ve explained copyright can be both inferred and explicit, here are the actual steps you need to take if you want to make sure you’re protected under the fullest extent of the law.