Tuesday 22 April 2003 3.43pm
They should send a copy of the CD to themselves at their home address.
On the CD, write copyright, the name, track title, artist name, date and the copyright c in a circle, and the date. Also write All rights reserved, or the bigger disclaimer suggested below.
Once they have received the CD, they should not open the parcel, just keep it. This works as proof that they own the copyright should a dispute arise. Alternatively as suggested below, you can register with an independent agent, although i haven't any direct experience of this.
It can be useful to include scores, lyrics jotted down, dated and signed, basically proof that the work was created at a certain date, by a certain person.
But the best people to contact for further information are probably the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society - MCPS.co.uk. I'm not experienced in this area, but the above are measures I took to protect tracks of mine.
I had this info to hand, which may help too (it's a long piece, but contains some useful info)...
The following points are recommendations aimed at minimising future risks.
1. Copyright notices
The copyright notice should be obvious and legible to prevent ignorance as a defence for infringement, and if applicable, (e.g. web sites) the notice should appear on every page.
Mark any copies of your work with a copyright notice, on the body of the work as well as the cover or sleeve.
The copyright notice should take the form of ;
a. the actual term â€˜copyright',
b. the copyright symbol â€˜©' [not just a â€˜c' in brackets â€˜(c)' -as some countries do not recognise this],
c. the year [normally when first published, but for unpublished work, use the year it was written],
d. the name of the copyright owner, (this can be an individual, collective or organisation)
e.g. â€˜Copyright © 2000 Joe Smith'
e. For sound recordings you should also include a phonogram copyright notice for the sound recording itself, using the phonogram copyrightÃ¨ symbol to denote the copyright of the sound recording.
e.g. â€˜Copyright © 2000 Joe Smith/Ã¨ 2000 Joe Smith'
2. Copyright disclaimers
You should also include a disclaimer of some kind expressing your wishes as the copyright owner;
a simple â€˜All rights reserved' is normally sufficient but, a more explicit declaration is recommended such as;
â€˜Any unauthorised broadcasting, public performance, copying or re-recording will constitute an infringement of copyright'.
There are many different wordings, depending on the terms acceptable to the copyright owner, for more examples, see our fact sheet P-03 â€˜copyright notices' or check out similar works by other authors.
3. Supporting evidence
Additional evidence to support your claim in case of dispute;
a. in software include â€˜footprints' (deliberate mistakes, algorithms etc.) which can uniquely identify you as the author,
b. include watermarks in graphics files. (More information about this can be found online at; www.digimarc.com), and
c. keep as much of the background work as you can, e.g.
i. lyric sheets, music score, midi files, demo tapes and rough recordings,
ii. working documents, sketches and drafts
iii. earlier versions, prototypes, negatives and out takes.
If you ever make a claim to the Copyright Tribunal or a court this can be very valuable as it demonstrates evolution of your ideas.
4. Register your work
To prove your work was created before a certain date, and to give stronger supporting evidence, we recommend that you register your work with an independent agent, who can substantiate your claim in case of a dispute.
A registration with the UK Copyright Service is a very simple procedure and an ideal way to do this.
5. Agreement between co-authors
In the case of jointly authored works, you should have some agreement, whereby if a member of your band, organisation or collective leaves you are all clear what will happen to the copyright of your work.
The most straightforward method to take when deciding your agreement is to think of your organisation, collective or principal writer/writers as an employer for whom you work. (Normally if you produce work under contract for a business or third party, the business will hold the copyright to that work).
Here are some points to bear in mind when coming to your agreement;
a. if one person writes the bulk of the work, they may wish to take the work with them if they leave,
b. if works are written as a group effort, will they remain the property of the group after an author leaves?
c. Copyright may exist in different forms;
for example in music, as well as copyright in a sound recording, lyrics are entitled to separate copyright as a literary work. For the purposes of an agreement, it is normally easier to include them as part of the overall work, but think through what this means to each of you.
d. what happens to royalties and commissions if any work is later published or sold?
The key point is to think ahead, even if you think things will end amicably they may not, and it may cost you your friendship as well.
The time to decide these things is before someone leaves, not after!
6. Points to note
a. If a work is produced as part of your employment normally the copyright belongs to the person/company who hired you, unless you have an agreement to the contrary.
b. For freelance or commissioned work, copyright will usually belong to the author of the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, (i.e. in a contract for service).
c. Only the owner of copyright, or his exclusive licensee can bring proceedings in the courts against an infringement.
d. Copyright does not exist in names, colours, inventions or ideas, but may exist in a work expressing or composed from these concepts.