October 19, 2020

Can I copyright my music without a label?

copyright my music

There is a general misconception that you have to wait for a label to sign you in order to be considered a “success”. Can I copyright my music without a label’s backing? That is why you landed on this post and the answer is: YES

Some of you are probably sitting with a huge catalogue of music (on your PC hard drives) enough to release three albums! But because of a lack of knowledge amongst other things, most of those recordings won’t see the light of day.

Even if you don’t have a formal record deal with a label, the good thing is that you own the music rights and so it would be in your best interest to ensure that your material is protected.

If you don’t know where to start, I would suggest that you do the following.

Register with SAMRO

If you have released or unreleased music you should register all your work with SAMRO. SAMRO will ensure that performance royalties are collected on your behalf should your song get play listed on radio, performed at a concert, restaurant, and so forth. 

Don’t forget about CAPASSO

CAPASSO will help to administer and collect any mechanical royalties due to you. These royalties are derived from the manufacturing of physical formats (CD’s, DVD, Vinyl), streams, digital downloads and each time music is reproduced.

In summary, copyrighting your music is automatic by virtue of creating the work. BUT register with the mentioned music organisations above to ensure that you are protected.

You don’t need the backing of a label or permission because as the creator of original works you are the rightful owner.  

Disclaimer: I’m not a music attorney so it is also in your best interest to seek the advice and/or services of a qualified entertainment attorney or copyright expert.

The above is applicable to songwriters, music producers, composers.