Today, there are far more ways to create, share, and earn income from your content than ever before. Figuring out how copyright fits into your content strategy can feel complicated. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! With the help of Cosynd, we’re here to give you some easy, affordable steps that you can take to protect yourself and your copyrights right now. Let’s dive in…
Copyright Crash Course with Cosynd and Symphonic
First, what does “copyright” mean?
Copyright is a form of protection that automatically exists once you have created your content (sound recordings, compositions, album art, videos, literature, etc.) Copyright does not protect ideas, facts, names, methods or systems. — As a copyright holder, you have certain exclusive rights that you can use to generate income from your content.
Why should you register your content with the U.S. Copyright Office?
Think of registering your copyrights as a form of insurance, you wouldn’t wait until something bad happens to get an insurance policy.
- If someone uses your content without permission, you can’t sue them unless you’ve registered your copyrights with the U.S Copyright Office beforehand.
- Only copyright holders who have obtained a decision regarding their application (a certificate is granted that is proof of ownership) may file a lawsuit – which can take 3 to 7 months.
- Pending applications are not eligible.
Furthermore, you may be able to collect attorney’s fees and statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. Most infringement cases occur within the United States, which makes local registration with the U.S. Copyright Office appealing for non-U.S. residents too.
Sharpen your skills…
What other basic forms of protection are needed upon creation of content?
Under U.S. Copyright Law, anyone that has helped to create your content has an instant equal share of copyright ownership and rights by default, regardless of how large their contribution was. Having proper agreements in place can prevent infringement and misuse by your collaborators.
In other words, someone that wrote a tiny part of your song could claim to have the same share of ownership and rights that you have without an agreement stating otherwise! Additionally, simply paying someone to contribute to the work isn’t enough to ensure that they won’t have a claim of ownership on your content either.
- Using an Agreement is a simple step you can take now that will help you avoid expensive mistakes later.
- A Split Sheet can easily get you and your collaborators on the same page about who owns your content.
- A Work for Hire Agreement will establish your ownership and detail the work to be done when you hire someone to help you.
- Producer Agreements can be used to establish ownership when you are working with a music producer.
So, what should I use to protect my copyrights?
Cosynd is the fastest and most affordable way for creators to protect themselves and their copyrights.
Their platform is the only solution that lets you create, customize, negotiate, and sign vital agreements that secure your copyright ownership, which you can then register with the U.S. Copyright Office. Cosynd’s registration service includes the preparation, review, e-filing, and handling of correspondence with the U.S. Copyright Office as needed for the life of the application (3-7 months).
Cosynd will also automatically determine your filing requirements and correct work type, and take care of the entire application for you (helping you to avoid costly mistakes that the Copyright Office will not issue refunds for).