How to Fill Out Music Copyright Forms

By Contributing Writer

What is needed to get your music registered through the copyright office? This article focuses on what kinds of fixed mediums are acceptable and detailed instructions for filling out music copyright forms. Read on to learn how to fill out music copyright forms.

Record your music into a fixed medium. A fixed medium includes CD recordings, MP3s, cassettes and other formats.

Obtain a copyright form. These are available from the Library of Congress Copyright Office website. You can also get a form by calling the Copyright Office at (202) 707-3000. You will be filling out a form for sound recordings, "Form SR." "Form PA" is used when registering a collection of songs on a single CD. It is recommended to file each separately using "Form SR."

Understand all of the parts of Section One. "Title of This Work" refers to the name of the song you are trying to register. "Previous, alternative or contents titles" refers to any other titles this song may have had since its creation.

Fill out Section Two. "Name of author" refers to the person(s) who wrote the song. "Dates of birth and death" is self-explanatory, however there may not be a year of death. This is to keep track of how long the copyright is good for (life plus 70 years). For the question, "Was this contribution to the work a "work made for hire," indicate whether or not you were hired to write the song. "Author's nationality or domicile" refers to the country of citizenship. "Was this author's contribution to the work anonymous or pseudonymous?" focuses on whether the author identified on copies of the music or under a fictitious name? "Nature of authorship" is the area where you provide a description of the work. If there is more than one author, there is space for additional authors on the form.

Move on to Section Three. For the section, "Year in which creation of this work was completed" list the year that the song was written. Under "Date and nation of first publication of this particular work," fill out if the song has been published. Include the month, day, year and country.

Focus on Section Four. Under "Copyright claimants," list the claimant, which is probably going to be the author. Include name and address.

Fill out Section Five. For "Previous registration," indicate whether you have registered for this song before.

Fill out Section Seven. For "Derivative work or compilation," indicate whether this is a variation of a previous work. Under "Material added to this work," list any changes from previous work.

Complete Section Seven. For "Deposit account," fill out if you have a deposit account with the Copyright Office. If not, include the fee for registration. Under "Correspondence," include the information of a contact person if needed. Fill in the name, full address, telephone number, email and fax if available.

Fill out Section Eight. Under "Certification," check whichever box applies. Print your name and date. On the "Handwritten signature" line, sign your name.

Either send in the form through email or regular mail. Make sure you include with the form the registration fee and a copy of the work you are submitting for copyright registration. If sending through mail, send form to address indicated on the form: Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.