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Steve Moore, B.A., J.D. Author Steve has been in the music business for over 30 years! He's worked as a professional musician, producer, and has been involved in almost every aspect of the music business. He's also the author of "The Truth about the Music Business"

Should I file a “poor man’s Copyright”?

This is a MYTH!

Once you create a song, lyrics, music, or ANY type of work such as a photo, graphic image, etc, etc such that it is in a “tangible medium” you get what is called a “Statutory Copyright” – Yes, that’s right, your WORK is automatically copyrighted by Statute but that Copyright does NOT have many rights associated with it – in fact, you can only get INJUNCTIVE RELIEF – or in other words you can take somebody to court and get a Judge to say STOP USING that WORK!

However, if you COPYRIGHT your work you get a BUNDLE of RIGHTS – including PROOF of the date of filing and a LOT MORE – which would include Statutory Damages, Attorneys Fees, etc –

Mailing a certified letter back to yourself only creates a presumption that you did,  in fact, write a song or lyrics, etc and then mailed it to yourself to PROVE that the work was created BEFORE the Date of the RECEIVED STAMP from the US POST OFFICE!  A good Attorney could tear that apart – and just simply ask you to PROVE that you didn’t steam the letter open and insert YOUR NEWER WORK into that envelope and you’d have to prove you didn’t – which is IMPOSSIBLE – as you cannot prove a negative.

Your best bet is to FILE ALL OF YOUR COPYRIGHTS!  And you don’t have to file a single copyright for every song you write!  You can register them in groups or Volumes – so if you wanted to copyright all the songs (via form PA) for your underlying musical works for let’s say 12 songs – you could do that as a volume of work – when the recording/album and or CD  is done, you can register the Sound Recording (FORM SR) for the entire CD!

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE – but YOU SHOULD do YOUR OWN RESEARCH if you don’t understand this or seek a professionals opinion!


Steve Moore, BA, JD. Author “The Truth About the Music Business


You can find all kinds of  GREAT INFO in this book!  I’ll have another website up soon for this book and my other published works – so Stay Tuned!


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