If you are a musical performer, you probably want to be able to be paid for your work. This is, of course, reasonable. After all, the music that you play is something special that few people can create. You should be able to receive remuneration for your efforts, just like a home builder or a college professor.
To insure that you are paid for your work and that no one else can use your music without your permission, it is important that you copyright your music. This includes music that you create in any format, whether it is on a CD or even an MP3. Copyright is the legal recognition that you own the MP3 music, and that anyone who wishes to use the MP3 music must get your permission before they do so.
How exactly, though, do you go about copyrighting MP3 music? There are several steps involved in the process:
1. Make sure you have a license to record the musical composition. If you didn’t write the music, you will need to have permission from the copyright owner in order to do so.
2. From the moment you create the recording, you are the legal owner and you have copyright. Everything you do from here is designed to insure that your copyright is legally recognized.
3. You can, for a fee, register your MP3 music with the Library of Congress. This will insure that there is a public record of the copyright of your MP3 music. This is probably the most reliable and safest way to copyright MP3 music.
4. There are other ways to copyright MP3 music, as well. You can, for example, mail yourself a Compact Disc with your copyrighted MP3 music on the disc. Leave the envelope sealed. The date on the postmark stamp may be able to be used to prove you mailed it to yourself on a given date, which may be able to help you establish proof of your copyright to the MP3 music.
In addition, you need to make sure you are clear about your copyright with other folks. If you put your MP3 on your web site, make sure you note that the file is copyrighted, even if you are giving it away for free, so that someone else can’t try to claim the copyright for your MP3 music.