Are you an aspiring musician looking to get your music out there? If so, you may have heard of DistroKid, a service that helps artists distribute their music to major online stores and streaming platforms. However, you might be wondering, does DistroKid copyright your music? Let’s delve into this topic and explore why copyright is important.
What is DistroKid?
DistroKid is a platform that artists can use to distribute their music to various online stores and streaming platforms, including iTunes, Facebook, and Instagram. It allows you to upload your album art, tracks, and submit your music for distribution. Once approved, your music will be distributed to these platforms, reaching a wider audience.
Copyright refers to the legal ownership of a musical composition or sound recording. Contrary to what some may think, DistroKid does not copyright your music. When you compose or upload your music, it is automatically copyrighted. However, obtaining an official copyright registration can serve as a public record and provide additional protection.
Why is Copyright Registration Important?
Having a copyright certificate is crucial if you want to safeguard your rights and ensure that you receive royalties for your music. It serves as proof of ownership and allows you to take legal action if someone else uses your music without permission.
DistroKid acts solely as a music distribution platform. It does not claim copyright ownership of your music. Instead, it facilitates the distribution of your music to major platforms. As mentioned earlier, your music is automatically copyrighted when you compose or upload it.
However, DistroKid does not provide copyright certification. If you require official copyright registration, you will need to complete a separate certification process. DistroKid explicitly states that they do not copyright your music.
According to DistroKid, proper copyright registration can be beneficial for copyright claims and infringement suits, offering an additional layer of protection for your creative work.
How Long Does Copyright Registration Take?
Obtaining copyright registration may take up to three months for the approval and registration process. You will need to submit an application and pay the necessary fees. After applying, you will receive confirmation via email.
The Importance of Copyright Registration
While copyright registration is not mandatory, we highly recommend it, especially if you’re serious about your music career. Copyright registration helps protect your work from being stolen or used without permission. It enables you to establish ownership and collect payments for your music. It also acts as a deterrent against piracy and encourages listeners to support your work.
Can You Copyright Cover Songs?
Yes, you can obtain copyrights for your music and lyrics for cover songs, but there are specific rules for copyright registration. The music must be your original work or a new song/arrangement. You do not need permission to cover a song as long as you create a new version. However, it’s essential to give credit to the original title and composer.
Copyright on Major Platforms
When DistroKid distributes your music, it is uploaded to various streaming platforms and online stores. These platforms do not grant you copyright ownership, but they enforce copyright rules for the songs uploaded to their platforms. While they provide some protection, it may not have legal consequences.
However, major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok allow you to retain ownership rights over your music. It’s worth noting that some distribution sites and platforms may offer copyright certificates for an additional fee.
Releasing Music Without Copyright
Releasing your music without copyright is possible; however, it leaves your work vulnerable to theft or unauthorized use. While you still own the copyright, the lack of official registration can make it challenging to prove ownership in court. We encourage artists who release music consistently and have their music on major platforms to protect their work by obtaining copyright registration.
DistroKid Copyright FAQs
Does Spotify Automatically Copyright Your Music?
No, Spotify does not copyright your music. The act of recording or writing your music on a tangible medium automatically establishes copyright ownership. However, copyright registration is necessary to provide proof of ownership.
Does DistroKid Handle Licensing?
DistroKid charges a $12 annual fee to assist with obtaining a license specifically for managing cover songs.
How Can I Copyright My Music?
To register copyright, you need to submit a request to the Copyright Office. The process involves completing an application, paying a filing fee, and depositing copies of your work. Once approved, you will receive a form confirming your ownership of the copyright.
Does DistroKid Own Your Publishing Rights?
No, DistroKid does not claim any royalties or collect any income from your songs. Reproduction rights, performance rights, and synchronization rights are not collected by DistroKid.
Remember, copyright protection is crucial for musicians to safeguard their creative work. Ensure you take the necessary steps to protect your music and establish ownership. For more information, visit Garrity Traina.