FAQs: Top Frequently Asked Questions
Registering your copyrights is not required but it is highly recommended since doing so will give you certain protection under copyright law in case you need to sue someone for using your song without your permission.
Registering songs with the Library of Congress puts your claim of authorship on the public record and may help if ever there is a dispute over credit or timing.
Of course, the Library of Congress does not provide legal defense in the face of stolen or infringed material, but can provide written or recorded documentation of your copyright should the need arise.
Although some performing right organizations collect annual dues, BMI does not. Instead, there is a one-time application fee of $150 to register a publishing company that is owned by an individual, and $250 for a publishing company that is a partnership, corporation (including sole stockholder corporations) and/or limited liability company. The fee is due when the publishing company is initially set up, and it is neither refundable nor deductible from future earnings. To get started visit our Join page.
A songwriter or composer is the creator of a work, which is a song, score or other musical composition. A publisher, on the other hand, is an individual or company that owns or administers the copyright of a work. The writer or creator of the work must assign the copyright to a publisher in order for that publisher to claim ownership.
First of all, congratulations! Now, you need to make sure your work is registered. As soon as a song is published and/or recorded, it should be registered with and reported to BMI. BMI's ability to license and monitor the performances of a composition is dependent upon the accuracy and timeliness of this reported information. Without it, you may miss out on royalties.
Typically, a publisher will register songs for songwriters. Early registration of works will help prevent lost royalties, so make sure your songs are registered.