Music Copyright Laws: A Comprehensive Guide For Musicians

As a musician, it’s essential to understand music copyright laws in order to protect your compositions and ensure that you are properly compensated for your creative work. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the knowledge and insights you need to navigate the complex world of copyright and its application within the music industry.

From understanding the basics of copyright and how to obtain it, to exploring the different types of copyright-protected works in the music industry, this guide covers it all. We will also delve into the importance of registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office and the steps you need to take to do so.

Additionally, we will discuss the rules and limitations of using someone else’s work, including the principles of fair use and licensing. It’s crucial for any musician to have a solid understanding of these concepts to avoid copyright infringement issues.

In the unfortunate event of copyright infringement, it’s important to know the legal actions you can take to protect your rights as a musician. We will guide you through the necessary steps for pursuing legal action and the importance of registering your work with the Copyright Office.

The digital revolution has also brought significant changes to the music industry, particularly with the rise of music streaming platforms. We will explore how this digital era has influenced copyright duration and the distribution of music.

Throughout the guide, we will provide practical tips for protecting your music, including suggestions for copyright registration, understanding licensing agreements, and staying informed about copyright regulations. Armed with this knowledge, you can navigate the music industry with confidence and safeguard your valuable artistic creations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding music copyright laws is crucial for musicians to protect their creative works.
  • Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional benefits and legal protection.
  • Respecting the rights of others and understanding the rules and limitations of using someone else’s work is essential to avoid copyright infringement issues.
  • In the event of copyright infringement, pursuing legal action is possible, especially if your work is registered with the Copyright Office.
  • The digital revolution has had a significant impact on music copyright, particularly with the rise of music streaming platforms.

What is Copyright and How to Get One

Copyright is a legal protection that grants artists exclusive rights to their creative works. It ensures that musicians have control over how their compositions and recordings are used, distributed, and monetized. Obtaining copyright registration is an essential step for musicians to establish ownership and safeguard their intellectual property.

When musicians create original songs, they automatically hold the copyright to their work. However, registering their composition with the U.S. Copyright Office offers several important benefits:

  1. Legal Proof of Ownership: Copyright registration provides musicians with legal evidence of their ownership. In the event of a copyright dispute or infringement, having a registration can strengthen the case.
  2. Public Notice: Registered works are listed in the Copyright Office’s public database, ensuring that anyone searching for copyrighted material can easily find and identify the owner.
  3. Possibility of Statutory Damages: By registering the work before an infringement occurs or within three months of publication, musicians become eligible for statutory damages, making it easier to seek compensation.

To obtain copyright registration, musicians need to follow a straightforward process:

  1. Step 1: Prepare the Application – Musicians must gather all necessary information and materials, including the song lyrics, sheet music, sound recording, and any relevant documentation.
  2. Step 2: Complete the Application – The U.S. Copyright Office provides a user-friendly online registration system called the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Musicians can fill out the application form, pay the registration fee, and upload their materials.
  3. Step 3: Wait for Processing – After submitting the application, musicians should receive a confirmation of submission. The Copyright Office will review the application and issue a registration certificate once approved.

Important Note:

The registration process can take several months, so it’s advisable to register compositions as early as possible to establish a paper trail and better protect the work in case of infringement.

It’s important to note that while copyright protection exists from the moment a work is created and fixed in a tangible medium, registering the work with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional legal advantages and documentation of ownership.

Benefits of Copyright Registration Steps to Obtain Copyright
1. Legal Proof of Ownership 1. Prepare the Application
2. Public Notice 2. Complete the Application
3. Possibility of Statutory Damages 3. Wait for Processing

Types of Copyright-Protected Works

When musicians create a song, they are potentially creating two copyright-protected works: a musical work and a sound recording. Understanding the differences between these two works and how they are protected under copyright law is crucial for musicians.

A musical work refers to the composition itself, including elements such as melody, lyrics, and harmonies. It is the creative expression and arrangement of musical ideas that form the foundation of a song. The copyright protection for a musical work extends to its sheet music, lyrics, and any notated or recorded versions of the composition.

A sound recording, on the other hand, refers to the specific audio recording of a musical work. It encompasses the performance of the composition, including the instruments played, vocalists, and any additional production elements. Sound recordings are protected separately from the musical work and require a distinct copyright.

Here is a table summarizing the differences between a musical work and a sound recording:

Aspect Musical Work Sound Recording
Definition The composition itself, including melody, lyrics, and harmonies The specific audio recording of a musical work
Protection Extends to sheet music, lyrics, notated or recorded versions of the composition Separate copyright protection from the musical work
Ownership Usually owned by the songwriter or composer Usually owned by the recording artist, producer, or record label

It’s important for musicians to understand that while the musical work and sound recording are distinct, both are copyright-protected works. This means that unauthorized use or reproduction of either the musical work or the sound recording can constitute copyright infringement.

Registering Your Work

While copyright protection exists from the moment a work is fixed, registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional benefits. By registering your sound recordings and musical works, you establish a public record of your ownership and can take legal action against infringement.

To register your work, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the application: Fill out the appropriate application form provided by the U.S. Copyright Office. You can choose between the online electronic application or the paper-based application.
  2. Gather your materials: Prepare copies of your sound recordings or musical works to be submitted along with the application form. Depending on the type of work, additional materials may be required.
  3. Pay the registration fee: The U.S. Copyright Office requires a non-refundable registration fee for each application. The fee varies depending on the type of application and the number of works being registered.
  4. Submit your application: Send your completed application form, copies of your works, and the registration fee to the U.S. Copyright Office. For online applications, you can submit everything electronically. Paper-based applications can be mailed to the designated address.
  5. Wait for processing: The registration process can take several months. Once your registration is processed, you will receive a certificate of registration from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office enhances your legal protection as a musician and ensures that your rights are safeguarded. It provides you with a powerful tool to defend your work against unauthorized use and serves as evidence of your ownership in the event of a legal dispute.

“Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office establishes a public record of your ownership and provides you with the necessary legal protection to defend your rights.”

Benefits of Registering Your Work with the U.S. Copyright Office

Benefits Description
Presumption of validity Registration creates a legal presumption of the validity of your copyright, making it easier to enforce your rights in court.
Statutory damages If your work is registered prior to infringement, you may be eligible for statutory damages, which can be significantly higher than actual damages.
Public record A registered copyright creates a public record of your ownership, making it easier for others to identify and contact you for licensing opportunities.
Ability to sue Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement.

copyright registration

By taking the necessary steps to register your work, you can ensure that your creative endeavors are fully protected and maximize your opportunities as a musician.

Using Someone Else’s Work

Musicians often draw inspiration from other works, but it’s important to understand the rules and limitations of using someone else’s work. This section discusses important copyright principles, such as fair use and licensing, when using the sound recordings or musical works of others.

When incorporating copyrighted material into your own music, it’s essential to obtain proper permission or use the work within the confines of the fair use doctrine. Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted works without permission from the copyright owner, typically for purposes such as commentary, criticism, or education.

However, fair use is a complex and nuanced concept, and its application depends on several factors, including the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. To determine if your use qualifies as fair use, it’s recommended to consult legal professionals or copyright experts.

Obtaining proper permission to use someone else’s work is another crucial aspect. If you wish to use a specific sound recording or musical work in your own compositions, it’s generally necessary to seek permission from the copyright owner or their authorized representatives. This can involve contacting the artist, label, or publisher to negotiate licensing terms.

A licensing agreement outlines the terms and conditions of how the copyrighted work can be used, ensuring that the original creator is appropriately credited and compensated. Depending on the specific circumstances, licensing fees or royalties may be required for the use of copyrighted material.

“It’s important for musicians to respect the rights of others and obtain proper permission when incorporating someone else’s work into their compositions. Understanding fair use principles and making licensing agreements ensures a legal and ethical approach to creative inspiration.”

Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of any copyright limitations or restrictions associated with the use of copyrighted material. Some works may be protected by more stringent copyright laws, such as unpublished works or those created by international artists.

The following table provides a summary of key considerations when using someone else’s work:

Considerations Description
Fair Use An exception to copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material for purposes such as criticism, commentary, or education.
Permission Obtaining proper permission from the copyright owner or their authorized representatives to use their work.
License A legal agreement outlining the terms and conditions of using someone else’s copyrighted work.
Restrictions Certain limitations or restrictions may apply to the use of copyrighted material, particularly for unpublished works or international artists.

It’s essential for musicians to navigate the use of someone else’s work with care and respect for copyright regulations. By understanding fair use principles, obtaining proper permission, and adhering to licensing agreements, musicians can incorporate inspiration from existing works while upholding copyright limitations and protecting the rights of original creators.

Fair Use Image

Legal Action for Copyright Infringement

If your work is used unlawfully without your permission, you have the right to pursue legal action. Copyright infringement occurs when someone violates the exclusive rights of a rights holder without obtaining proper authorization. It is essential for artists and musicians to be aware of their rights and take appropriate measures to protect their creative works.

When faced with copyright infringement, initiating a legal proceeding can help enforce your rights and seek remedies for the unauthorized use of your work. Legal action typically involves filing an infringement lawsuit against the infringing party.

Steps for Taking Legal Action

If you believe that your copyright has been infringed upon, it is crucial to follow these steps to initiate legal proceedings:

  1. Consult with an intellectual property attorney: A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the legal process and provide advice tailored to your specific situation.
  2. Gather evidence: Collect evidence that demonstrates the infringement, such as copies of the copyrighted work, records of the unauthorized use, and any correspondence or agreements regarding the rights to your work.
  3. Send a cease and desist letter: Before commencing legal action, consider sending a formal cease and desist letter to the responsible party, clearly stating your rights and demanding they cease using your copyrighted work.
  4. Register your work with the Copyright Office: Copyright registration provides additional benefits, including the ability to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in an infringement lawsuit. It is advisable to register your work before initiating legal action.
  5. File a lawsuit: If the infringing party fails to comply with your demands or continues to use your work without permission, you may need to file an infringement lawsuit. Your attorney will guide you through the necessary steps and represent your interests throughout the legal process.

It’s important to note that legal action can be a complex and time-consuming process. Seeking the advice of an experienced intellectual property attorney is crucial in navigating copyright infringement cases and maximizing the chances of a successful outcome.

Legal Action for Copyright Infringement

Benefits of Legal Action for Rights Holders Challenges and Considerations
  • Compensation for damages: Legal action allows rights holders to seek compensation for any economic loss resulting from the infringement.
  • Injunctive relief: Through the legal process, a court may issue an injunction to prevent the infringing party from continuing to use the copyrighted work.
  • Deterrence: Pursuing legal action can send a strong message, deterring others from infringing upon your copyright in the future.
  • Legal expenses: Taking legal action can involve significant expenses, including attorney’s fees, court costs, and related expenses.
  • Time and effort: Copyright infringement lawsuits can be time-consuming and require the rights holder’s active involvement in the legal process.
  • Burden of proof: Rights holders bear the burden of proving that the infringement occurred and that they hold the valid copyright to the work in question.

The Music Modernization Act

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) has revolutionized how musicians receive royalties, especially for online streaming. This legislation addresses longstanding issues in the music industry by modernizing mechanical licensing and royalty collection processes. One of the key initiatives introduced by the MMA is the establishment of the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), a centralized entity responsible for administering mechanical licenses and distributing royalties to songwriters and publishers.

To understand the impact of the Music Modernization Act, let’s delve into its key aspects:

  1. Mechanical Licensing: Under the MMA, mechanical licenses are obtained through the MLC. The MLC acts as a comprehensive resource for securing mechanical licenses and ensuring proper royalty payments for interactive streaming services.
  2. Royalties: The MMA aims to increase transparency and efficiency in royalty distribution. It mandates the creation of a public database that contains comprehensive rights ownership information, making it easier for artists to receive proper compensation for their work.
  3. Mechanical Licensing Collective: The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) serves as the designated organization responsible for administering mechanical licenses and collecting royalties from digital service providers (DSPs). The MLC works in collaboration with copyright owners to accurately identify songwriters and publishers, ensuring that they receive the royalties they are entitled to.

The Music Modernization Act has brought much-needed changes to the music industry, streamlining licensing and royalty processes. By registering your information with the Mechanical Licensing Collective, you can ensure that your works are properly licensed and that you receive the royalties you deserve.

Music Modernization Act

Stay tuned, as the next section will explore the various revenue streams that musicians can tap into for their songs.

Revenue Streams for Songs

Songs are not only a form of artistic expression but also a potential source of income for musicians. Understanding the various revenue streams that songs can generate is essential for musicians to navigate the music industry successfully.

Music Publishing

One significant revenue stream for songs is music publishing. Music publishers play a crucial role in the exploitation and administration of musical compositions. They handle licensing, synchronization, and collection of royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers.

Music publishers work to secure opportunities for songs to be recorded, performed, and used in various media, such as films, television shows, commercials, and video games. For successfully licensing the use of songs, publishers typically take a percentage of the revenue generated from these licensing deals.


Royalties are another important revenue stream for songs. When songs are used or performed, the songwriters and composers are entitled to receive royalties as compensation. There are different types of royalties that musicians can earn:

  • Performance Royalties: Performance royalties are generated when songs are publicly performed, whether through live performances, radio airplay, or digital streaming. Performance rights organizations (PROs) collect these royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers from venues, broadcasters, and digital platforms.
  • Mechanical Royalties: Mechanical royalties are earned when songs are reproduced or distributed in physical or digital formats. These royalties are typically collected by music publishers or mechanical collecting societies and paid to the songwriters and composers.
  • Synchronization Licensing Royalties: Synchronization (sync) licensing royalties are generated when songs are used in conjunction with visual media, such as films, television shows, or advertisements. Musicians can earn sync licensing fees and royalties for allowing their songs to be synchronized with visual content.

Earning royalties requires registering songs with appropriate organizations, such as PROs and mechanical collecting societies, and keeping track of the usage and performances of the songs.

To illustrate the potential revenue streams for songs, here is a table showcasing hypothetical earnings for a successful song:

Royalty Type Hypothetical Earnings
Performance Royalties $10,000
Mechanical Royalties $7,000
Synchronization Licensing Royalties $15,000
Total Earnings $32,000

It’s important to note that the actual earnings for a song can vary widely depending on factors such as its popularity, the number of performances or licenses secured, and the terms of the licensing agreements. However, understanding the potential revenue streams can help musicians recognize the value of their compositions and recordings.

revenue streams for songs

Copyright Infringement Cases

Copyright infringement cases are instrumental in understanding the consequences of unlawfully using someone else’s work and play a pivotal role in shaping copyright law. These cases serve as prime examples of the legal battles fought over the misuse of copyrighted material. They provide insights into the boundaries set by copyright law and the rights and responsibilities of creators and users alike.

One notable copyright infringement case is the landmark lawsuit between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

In 2011, Apple accused Samsung of copying the design of its iPhone and iPad, alleging copyright infringement of various aspects, including the overall look, user interface, and icons. The case went to trial, resulting in a jury decision in favor of Apple. Samsung was found guilty of infringing upon Apple’s patented designs and interfaces, leading to substantial penalties and a significant settlement.

This high-profile case highlights the importance of respecting copyright law and the consequences that can arise from its violation. It emphasizes the significance of originality and innovation in the creative industry.

Another significant copyright infringement case is the ongoing legal battle between Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Marvin Gaye’s estate over the song “Blurred Lines.”

In 2013, the heirs of Marvin Gaye filed a lawsuit claiming that “Blurred Lines” infringed upon the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up.” The trial resulted in a controversial verdict, with the jury awarding the Gaye estate $7.4 million in damages. This decision sparked debates over the fine line between inspiration and infringement, prompting musicians to be more cautious and mindful of the boundaries when creating new works.

These copyright infringement cases shed light on the complexities of copyright law, providing valuable guidance for artists, creators, and users alike. They highlight the importance of understanding and respecting intellectual property rights to encourage creativity while maintaining a fair and just environment.

Notable Copyright Infringement Cases

Case Description Outcome
Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Apple accusing Samsung of copying the design of iPhone and iPad Jury decision in favor of Apple, finding Samsung guilty of copyright infringement
Estate of Marvin Gaye v. Robin Thicke et al. Lawsuit over alleged infringement of Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up” in “Blurred Lines” Jury awarded the Gaye estate $7.4 million in damages
Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC Oracle sued Google over copyright infringement in the use of Java APIs Court ruled in favor of Google, declaring fair use of the Java APIs

These cases illustrate the diverse range of copyright infringement disputes, from design infringements to the appropriation of musical compositions. They demonstrate the importance of obtaining proper authorization and understanding the limits imposed by copyright law.

Music Copyright and the Digital Revolution

The digital revolution has brought about significant changes in the music industry, particularly in the realm of music copyright. With the advent of music streaming services, the way we consume and distribute digital music has been transformed. This section delves into the impact of the digital era on copyright duration and the distribution of music.

One of the key effects of the digital revolution on music copyright is the shift towards online music streaming platforms. These platforms have revolutionized the way we access and listen to music, offering a vast library of songs at our fingertips. As a result, the demand for physical copies of music has decreased, leading to a decline in CD sales and a rise in digital music consumption.

This shift to digital music has brought forth new challenges in terms of copyright protection and compensation for artists. In the past, music copyright usually lasted for the lifetime of the creator plus an additional 70 years. However, in the digital age, the duration of copyright has become a subject of debate and scrutiny. Some argue that the current copyright duration is too long and hampers innovation, while others argue for stricter regulations to protect artists’ rights.

The Debate Over Copyright Duration

The duration of copyright plays a crucial role in determining how long artists and their estates can benefit financially from their works. The rapid evolution of technology in the digital age has raised questions about whether the current copyright duration is still appropriate.

“The digital revolution has disrupted traditional revenue models in the music industry. As a result, it has become necessary to reevaluate copyright laws and strike a balance between protecting artists’ rights and fostering innovation.” – Music industry expert

Some argue that the current copyright duration stifles creativity and limits access to cultural works. They believe that shorter copyright terms would encourage artists to more freely build upon existing works, driving innovation and creativity in the digital music landscape.

On the other hand, there are those who advocate for longer copyright durations to ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their creations. They argue that the digital revolution has made it easier for unauthorized distribution and consumption of copyrighted music, thereby necessitating stronger copyright protection.

Arguments for Shorter Copyright Duration Arguments for Longer Copyright Duration
  • Promotes innovation and creativity
  • Allows for more freedom in building upon existing works
  • Facilitates access to cultural works
  • Ensures fair compensation for artists
  • Protects against unauthorized distribution and consumption
  • Preserves the value of artists’ works over time

As the music industry continues to adapt to the digital revolution, finding a balance between protecting artists’ rights and fostering innovation remains a pressing issue. Copyright duration is a complex topic that requires careful consideration and ongoing discussion to ensure that it aligns with the evolving needs of artists and consumers in the digital age.

Protecting Your Music: Tips for Musicians

As a musician, it is crucial to take proactive steps to protect your music from unauthorized use and copyright infringement. By following these practical tips, you can safeguard your compositions and recordings, ensuring your creative works remain protected:

  1. Register your copyright: Obtaining copyright registration for your music provides legal evidence of your ownership and strengthens your ability to enforce your rights. Registering with the U.S. Copyright Office offers additional benefits, including the potential to recover statutory damages and attorney fees in case of infringement.
  2. Understand licensing agreements: When granting permissions for others to use your music, ensure you have clear licensing agreements in place. These agreements outline the terms and conditions for the authorized use of your compositions or recordings, protecting your rights and allowing you to collect royalties.
  3. Monitor and enforce your rights: Regularly monitor the use of your music to identify any unauthorized reproductions or performances. If you discover instances of infringement, take appropriate legal action to enforce your rights and seek remedies for the damages caused.
  4. Watermark your music: Adding a subtle audio watermark to your compositions or recordings can help deter unauthorized use. Watermarks make it easier to identify and prove ownership in the event of copyright disputes.
  5. Keep track of your musical creations: Maintain detailed records of your compositions and recordings, including dates of creation and revisions. This documentation can be crucial in proving your ownership and protecting your rights in case of legal disputes.
  6. Join a performing rights organization (PRO): PROs such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC can help ensure you receive royalties for the public performance of your music. These organizations track and collect performance royalties on your behalf, maximizing your ability to earn revenue from your compositions.
  7. Stay informed about copyright laws: Keep yourself updated on the latest developments in copyright law, including changes in regulations and court rulings. This knowledge will help you navigate the music industry with confidence and make informed decisions to protect your rights.

By implementing these tips, you can establish a solid foundation for protecting your music and minimizing the risk of unauthorized use. Remember, proactive measures, such as copyright registration and careful licensing agreements, are key to safeguarding your creative works and preserving their value.

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Example Table: Revenue Streams for Musicians

Revenue Stream Description
Music Publishing Earnings from the exploitation and administration of musical compositions, such as through licensing for films, commercials, and cover versions.
Performance Royalties Income generated from public performances of your music, including live concerts, radio plays, and streaming services.
Sync Licensing Revenue from licensing your music for synchronization with visual media, such as in movies, TV shows, and advertisements.
Mechanical Royalties Income derived from the reproduction and distribution of your music, such as through the sale of physical copies and digital downloads.
Streaming Royalties Earnings from music streaming platforms, based on the number of streams your music receives.

“Protecting your music is not only an essential part of being a musician, but it also safeguards your creative rights and potential revenue streams. Taking preventive measures, such as copyright registration and understanding licensing agreements, can significantly contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of your musical career.”


In summary, music copyright laws play a crucial role in safeguarding the creative works of musicians. By understanding and adhering to these laws, musicians can protect their compositions and recordings from unauthorized use. Registering their works with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional benefits and establishes ownership rights.

Respect for the rights of others is also essential. Musicians should always seek permission or proper licensing when using someone else’s work, ensuring they understand the rules and limitations of fair use. By doing so, they can avoid potential legal consequences and maintain a respectful artistic community.

Staying informed about copyright regulations is key to navigating the music industry with confidence. Musicians should keep up with changes, such as the Music Modernization Act, which impacts royalty payments in the digital era. By understanding revenue streams, such as music publishing and royalties, musicians can maximize their earnings from their compositions and recordings.

In conclusion, by proactively registering their works, respecting the rights of others, and staying informed about copyright regulations, musicians can protect their valuable artistic creations and navigate the music industry successfully. Understanding music copyright laws empowers musicians to thrive and ensures the continued growth and innovation of the music industry.


Q: What is a sound recording in terms of music copyright laws?

A: A sound recording refers to the recorded performance of a musical work, such as a song or an album, captured in a tangible medium like a CD or digital file.

Q: Who is considered the copyright owner of a musical work?

A: The copyright owner of a musical work is typically the songwriter or composer who created the original music.

Q: What are the two types of music copyright protection?

A: The two types of music copyright protection are copyright for the underlying musical composition (melody and lyrics) and copyright for the sound recording of the song.

Q: Why is it important for musicians to understand music copyright law?

A: Musicians need to understand music copyright law to protect their original music, ensure proper licensing, and prevent copyright infringement.

Q: Do I need to register my music copyright for it to be protected by copyright law?

A: No, your music is protected by copyright law as soon as it is created and fixed in a tangible form. However, registering your music copyright with the US Copyright Office provides additional legal benefits.

Q: What is the process of registering a copyright for a song?

A: To register a copyright for a song, you need to submit an application, a copy of the work, and the registration fee to the US Copyright Office.

Q: How can musicians earn money through their copyrighted music?

A: Musicians can earn money through their copyrighted music by licensing their songs for use in films, commercials, streaming services, and live performances, as well as through royalties from music sales and streaming.

Q: What is the significance of a copyright notice for music works?

A: A copyright notice, typically displayed as “© [year] [copyright owner],” on music works indicates the copyright ownership and notifies others that the work is protected by copyright law.

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