How to Patent Music

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Protecting your music has become vital during the Internet era. According to the United States Copyright office, copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works both published and unpublished. Music is a tangible medium of expression and if you are contemplating the registration of your work, you need to provide a nonreturnable sample of it. The fastest and cheapest way to patent your music is electronically and both audio recordings and sheet music compositions may be sent in the form of electronic files.

  • Upload the music you want to copyright in your computer. Whether it is a recording or a music sheet composition, make sure you have it in the form of an electronic file.

  • Determine if you want to register a single work, multiple unpublished works or multiple published works. All the music you want to register must be owned and filed by the same claimant. In the case of multiple published works, they must all be first published together in the same publication on the same date.

  • Visit the U.S. Copyright Office website and click on the "electronic Copyright Office" link.

  • Click on the blue link that reads "If you are a new user, click here to register" and enter your personal information to create a new profile.

  • Click on the blue link that reads "Register a New Claim" at the left bar of the page below Copyright Services.

  • Follow the prompts on the screen to complete your application. You will be asked to provide information about your claim, type of work, title, author, claimant and publication. Make sure you fill the required fields marked with a red asterisk.

  • Pay the registration fee through the Pay.gov system using either a credit or debit card. The fee is $35 as of 2010. If you have already established a deposit account with the Copyright Office, you may charge the fee to that account.

  • Submit your work after you see the "Payment Successful" message on the screen. Make sure the pop-up blocker on your browser is turned off or else you will not be able to do so. Click the “Next” button on the upper right of the "Payment Successful" screen. Click the “Upload Deposit” link in the “Deposit Submission” table and then find the music file on your computer by clicking "browse." Once you locate the file, click on it and it should upload to the Copyright Office website.

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  • Photo Credit Copyright. image by Blue Moon from Fotolia.com
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