Copyright on Songs - NEWS!



Copyright on Songs - NEWS!
by Sue Basko

The U.S. Copyright Office ECO (Electronic Copyright Office) has discontinued Form CO, for Collections.  This was the form I used the most.  The Office says users of the form made a lot of mistakes.  Also, some lower federal courts have recently refused to give copyright protection on the unlisted elements in a collection. 

 So, for  now at least, it looks like each song should be registered separately, either using Form PA for the underlying music and lyrics or Form SR for the underlying music, lyrics and the sound recording.  Form CON is for Continuing info that does not fit on the other forms.  

It looks as if a collection could be registered using SR or PA and placing the song names and info into Section 1 and additional info onto Form CO.  However, with those lower court rulings, the safest bet is to register each song separately.

Here are links to the "paper" forms,
for use as reference to the info that will be asked on the ECO forms: