Songwriters: Copyright Registration Required to Sue Infringers

Nicole S. Dandridge

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Business Attorney

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Posted almost 6 years ago. 1 helpful vote

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For songwriters, protection of their valuable work is a number one concern.

The hard work and artistry that go into creating song lyrics may earn its author great fame and riches. Yet, some mega companies, superstars and public figures attempt to pawn the work of an unsuspecting songwriter and pass it off as their own.

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Prerequisite to Suing Infringing Parties

Before a songwriter(of a work that originates in the US) may sue an infringing party, the original work(s) of authorship must be registered with the US Copyright Office. A songwriter will not be able to file an infringement action against the infringing party if that particular work is not registered with the US Copyright Office. Registration with the Copyright Office allows the oftentimes powerless songwriter to stand up to seemingly untouchable infringers.

Additional Resources

See Tim McGraw faces song infringement action for ‘Everywhere’: http://blog.cmt.com/2008-08-06/tim-mcgraw-copyright-infringement-suit-grabbing-attention/ See Kid Rock accused of biting '80s synth tune for 'Cowboy': http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1453539/20020422/kid_rock.jhtml See Beyonce faces song infringement action for ‘Baby Boy’: http://www.filewrapper.com/index.cfm/2007/12/26/Fifth-Circuit--Beyonc-song-does-not-infringe-songwriters-copyright Please contactus@dandridgelaw.com should you have any questions regarding this guide or our services.

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