Generally you would hire an experienced entertainment/copyright attorney to take care of this. Once you have published your works, they are automatically protected by copyright, but until officially registered with the copyright office, you can't sue anyone for damages, nor get attorney fees paid if you win a lawsuit. If you can't afford an attorney, you can start researching what is best at your local library, read some books on the subject, search the internet, etc. It is quite a complicated process. Good luck.
Peace be with you, and may love guide you.
Making music is spiritually rewarding. Making music to make money is a business. You, therefore, need to learn the business. No one can teach you that in any public Q&A forum. You have to do your own homework. Start by querying amazon.com's book database for [ music business ] and buy two or three or ten books about the music business -- which is, unfortunately, quite complicated. Which is why all successful artists hire a management team. After you get the basics down you'll have to speak with your own Tennessee-licensed entertainment or intellectual property attorney. Good luck.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
In general, any creative expression will be covered by copyright law automatically. Then you register the work with the US Copyright Office so to perfect your bundle of federal rights like the right to access the courts, the right to ask for statutory damages (sometimes the only damages worth bringing the case over), the right to attorney fees, etc.
Before you jump into it, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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