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Ken Nielsen
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How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:56 pm

It's a dangerous world and I hear of songs being pirated by China that are covered by US and European license. I'm not sure what should be done to protect against outright pirating of original music scores and, or, performances.

Any thoughts on this before I publish anything?

Is there a safe way to proceed?

How do the 'big boys' like Disney or Warner Bros. handle protecting their musical compositions?

Any direction on this is greatly appreciated,

TIA,

Ken
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Ken Nielsen
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:26 am

Just a few more thoughts, I guess the most secure way would be not to publish, just put everything in a vault. The next way would be the one I'm looking for, and my guess is that you need some type of acknowledgement that you came out with something at a certain date. but even then, someone could say you copied them even if they came out with it later. From what I see, it needs to be a legal matter and I'm just not sure how you could ever protect your work.
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MikeRobinson
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:09 pm

Well, you neglect to mention what country you live in, but I frankly suggest that you would not do wrong by "first, doing what everyone else does."
  1. Formally Register your work with "Your Government." (In the United States, you can register "a collection" of songs at http://www.copyright.gov, entirely on-line, for $35.00.)
  2. Be sure to carefully comply with all of the "copyright notice" requirements that are set forth in applicable law. ("Mind your P's and Q's..." Let no one have a reasonable chance to offer an 'innocent infringement' defense ...)
  3. Sign up, both as an Artist and as a Publisher, with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) of your choice.
... and then, "focus your entire(!) attention upon the production of truly great(!) ... ... music."

... And, if people in China are actually tripping over themselves to 'steal your music' ... (woo, hoo!) ... "count yourself incredibly(!) lucky!)"

(Until then ... (heh...) ... "it is best to consider just how to cross that bridge, if and when you get there.")
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Ken Nielsen
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:02 pm

For the USA. Wise and very useful advice. Thank You Mike!:- )
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:43 pm

MikeRobinson wrote:
... And, if people in China are actually tripping over themselves to 'steal your music' ... (woo, hoo!) ... "count yourself incredibly(!) lucky!)

I'm afraid that's the best answer. I mean, there's nothing that can be done against piracy at the other end of the world. My book has been pirated in Russia, Korea, China... and there's nothing I (or my publisher) can do.
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angelonyc
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:24 pm

I believe China used to NOT HONOR any copyright laws. don't know if that has changed.. The problem music is everywhere, and people just now assume if it's on the internet, they have the right to take it, cause they pay a monthly fee for cable service...

The real problem.. even if someone steals it,, it will cost you a LOT to try and prosecute, and in other countries, not sure if US laws apply..

Copyright your material anyways.. and hope for the best.. You can still walk around NYC, and find pirated software, DVD's CD's being sold on the sidewalk.. Forget about Chinatown.. That's the pirate capital of NYC..

I think even the big boys realize it's not worth the cost to prosecute... There are lots of little mom/pop pirating operations going on.. The Police bust one, and another pops up the next day.. sorry to be so blunt.. seems to be the state of the world now
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Ken Nielsen
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:43 pm

angelonyc wrote:
NOT HONOR


I'm getting the idea. Thanks for chiming in here. This is the state of the world as it is... Keep publishing, keep having fun with music. Eventually, it all becomes public domain anyway in a few hundred years.
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MikeRobinson
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:57 pm

David Nahmani wrote:
MikeRobinson wrote:
... And, if people in China are actually tripping over themselves to 'steal your music' ... (woo, hoo!) ... "count yourself incredibly(!) lucky!)

I'm afraid that's the best answer. I mean, there's nothing that can be done against piracy at the other end of the world. My book has been pirated in Russia, Korea, China... and there's nothing I (or my publisher) can do.


"And, y'know, at the end of the day, the thieves are not my customers, anyway."

I happen to sell a software product, at ~$150.00 (USD) a pop ... believe it or not, this year is the 20th(!) Anniversary of its release, and I sold yet-another copy yesterday ... so I long ago gave-up on actually losing sleep over "piracy."

Your actual customers are the people who are very happy to enter into a business relationship with you. And, believe it or not, they are definitely the majority.

... and they just might continue to (be happy to!) pay money to you, even after twenty years. 8)

"Yes, put a Sensormatic® device in front of your clothing store, just like everyone else does," ... :roll: ... but don't become too-preoccupied by thoughts of how many people walk out the door wearing two shirts." Those <scum-bags ... yes, yes, yes ...> are not your customers, and they never will be.

"The amount of money" that you actually "lost" is zero, because they never would have paid you money anyway.

Therefore, ignore them, and focus your attention on the majority that knows how to play the game fairly.

Accept the inevitable presence of "shrink," then ignore it.
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Mike Robinson
"I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-three."
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Ken Nielsen
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:36 pm

MikeRobinson wrote:

"And, y'know, at the end of the day, the thieves are not my customers, anyway."

I happen to sell a software product, at ~$150.00 (USD) a pop ... believe it or not, this year is the 20th(!) Anniversary of its release, and I sold yet-another copy yesterday ... so I long ago gave-up on actually losing sleep over "piracy."

Your actual customers are the people who are very happy to enter into a business relationship with you. And, believe it or not, they are definitely the majority.

... and they just might continue to (be happy to!) pay money to you, even after twenty years. 8)

"Yes, put a Sensormatic® device in front of your clothing store, just like everyone else does," ... :roll: ... but don't become too-preoccupied by thoughts of how many people walk out the door wearing two shirts." Those <scum-bags ... yes, yes, yes ...> are not your customers, and they never will be.

"The amount of money" that you actually "lost" is zero, because they never would have paid you money anyway.

Therefore, ignore them, and focus your attention on the majority that knows how to play the game fairly.

Accept the inevitable presence of "shrink," then ignore it.



Excellent read. Thanks Mike.
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angelonyc
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:44 am

I just wish the Motion Picture people would realize that.. They inflate their losses into the billions.  
Customers should start suing the Motion Picture companies when they take the family to a theater, blow upwards close to $25 a person, (don't forget the toxic sugar loaded crap they sell at the snack counter). and the movie sucks.. 

Yeah, and I've bought software, that doesn't live up to what it's advertised..  Especially KONTAKT>>>> libraries, with non-functioning controls on the GUI, (just there for the looks and to deceive you).. They don't tell you that before you buy it..  Or companies with POOR tech support..  (IKmultimedia is a great example)..  Decent products, but average wait time to solve a tech problem..  one week..  

More and more software companies, are removing email addresses, and phone numbers from their site.. You have to send a form, and hope for a response for someone with a working knowledge. Half the time I call tech support now, you can tell they are reading from a notebook (1st question, is the computer on?).  Or during a conversation, they put you on 'hold' several times for several minutes, while they ask a 2nd tier tech.. 

I just bought AIR Technologies  LOOM instrument.. It is an incredible additive synth. It is hugely complex, and really brilliantly designed and easily  makes 'out of this world musical sounds'  but comes with a 22 page manual, which briefly walks you thru the features. Explains, ZERO detail...  I called them, not able to find where Loom stores it's sample waveforms.  Techie didn't know the answer.. I asked how to draw the 'Morph path' between four different variations..  He didn't know,  Go to you Tube, and hope to find the answer..  Or PURCHASE their 'tutorial video'.. 

Several times I have called Apple about my less than stellar $6K new MacPro, (3% of 2015 mac pros have bogus Thunderbolt Lanes, which momentarily occasionally SHUT OFF, destroying your RAIDS directory, if it happens to be writing at that moment)  It wasn't until I called The RAID Hardware company and SOFTRAID, and they had over one hundred complaints, did Apple decide to look into it, under threat of lawsuit.  All this took 3 months to rectify.  They replaced my computer, and RAID system, but refused to set back the 3 year Applecare warrantee..

When I call Apple support, I have to insist I am not using a MacPro Laptop about 4 times..  The techies, are dumbfounded that I don't have a MacPro,  In the Apple stores, MacPro has been relegated to a corner with  only one machine, often not even set up.. When I ask a tech question.. Oh that person is not here today, come back tomorrow.  
Once I called with a Logic Problem.. the Support person, seemed unaware, they even carried such a product. 
 
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MikeRobinson
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:54 am

You do have certain legal rights as a consumer or a purchaser ... rights which are set into laws that vary from country to country. (Although they are fairly consistent as countries do trade with each other.)  In the United States, this is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), or, technically speaking, laws that are directly based on it.

Among the many rights set forth are those described in the above WikiPedia article in the section, "Contract Repudiation and Breach."  include the implied warranty of fitness, and your right to demand cure (e.g. a refund, repair to your satisfaction, and so on).  If after a reasonable period of time you "timely and in good faith" determine that the goods are not acceptable to you, the vendor cannot say "no," because you're asserting that the sales contract which you entered into with the seller has been breached.  Don't expect a support-guy on the phone to be able to implement the resolution: s/he probably does not have the authority to do so.  But there will be a "manager on duty" who does, or who can pass the matter to someone higher-up still.

EULAs and other so-called "exculpatory clauses" do not have the legal power to deprive you of your rights under the law.  (Furthermore, as one Federal judge once actually said from the bench, "Hell, I don't read them either ...")

===
Also, a clarification about my previous post:  under US Law, a "collection" is strictly an administrative practicality of letting you submit your paperwork in a bundle, (And, tacitly, encouraging you to thereby help out our always-swamped public paper-pushers. :roll:)  Write a hundred songs, and it'll cost you $35.00 to register them all at once: exactly the same price as for one.  Registration and protection applies individually to each and every song, as though you'd just spent $3,500.00, but you didn't have to.

Formal copyright registration also acts as a claim of title on your part, and many organizations won't even look at your stuff if you can't provide the registration: the legal risks to them are just too great.  By having a verified registration-number in their "due diligence" file, they can safely consider licensing and using it, having demonstrated that they are "minding their P's and Q's."
Last edited by MikeRobinson on Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:00 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Mike Robinson
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Ken Nielsen
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:44 am

MikeRobinson wrote:
You do have certain legal rights as a consumer or a purchaser ... 

Thank You Sir. A good read and very encouraging to the protection of the artist, composer.
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:29 am

I live in China and there is almost no protection at all of copyright. It is also broadly believed here that you can get any software at all broken, whatever its supposed protection. I think I could get someone here to break Omnisphere, Kontakt, or anything else if I wanted. When I have suggested the their copy protection makes this impossible, people just laugh.
It is also true as Mr. Robinson said that this makes very little difference since no one who breaks into the copyrighted programs or music would pay for it, anyway. That's worth writing down and posting on your wall.
And it's also worth remembering that all of us without exception are benefiting enormously from the titanic efforts and mostly unremunerated or badly remunerated efforts of previous generations.
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MikeRobinson
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:32 am

Yep.  It's quite sad that the Government of your country does not respect the rights of other creative people on Planet Earth ... but many of the people who live there, do.  Really, it boils down to a personal choice:  will you, no matter where on Earth you live, respect and uphold the property-rights of others just as you desire them (in the act of buying your music ...) to respect and uphold yours?

Even if you can readily obtain a "cracked" (illegal ...) copy of a piece of software, you can also choose not to.

Even if you love a song and have the capability to make a copy ... and even if no one will ever know that you did ... you can choose instead to pay the artist his dollar, knowing that this dollar makes a difference.  Because of "all those dollars," your artist can afford to make more music for you to enjoy, and other pros can mix it and master it, and so on and on.  All paid from that dollar of yours.

I think that, generally speaking, people all around Planet Earth do understand this.
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Mike Robinson
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LPX 10.2 on a so-so MacBook Pro. El Capitan.
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:06 am

Don't know if I'm too late in chiming in here but here goes anyway..... I currently have 8 albums on commercial release. Officially they are available on Bandcamp, itunes, Amazon, Spotify and most of the other better known streaming sites. That's all well and good and completely under my own control, however on a quick google search I can find my albums for sale as mp3 downloads on many unsavoury websites over which I have no control and from which I receive no royalties. Most of these I have found to be located in Eastern Europe or Russia - none in China so far - and in spite of my efforts I cannot get them to remove my albums from their websites sites, even using threats of legal action. The truth is that regardless of copyright rules or registration as the owner of a given work, there are people out there who couldn't care less and will steal your music to sell for their own benefit and they know that there is literally nothing you can do to stop them. It's a fact of life which every musician has to put up with. I even have some friends who have self released work on Bandcamp as a free download but have still found their work actually for sale on dodgy Russian websites - truth.

My philosophy on this is to simply accept what I cannot change and consider that even if I am not getting the royalties I rightfully should be getting from album sales, at least there are some people out there who are listening to and appreciating my musical efforts. Small consolation in the grand scheme of things but it's all we can really hope for.
 
MikeRobinson
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Re: How Do I Protect My Music and Compositions?

Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:21 pm

Just keep creating great music. If people are pirating your music (aside from the automated mechanisms that, I think, merely try to "pirate everything, automatically"), then they are listening to it – and maybe they're enjoying it, and telling all their friends.

I firmly believe that real-people the world over understand the rules of the game, and that they honor the notion that "this music didn't just fall out of a tree someplace." If you steal music, you're stealing from the pockets of a blind man, and I really don't believe that most people do that. Give them something worth paying for, and give them the easy opportunity to do so, and I believe that they will do so quite willingly.

Of course, "do Mind your P's and Q's." Go through all the legal motions of copyright registration and then follow all of the copyright-notice requirements, including the insertion of proper metadata into distribution files. (Logic makes this easy.) Register the work before distributing it ... in the USA, the on-line registration is effective immediately ... and be prepared to furnish the copyright-registration number to any distributor who asks ... and they will ask.
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Mike Robinson
"I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-three."
LPX 10.2 on a so-so MacBook Pro. El Capitan.
Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA