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Listing your song with your performing rights organization (BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC) or SoundExchange.com, does not mean the copyright has been registered. Performing rights organizations (PRO’s) are not agents for Copyright.gov.
But where does a copyright begin? Not at registration, that’s for sure. Instead, copyright begins the moment you put your idea into a tangible form.
Registration of your song with both the government and with your PRO should only be done in these instances:
- When the lyrics are final, register your copyright with the government
- When the song has been recorded, mastered, and is ready for release, register the master of your recording.
But these are only part of what you need to know. You can pay Angela a lot of money for her time and have a phone conversation, or you can get her book for a much lower price and find out the answers to the copyright question, and much more that’s needed to protect and defend your songs.