Can I register a collection of songs and pay just one $35 fee?
June 21, 2011
Dear Music Lawyer,
I have written many phenomenally cool marketable songs. I want to register them with the Copyright Office. Can I mail a CD or DVD with multiple songs and only pay the $35, or do I have to pay $35 per song? And if I am able to send the whole DVD or CD, do I still get the same protection?
You can register all of your songs with one application and pay one $35 fee if all of the following are true:
1) You are registering online using eCO (stands for electronic Copyright Office). If you are submitting paper applications, then the cost is up to $60 per application.
2) The authorship for every song is the same. In other words, you wrote all the songs on your own or you wrote all the songs with the same co-writer(s).
3) The claimant (person(s)/company claiming ownership of the copyrights in the songs) for every song is the same.
4) None of the songs have been released (i.e., they are unpublished) OR the songs will all be released together (e.g., on the same CD).
Registering a collection of songs in this manner does not affect the level of copyright protection.
You may also wish to read my response from April 26, 2011 about which copyright forms to use that goes into a bit more detail about how many applications you need to complete for a collection of songs.
Amy E. Mitchell