Tip of the Day – Poor Man’s Copyright

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, “the practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a ‘poor man’s copyright.’ There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.” In a nutshell, a “poor man’s copyright” provides you absolutely no protection under the law. Don’t waste your time or money mailing a package to yourself unless you just really enjoy visiting the post office and/or getting packages in the mail! If you’re serious about your music career, do your homework and follow proper procedure. Remember, the rules are set in place to protect your interests.

To learn more about copyrighting your material, visit the U.S. Copyright Office Website. If you’re already familiar with the fundamentals of the process, the Copyright Office has set up a new online submission system dubbed “eCO” (Electronic Copyright Office). You can learn more about the new process HERE. Physical forms are no longer available on the website but are still available upon request. At the end of the day you’re going to want to use the eCO submission process as it is faster, easier and will save you anywhere from $15 to $30 depending upon the alternate options available.

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