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November 30, 2011

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Um, you did notice that that's the Stop Online Piracy Act, not the Stop Internet Privacy Act....

It's one of those typos that substantially changes one's likelyhood to agree.

Doc,

I tried to get through one of the links, but it quickly degenerated into technobabble beyond my very limited understanding.

Can you provide a synopsis for internet dummies? Thanks!

Stop internet privacy, Arrr! No anonymous blog-commenting!

Oh. What wj said.

Once again, I'm excluded because, as a DC resident, I have no representation in Congress.

I have been signing the petitions and contributing financially to this effort for nearly a year.

I dunno, I just can't get too excited about techies insisting thier innovations are just too precious to stifle. I am most likely wrong, but the frantic objections sound a lot like the arguments against collecting sales tax.Way too much of that crap has gone around.

Here is a pretty good synopsis of what folks are unhappy about.

It's a badly written law. Total overkill. I don't know if destroying the social networks is an intentional result, a side effect that the Galtian overlords approve off, or a mistake. What the hell got into Al Franken?

"What the hell got into Al Franken?"

Think of it as the legislative counterpart to tackling hecklers. Once you're in Congress you use laws instead of shoulders... It's lower impact, and you can shut more people up.

Here I am in S.C., and every time I think my opinion of Graham can't go lower, it does. He's dreaming if he thinks he's getting my vote in 2014.

Piracy! Of course! LOL.

I called both my Senators today. Sadly my Democratic Senator Sherodd Brown, who is normally a good progressive guy, is a co-sponsor of this thing. I called him anyway and went through all the talking points. I called Harry Reid as well. Plus, I'm on the list of names to be read if they start a filibuster. That's all I can do for now. I just hope it helps.

Just so people understand, the reason the Mac is not a viable gaming platform is piracy killed it in the 1980s. The reason Linux systems are not viable gaming platforms is piracy and no developer is willing to serve that market. The reason PC gaming is losing developers like crazy to the 'console only' format is piracy. We've lost mulitple developers already and we're losing more to 'console only.'

I'm at the point that I'm going to get a PS3. Two of the best CRPGs made in the past five years are PS3 only. Some of the best shooters are XBox or PS3 only. And except for on-line gaming, PCs are now the second-tier platform in gaming where thier games get ported to PC instead of PC games getting ported to them. It's a sad, sad turn around over the last decade.

And yet, people think it's a small thing. Just a few games hacked by some geeks. It's not. These are criminal, for-profit rings who pretend otherwise.

Right now, in PC gaming, total game piracy is about 40%. With some popular titles, it's become astronomical. There were 1.7 million hacked copies of Spore downloaded from Pirate sites (and yes, they games industry does monitor them). Sims2, 1.1 million copies. Assassins Creed 1.0 million.

And those aren't the grossest numbers, for 2009, the most pirated PC game was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The PC version had a staggering 4.1 million downloads via torrents alone compared with an estimated 200,000 - 300,000 actual sales via retail. World of Goo -- 90% piracy rate. For every legit PC game Bethesda sells (Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind) one is pirated.

And the Pirates don't do it for 'free.' They sell advertising on their sites make hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. When the founders of Pirate Bay sold their site, it was for $7 million. Another US pirate site got busted, it's name is slipping off the tip of my tounge, the owner of the pirate site through just 'donations' was making $300K a year.

So, yeah, people are going to want to rant about 'the man' making ham fisted laws. The thing is, if people were honest, we wouldn't need the laws.

So, yeah, I'd love to ignorantly rant against the law against those big old content providers...

But I've seen the numbers. They're no secret. They're horrible. No industry can stand having 40% of its product stolen on a daily basis.

Percysowner:

How do you get on that list?

But I've seen the numbers. They're no secret. They're horrible. No industry can stand having 40% of its product stolen on a daily basis.

Yes. So true. That must explain why folk music died.

And car companies have priced in theft too. Some even oppose anti-theft devices because victims of theft will buy new cars and the thieves will need services and spare parts at some time in the future. I am sitting in a hotspot here where luxury cars get and are over the Polish border before the owner even learns of his loss ('heute gestohlen, morgen In Polen' is out of date. It's more like 2-3 hours not a full day).
Of course immaterial stuff like software is a different thing. Music (and to a lesser degree movies) is again slightly different because many will first 'pirate' samples and then go out and buy the stuff legally, which, I think, will not happen with (game) software. Some companies tolerate their stuff being uploaded on youtube because that is free advertising, others ruthlessly pro/persecute even private cover versions. In Germany the organisation collecting fees for performances of copyrighted works (GEMA) even tried to go after people whistling copyrighted melodies in public (with no intent of gain) but that was too much even for the most business-friendly courts.
---
I think I heard that some of the sponsors joined at an early stage and the bill got the monstrosity it is now later. Iirc some now want to vote against it. But without a doubt a lot of Dem senators are as corrupt as their GOP counterparts just without the ideological (and sadist) component. They are in it for the money and simply do not care about the consequences.

The reason Linux systems are not viable gaming platforms is piracy and no developer is willing to serve that market

Piracy? Of open-source systems? I sense confusion ...

That must explain why folk music died.

Here I'd always thought folk music was, like armadillos, born dead by the side of the road.

Yes. So true. That [having 40% of its product stolen on a daily basis] must explain why folk music died.

But bobby, people don't go to folk music concerts (or buy records) to hear the words, they go to experience the performance. And the performance is different for every artist, regardless of the fact that the words and music are the same. And if I have heard someone playing a traditional song, I can still enjoy hearing it done by an earlier artist; even the original artist.

With computer games, the experience is in the playing. Which is independent of who is providing the software. And there is no benefit at all to getting the legal version if I already have the pirated version. Hence the impact of piracy.

But bobby, people don't go to folk music concerts (or buy records) to hear the words, they go to experience the performance.

Yes, and musical performances, in the form of audio and video recordings, are also common targets of piracy.

There are some musicians who are very vocal on the topic, but I think for a lot of them, online pirate vs record company accountant is a distinction without a difference.

It's sort of a SSDD situation.

I suppose it depends, in part, on whether the bulk of your income as a musician is from recording sales (in which case piracy hurts) or concerts (in which case piracy is just free advertising for your brand).

The reason PC gaming is losing developers like crazy to the 'console only' format is piracy.

This is complete and utter nonsense, a favored talking point of the gaming industry that is far-too-often echoed by people who don't know any better.

Console games are pirated like crazy. I used to have a coworker who ran a scheme where his friends would provide blank discs and he'd give them a copy of every new Xbox (and later, 360) game they wanted as it came out--and sometimes before. The pirated games couldn't be played on a "stock" Xbox, so he also taught himself how to mod their firmware and would provide that service to anyone who wanted. (No, mine isn't one of them.)

The real reason PC developers are jumping ship to console development is because it's easier and the market is growing larger. When you're developing a PC game, you have to account for a variety of hardware and system configurations that for all intents and purposes is almost infinite. It is extremely difficult to do right, and no matter how thorough you are there are always--always--going to be unanticipated bugs on someone's system that arise from something you didn't test against.

With a console you have a known, predictable hardware platform with a consistent API, and if there are any variations (such as between different revisions of the PS3 or 360) they are known in advance and relatively simple to account for.

This is not to say that consoles are necessarily a superior gaming platform. I'm a PC gamer at heart, and while I love my PS3 and its games I have nothing but vitriolic contempt for the degree to which so many PC games have been dumbed down and oversimplified in order to cope with the limited input capabilities of a console controller and pander to the short attention spans of modern gamers--or worse, released as nothing more than sloppy ports of a version obviously designed for a console.

But consoles are a much simpler and more predictable development platform, and that is the #1 reason why the industry has continued to shift towards them--not piracy.

I suppose it depends, in part, on whether the bulk of your income as a musician is from recording sales (in which case piracy hurts) or concerts (in which case piracy is just free advertising for your brand).

The issue of how to actually carve out a living is a topic of some debate in musical circles.

For a lot of people, piracy of copyrighted material is just sort of part of the landscape, and there are a lot of strategies for either leveraging it, or simply working around it.

For example, as you note, assuming that copyrighted materials will be pirated, and just treating that as a form of free advertising for other, less pirate-able channels like live performance etc.

Licensing recordings for use in advertising and/or as background or incidental music for TV shows or movies is another common revenue stream.

I think things like iTunes have also helped a lot. Sure, you can find a free download of a recording, but if you can get a legal copy for a buck with the click of a mouse, it's not that big of a deal to just buy it.

At certain nose-bleed levels, most of an artist's income can be from retail, to-the-consumer sale of recordings. For most folks, however, including a lot of quite successful folks, you have to find other ways to generate income from what you do.

Sure, you can find a free download of a recording, but if you can get a legal copy for a buck with the click of a mouse, it's not that big of a deal to just buy it.

That's one of the big points made in Doc Sci's They really are that bad link in the top post. The best way to reduce piracy is to give people what they want in a convenient way. It doesn't have to be free, just reasonably priced, so long as it's available via an easy-to-use and widely available platform (thus convenient).

It works better than legislation, which pirates love finding ways around, even if they can't make money at it, just because it's fun. And it doesn't fnck other, not-piracy sh1t up.

But many providers want laws to prevent progress so they can keep doing things the way they're used to. It's a bad long-term strategy, if not a bad short-term stategy, which it might just be.

Better to get in on it with those crazy kids and stay relevant instead of yelling at everyone to get off your lawn, right?

The reason PC gaming is losing developers like crazy to the 'console only' format is piracy.

I thought the reason was that big screen LCD TVs are dirt cheap and people like playing games on a big screen TV in their living room rather than hunched over a small PC display or underpowered laptop. Plus Catsy's point about consoles being far more pleasant to write robust reliable software for.

Piracy? Of open-source systems? I sense confusion ...

I think he means that because Linux doesn't make anti-piracy as easy as Windows or the console platforms, game developers don't want to develop for it. There's probably a grain of truth to that, but there are plenty of anti-piracy toolkits that run on Linux and the cost of developing for an extra platform (and a really different one at that) is prohibitive for most producers given the market size. Plus Linux fragmentation is annoying to say the least.

Better to get in on it with those crazy kids and stay relevant instead of yelling at everyone to get off your lawn, right?

Personally, I'd say yes.

Among other things, staying relevant is something you can actually accomplish, as opposed to, frex, trying to detect and stop -- or even more futile, predict and prevent -- every act of illegally handling something as fluid as digital media.

The law as written seems overreaching, for sure. But probably more to the point, IMO it's not bloody likely to accomplish its nominal goal.

To put it another way - if you can align your business model with what *people actually want to do with your product*, you are going to be a hell of a lot more successful.

It's one of those typos that substantially changes one's likelyhood to agree.

Muphry's Law.

Eh, the relative lack of games produced for Mac and Linux probably has more to do with the relative market share of those OSes than the relative ease with which games produced for those OS' can be pirated.

Regardless, the popular Steam online game retail service now offers games for Macs (which now feature intel hardware and linuxy software innards that developers are more familiar with), with more AAA titles becoming available for Mac users than previously (well, AAA titles produced by Valve, who own the Steam service). Still no Steam love for Linux. But maybe someday.

I admit that I am a huge fan of Steam. I wasn't at first--as a longtime PC gamer who's watched countless dev studios and online services go under over the last 25+ years, I tend to have knee-jerk (and often justified) resistance to anything that makes my ability to play a game I paid for dependent on any third party. And PC gaming history is rife with examples of obnoxious, intrusive copy-protection measure that add unnecessary performance overhead to the game while doing nothing of substance to actually deter piracy.

But Steam's anti-piracy measures are pretty transparent and lightweight, and the service adds a lot of value. Having the option to store my save games on the cloud is nice. There are always sales going on, which often allow me to pick up at a discount games I otherwise never would have bought at full price. And I love having the ability to back up my games to another hard drive, wipe them from my Steam install to clean up space, and then install something else with a few clicks.

I still have my concerns about whether or not I'll be able to play my games 15 or 20 years down the road if Steam goes offline. But Valve has earned a lot of trust and goodwill from me over the years (they're one of the only remaining developers whose competence I trust enough to buy a PC game on launch), and ultimately if that happens I'll still be able to run Steam in offline mode.

Contrast this with EA's Origin service. I really wanted to play Battlefield 3, and I would've bought it if EA hadn't pulled out of Steam and inextricably tied the game to their Steam-clone download service. I fundamentally don't trust EA at all as a company--they're one of the worst offenders in the industry when it comes to anti-consumer practices and bad customer service.

Though honestly, for a game 15-20 years old that probably isn't even sold anymore I really have no compunctions at all about downloading it--assuming I can't find it for $5 in the bargain bin of Half-Price Books.

Forgot to add one of the other things I love about Steam. One of my best friends is also a PC gamer, and he and I frequently get together to game. When Portal 2 first came out, I went to visit him and logged into his computer with my Steam account and installed the game so that he could play it while I was there. We played through four or five hours of it and he ended up buying it.

I love that Steam will let you do that. It gives me most of the benefits of being able to bring over the install disk, while protecting the developer by still only allowing it to be played in one location at a time while logged into the account that owns it.

The only thing I really wish you could do in Steam is give games you don't want anymore to friends. You can buy them in the Steam store as gifts (and I've done that for both him and my kid), but I'd like to be able to, say, take F.E.A.R. 2 (which I didn't really like) and give it to my friend the way I did with the physical copy of Far Cry 2 I bought (which I also really didn't like).

Copyright is another venue where reform is long overdue.* A copyright is a government granted and enforced monopoly. In economic theory monopolies are bad things. They skew the efficiency of resource allocation.

The abuse of copyright is also a major contributor to the redistribution of income upward that we are now living with.

Economist Dean Baker has some interesting ideas on the topic. Check out what he has to say.

*and I would agree the proposed legislation is a hammer in search of a nail.

Oh, good, this was covered. Good job.

Copyright is another venue where reform is long overdue.

I'm curious to know what changes you would recommend to current US copyright law.

I have a day job, but I do know and work with a number of folks who are working musicians. For a number of those folks, residual income from recorded performances helps pay the bills.

What would a better copyright law look like?

I'm not sure what the best way to reform copyright would be, but my main complaints about copyright are that

1) copyrights last way too long. There's no reason for copyright to last for the entire lifetime of an author.

2) copyright owners should have to renew their copyright periodically, or lose it. There's no reason for the public to have to respect rights that may or may not be claimed by an author.

I googled Dean Baker and copyright to get a quick glimpse of what he thinks, and apparently he's in favor of coming up with different compensation regimes. It probably makes sense to rethink the whole system because of the problem with enforcement. But even if enforcement were possible, copyright protection lasts too long and is too rigid. I was very sad to see the Google books settlement fail.

Oh, and just to add to my comment slightly, the length of copyrights are ridiculously complicated now because of various changes in the law (with nothing published in 1923 or thereafter being safely in the public domain). When you look to see who benefits from these laws, it's clear that it's not the author (who is often long dead).

That said, private communications should retain their copyright throughout the life of the author - that is, communications that were never meant by the author to be published.

What would a better copyright law look like?

For starters, we could stop extending copyright protection every time Mickey Mouse is about to fall into the public domain. That bit of outright corruption should shame all of us.

One "extreme" idea is the Founder's Copyright proposal which would reduce copyright terms to those found during the early days of the republic, but I'm open to other suggestions.

Next up would be a real effort to deal with orphan works. I think the easiest way to do that is to make copyright only available if you explicitly register in some sort of clearinghouse. The idea that century-old bits of our common culture that have zero commercial value can be used as fodder to sue into oblivion archivists or historian or anyone else trying to do something cool to preserve or understand the past is just absurd. We need some sort of safe harbor provision for non-profits dealing with old works or better yet, a clearinghouse.

The DMCA needs drastic revision.

I think the easiest way to do that is to make copyright only available if you explicitly register in some sort of clearinghouse.

This isn't internet-related, but for music you have to register each copyrighted item with the Library of Congress to claim copyright.

For compositions you have to send sheet music. For recorded performance, you have to send a recording. There's a fee, but it's pretty small. And, you can do it online. But you have to do it.

To actually get paid, you need to join one of the copyright handling organizations. There are three - ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. The process by which fees are collected and distributed is fairly complex, and a number of other folks are involved under the hood, but these three do a pretty good job of actually getting checks cut and delivered to the right people.

Long story short, if you're a musician, you have to register each specific work with the Library of Congress, and then participate in a fairly complex enforcement regime involving a number of third parties, to actually get paid.

There's no reason for copyright to last for the entire lifetime of an author.

Again, not specifically internet-related, but for a lot of working musicians, royalties from copyrighted works are basically their 401k.

Most musicians are self-employed, with very variable income. If you get sick, or old, or disabled, you don't work and you don't get paid. If you're just not that hip anymore, you don't work and you don't get paid.

Building a catalog of copyrighted work over a lifetime is how a lot of folks pay the bills.

So, I'm not sure if I agree on this point.

I do agree that copyright doesn't need to extend beyond the life of the author. I also agree that a limited term with option to renew is reasonable. If you can't do the paperwork, you're on your own.

What would a better copyright law look like?
Start by eliminating the seventy-five-years-after-death, but-only-for-corporations provision. That's insane, unless, of course, you're the Disney corporation.

Take copyright law back to much closer to what it used to be in terms of length; specifics can be argued, but start by repealing the The "Sonny Bono" Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998.

The Mouse Protection Act was sheer bribery in return for massive corporate profits. Copyright is intended to promote creativity, not corporate profits.

[...] Since the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship. The Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.[1] Copyright protection for works published prior to January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.
This was Wrong.

Copyright for either life of the author plus twenty years should be quite sufficient to encourage creativity, and even protect the heirs of the creator. What valid reason is there for a longer period, beyond massive clamping down on creativity for the sake of corporate profit?

On a slightly smaller scale, look at the notorious abuse by the Tolkien estate for an example of What's Wrong.

I also recommend reading lots of Lawrence Lessig, and I recommend, mildly digressively, Jonathem Lethem's "The Ecstasy Of Influence."

Let me be clear that I have little or no opinion about copyright and other law affecting music; it's not the area I'm very familiar with; I'll rest my stand on text, and let others debate how copyright should best apply to other media.

This isn't internet-related, but for music you have to register each copyrighted item with the Library of Congress to claim copyright.
Anything in writing is copyright automatically as soon as it's "fixed in print." Otherwise, as soon as it's "fixed in form." No registration required. One can check all over the U.S. Copyright Office site to confirm this:
Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is cre­ated in fixed form, or "fixed in a tangible form of expression." The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who cre­ated the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.
I know little, as I said, about the music end, rather than as regards text, which I'm pretty familiar with, but:
Copyright protection is available for all unpublished works, regardless of the nationality or domicile of the author. Published works are eligible for copyright protection in the United States if any one of the following conditions is met: [...] The work is a sound recording that was first fixed in a treaty party
.

Are you sure you aren't confusing other legal arrangements as regards performing and playing music with copyright law, Russell? I'm perfectly willing to believe I'm simply ignorant about aspects of copyright that apply to music, but perhaps you have a pointer to clarify what you're referring to specifically in copyright law?

[...] Copyright is secured automatically when the work is cre­
ated, and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. “Copies” are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm.

“Phonorecords” are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or vinyl disks.

Thus, for example, a song (the “work”) can be fixed in sheet music (“copies”) or in phonograph disks (“phonorecords”), or both. If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.

This appears to be completely consistent with copyright as regards text. Registration as a requirement, or even including a copyright notice, was eliminated under the 1976 Copyright Act and ever since.

For compositions you have to send sheet music. For recorded performance, you have to send a recording. There's a fee, but it's pretty small. And, you can do it online. But you have to do it.
If you want to sue someone else, registration is helpful in securing damages. But do you have a cite for your absolute declaration that you have to register recorded performances, or compositions, for them to be copyright? So far as my limited knowledge goes, that's simply untrue.
To actually get paid, you need to join one of the copyright handling organizations. There are three - ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. The process by which fees are collected and distributed is fairly complex, and a number of other folks are involved under the hood, but these three do a pretty good job of actually getting checks cut and delivered to the right people.
This is all true, but has nothing whatever to do with copyright requirements, any more than any other contracts or licencing do. The above are governed by other laws and arrangements, last I looked. Again, if you can give a cite to copyright law to suggest otherwise, I'd be quite interested in being further educated and corrected.
Again, not specifically internet-related, but for a lot of working musicians, royalties from copyrighted works are basically their 401k.
But you don't get royalties from copyright, or copyright law. You get them from contracts and contract law, and simply holding the copyright and licensing rights.
Long story short, if you're a musician, you have to register each specific work with the Library of Congress, and then participate in a fairly complex enforcement regime involving a number of third parties, to actually get paid.
As a matter of practice, that seems correct, but it's not required at all by copyright law so far as I know. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are all private entities, not governmental, and not created by the government, or referred to in copyright law, so far as I am aware.

The history here seems pretty clear. They're not at all a creation of copyright law in any way, shape, means, or form. They're a private organization that mediates business arrangements.

Building a catalog of copyrighted work over a lifetime is how a lot of folks pay the bills.
Seventy years after they're dead?

Most folks stop paying bills when they die. I have no problem with be willing to extend (or, rather, cut back) copyright law to twenty years after death, to provide income for heirs who are minors, or heirs in general, but why is it necessary to go further than 20 years after death?

Also, frankly, the entire argument that copyright should provide lifetime income is, well, bogus. It's arguably good policy, but it's not at all the intent of copyright, which was plainly laid out in the Constitution: "Section 8 - Powers of Congress [...] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; The purpose is to encourage creativity. It was never about providing a lifetime income, however laudable a goal that might be. It's just not the purpose of copyright law.

Thus the Copyright Act of 1790 which mandated "a term of 14 years, with the right to renew for one additional 14 year term should the copyright holder still be alive."

To actually fulfill the purpose of copyright, which is to allow creators to benefit sufficiently to create -- and that's all -- that's really sufficient. I'm willing to go longer than that, but that's for purposes other than copyright law, such as social policy. I think 28 years is quite sufficient to allow creators to simply benefit from creating. The purpose of copyright law is to benefit our society as a whole, and everyone's right to create, which includes use of prior material; the primary point is not and never has been to materially benefit a creator beyond the point necessary to encourage creativity in society as a whole.

the primary point is not and never has been to materially benefit a creator beyond the point necessary to encourage creativity in society as a whole.

Oh, for God's sake, can this be applied more broadly, or what?

(I'm a capitalist, actually, with some perspective, I like to think.)

Besides that:

Hi, Gary!

Yes, of course it can be applied more broadly. I'm all for that. I was simply making the point that it's not the primary purpose of copyright.

No criticism intended, Gary. Just a thing that jumped out at me in whatever state my mind may have been at the moment. Kudos.

Anything in writing is copyright automatically as soon as it's "fixed in print." Otherwise, as soon as it's "fixed in form." No registration required.

Courtesy of the US Copyright Office, here is their circular laying out the requirements for registering a musical composition or performance.

Copyright registration is effective when the Copyright Office receives an application in good order.

I don't know why musical works are treated differently than text.

I understand that ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are not government agencies. I basically brought them up as an elaboration on what's required to actually get paid for the use of copyrighted musical works.

I recognize the stupidity of the current copyright law. I would personally view author's lifetime plus 20 years as a quite generous copyright term. Author's lifetime would also be fine, with or without the requirement for periodic renewal.

My only point overall is that, for a lot of working musicians, a catalog of copyrighted work is a significant part of their income.

Courtesy of the US Copyright Office, here is their circular laying out the requirements for registering a musical composition or performance.

There's a difference between having a copyright and registering a copyright. You have copyright by virtue of creating something (like writing or musical works) that is subject to protection. If you have copyright, you are the person who can do whatever you want with the work (the things that are listed in the statute). Registration makes it possible to enforce a copyright against infringement.

That's true both with writing and music. So what Gary says is correct with music as well as with writing, but as to enforcing infringement claims in both cases, copyright has to be registered. (This requirement is on page 7 of the link Gary provided from the copyright office.)

There's a difference between having a copyright and registering a copyright.

OK, good to know.

If you want to get paid, you have to register.

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