Goodnight Kiss Songwriting Article -- COPYRIGHTS
An article on copyright alternatives by Charles F. Shramek

Dear Janet Fisher

As a member of Goodnight Kiss and an attorney, I would like to pass a
piece of legal advice to all of your readers and fellow composers. First, I
would like to dispel the myths about authorship and copyrighting manuscripts.

1. Many authors believe that the only way to protect their manuscript is to
apply for a copyright from the copyright Office. The copyright Office
receives 11,000 + manuscripts a week. The copyright Office admits that they
lose or misplace approx. 40% of these filing’s. As the author of a
manuscript, whether, musical, literary, poetic, etc. You have acquired a
Common Law ownership of that manuscript. You do not need to copyright it.
copyright’s are for publishers to protect their interests from other
publishers. If you sell your music to a publishing company, they need to
copyright it to prevent others from an unauthorized use of their purchase of
your music.

2. Sending yourself a certified copy of your manuscript. Certified Mail
can get lost, and can be tampered with. Most Courts will not allow postal
stamp mail to be entered into the record, as it is not best evidence. I have
seen persons lose in Court over these technicalities. You have a false sense
of security if you believe this will protect you.

Now I would like to give your readers the “secret” my colleagues who
practice Patent Law don’t want you to know. When you have a finished copy of
your manuscript that is completely legible, preferably photo ready. (There
are many manuscript writing programs available.) On each page put the name of
the song and page number on top. On the last page of your manuscript, leave
approx. 1/3 of the bottom of the page blank. If you have to space out your
music so that at least the last third of the page is blank. No staffs
either. Do not sign until in front of Notary. If there is more than one
composer a space must be allowed for each. The following should be placed in
the blank space:


YOUR NAME personally appeared before me and acknowledged the execution of
this power of attorney, in the STATE of NAME OF YOUR STATE for the purposes
set forth therein.


PRINT NAME
Print


Signature
Date


This Affidavit for a Musical Manuscript, being duly sworn before me on this
day of ________________month in the year_______. I hereby affix my seal of Notary Public to this document as being true. My commission of Notary Public expires _________________


Print Name


Signature
Date



Seal of Notary

Usually your bank has a Notary and there is no charge.
After you have it notarized, take the signed document to your County
Auditor’s Office and have them file it for you. There will be a fee. This
signed document is legal and by law they have to file it for you. You now
have a registered document that there can be no dispute about, since each
page has a file number, date and time that it was filed, and will be upheld
in any court in the United States and most International Countries.

Charles F.Shramek


You may email Charles c/o Goodnightkiss, and we will forward your comments.
EMAIL


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