To my CANADIAN songwriting friends, here’s a helpful tip from SOCAN, Canada’s performing rights organization….
What is copyright?
Copyright is a bundle of rights granted by law to creators of original work. The public performance & communication right, which SOCAN administers on behalf of its members, is only one of these rights. In Canada, the copyright in a musical work exists for the life of the creator(s) plus 50 years after the death of the last surviving creator.
Why is copyright important?
Copyright protects specific forms of intellectual property, which are creative endeavours that can be protected under the law.
Does SOCAN copyright my songs?
No, SOCAN cannot copyright your songs for you. In actuality, copyright is automatically granted as soon as an original work is fixed into a tangible form. This means that as soon as you write it down, record it, make it into a computer file or fix it in any other way, it is your copyright. However, in order to protect your copyright, registering your claim to legally document ownership is best. Registration of copyright is useful if you ever need to prove that the work is indeed your own copyright- protected property.
How do I formally register my copyright ownership in Canada?
Contact one of the following or visit their website for further information:
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
Songwriters Association of Canada (members only)
SPACQ – The Society of Authors and Composers in Quebec
SARTEC (members and non-members) for French language copyrights
Or contact the U.S. Library of Congress