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Someone has stolen my lyrics. What should I do?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Entertainment Law |

You’ve written and recorded a great song. Perhaps, you’ve dedicated it to someone special. And you are so fulfilled. Until you hear another song with the exact tune or lyrics as yours!  

If you are an entertainer, you most definitely take your work seriously. After all, it is your source of income. Unfortunately, copyright infringement is not unheard of. If someone steals your work, you need to pursue the liable party for damages. 

Is your song automatically protected?

If you are an artist, you are certainly concerned about your copyright options. Fortunately, it helps to understand copyright laws automatically protect your song lyrics as long as you have them in writing or can prove ownership. In other words, you do not have to register a copyright with your song. 

However, registering the copyright before an infringement offers legal benefits should a dispute arise. A registered copyright can also help you maximize compensation. 

Two steps to take when your music is stolen

If someone steals your music, do not sit back and do nothing about it. Instead, take a deep breath and consider the following steps:

Register your own copyright

What you’ve heard notwithstanding, be sure to register your own copyright. And in the United States, this means registering your music with the U.S. Copyright Office. While it may be true that you have the rights to your music, you may have a difficult time pursuing damages if you do not have a registered copyright. 

Gather your evidence

Like in any legal matter, you need evidence to litigate copyright infringement. For this, you may want to begin collecting evidence to prove that you are the original composer of the song in question. These can include a recording of the version that you produced and distributed as well as any evidence of how the defendant would have accessed your song. 

Protecting your rights and work

Copyright infringement can lead to financial and reputational damage. If you are an artist in Georgia, it is important that you understand how you can capitalize on intellectual property law to protect your rights.