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Copyright is a mechanism to control unauthorised copying of other people's work and to allow composers and authors to be paid for their work. Copyright rests with the person who devised the work as long as it is declared and is a device to ensure integrity and value in the work over which that person has control.

To register copyright, it is sufficient to be able to prove if challenged that the work is your own and pre-dates any work claimed by others. Lodging a signed, dated certified copy with a solicitor is one method, but sending a copy registered mail to yourself and keeping the unopened envelope safe is a simpler and cheaper way. Write on any work that it is copyright to you and add the date (usually the year is enough).

© Banjolin 2008

Copyright in music exists on the composition, musical score, lyrics, artwork and cover designs and also separately on the sound recording.

For the recording, it lasts for 50 1 years and for the rest, 70 2 years.

Public Performance is often taken care of separately and venues are licensed. This includes both live acts and the playing of recorded music. 3


  1. In the UK
  2. The length of time for both will vary by country
  3. UK: Performing Rights Society