Musicians/Artistes Copyright Your Work

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There are continuous reports that artistes (including popular artistes) have been using lyrics that were written by other persons without their permissions. This is illegal, but the writer cannot prove ownership then there is nothing that the courts can do to effect justice in this situation. However there is something you can do to avoid re-occurrence.

>>>>>>>>>>>>COPYRIGHT your work!!!!!<<<<<<<<<<<<

The information I am sharing was taken from the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, to provide information about copyrighting and what you need to do to copyright your work…be inspired…educate yourself about these legal matters and get cracking!!!

What is Copyright?

Copyright consists of a bundle of different rights held by a creator of literary, artistic, musical or dramatic works.

Works Protected by Copyright

Under Jamaica’s Copyright Act 1993, copyright applies to original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programme, typographical arrangements of published editions.

Literary works include works (other than a dramatic or musical work) which are written spoken or sung, such as poetry, plays, novels, sermons or computer programs.

Dramatic works include dances and mimes.

Musical works refer to the melodic content of the work – lyrics are treated as literary works.

Artistic works include graphic works such as paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, engravings, etchings, lithographs, woodcut or similar works, as well as photographs, sculptures, collages, buildings and models of buildings.

Works Not Protected by Copyright

Copyright does not protect titles by themselves, nor names, short phrases, slogans, ideas, concepts, processes, principles or procedures, methods, factual information, Other types of Intellectual Property may be applicable.

How does Copyright arise?

Copyright protection arises automatically once an original work of the categories of works protected under the Copyright Act, is in a written or recorded form. The copyright notice,that is, the word ‘Copyright ‘ and the international copyright symbol , ©, should be visible on the recorded medium along with the date of creation and the name of the author of the work. The symbol should be placed on sound recordings to indicate the owner of the master recording. These symbols will give the public notice of the author’s or copyright owner’s claim of Copyright in the work.

Is Registration Required For Copyright Protection?

Registration is not a compulsory requirement to obtain Copyright protection under the Copyright Act of Jamaica or any of the copyright laws of the countries that are members of the Berne Convention for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

There is also no requirement for a work to be deposited at JIPO in order to obtain protection.

To secure proof of authorship in the work, creators can mail a copy of the work to themselves (in a sealed self-addressed envelope) by registered mail through the post-office. The unopened envelope containing a copy of the work can be submitted in Court of Law as evidence linking the work with the person claiming authorship. This an internationally accepted procedure used in countries that are members of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Legal Deposits

It is a requirement under the Jamaican Legal Deposits Act, that any person resident in Jamaica who publishes any library matter (which includes any document, paper, record or tape) is to deposit copies of the publication with the National Library of Jamaica. This deposit also provides a publicly recorded link between the publisher and the work.

A copy of the work can also be deposited, for a fee with:

Intellectual Property Services Centre (IPC)
7 Stanton Terrace, Kingston 6
Phone: (876).946.9442
Fax: (876).978.2338

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