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Copyright your creative works to protect yourself: it can be easy with the right help

Posted By : IHM, Posted On : June 22, 2020

Copyright your creative works to protect yourself: it can be easy with the right help

It can be simple to copyright your creative works while also protecting yourself from future headaches and loss of potential income.

“Filing your copyrights is almost like a form of insurance, you wouldn’t wait until something bad happens to get an insurance policy” CEO of Cosynd, Jessica Sobhraj said.

Cosynd, the fastest and most affordable way to protect yourself and your copyrights, is an IHM partner company that aims to help the creative community establish ownership of their works with customized copyright contracts. These include free split sheets, cost-effective producer agreements, work for hire agreements, and collaboration agreements). They also simplify registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. The company was created by a group of music industry experts that have built and led companies in the legal, distribution, performing rights, licensing, and data space. Moreover, Cosynd’s team is 80% female, 60% minority, and 20% veteran.

Sobhraj fully realized the need for a company like Cosynd after working in music licensing for 10 years on the sell-side.  “I might have encountered my maybe 100th instance where I was about to place a song into a commercial and we needed to scramble because there was some dispute over who actually owned the music at that point in time.” She said.”Artists wanted to establish ownership of their music, but didn’t have an easy or affordable way to do so. We started out offering free split sheets and then added other agreements that you would need to protect the creation of an entire album. Then, we added copyright registrations, so it became a one-stop-shop for thousands of creators.”

Cosynd’s split sheets are FREE and you can use them to protect all of your content – videos, images, sound recordings, compositions, etc. Best of all, unlike other services you can add new titles to your split sheets at any time, reducing the amount of paperwork you have to manage.

Their more premium agreements are very easy to create. Unlike fill-in-the-blank templates that you can download from the internet, Cosynd’s wizard asks you simple questions and generates an agreement that is customized to your needs. You can create an agreement in minutes and even invite your attorney to review/edit it if you need to get even more customization

There have been a number of misconceptions around protecting your work and what you can or can’t do. Here’s the real scoop

  1. Whenever you create something with a collaborator, they automatically and instantly have an equal share of ownership, rights, and income by default under U.S. Copyright Law – unless you have an agreement that says otherwise.
  2. When registering with the U.S. Copyright Office, you are no longer able to put all of your songs on one application and register them for a flat fee. Federal filing fees have increased and there are new rules that determine how many songs an application can contain.
  3. If someone has infringed upon your work (used/sold it without your permission), you can’t file a lawsuit until you have filed with the Copyright Office and made a decision on your application.

It takes anywhere from 3-7 months to hear back from the office on the fate of your application. A few common reasons people’s applications get denied is that they forgot to include all authors or they filed the wrong application type. Another way to get declined is to include files with their application that are not apart of the specified application type. An example would be including album art with the application for a single song. If your application gets denied, there are no refunds and you must start over again. In the case that an issue of ownership uprises, a rush filing is $800 whereas the normal non- rushed filing fee is $45. It is also much harder to find an attorney for your case if your work is not registered beforehand.

For a limited time, Cosynd’s copyright registration service has been reduced to $20 for Dropkick Smart artists. Cosynd determines the right type of application for your work, keeps up to date with any changes the Copyright office implements, and reviews your application before it gets sent. Dropkick artists can create FREE split sheets and create discounted premium agreements too.

Sobhraj always recommends beginning by creating a split sheet. Videos are one of the most common things that artists are forgetting to get copyrighted that can also be protected with a split sheet.

“It is the most cost-effective and easiest way to document ownership and it’s free!” Sobhraj said.

Even though numerous other aspects of the music/entertainment industry are on hold, the  U.S. Copyright office and Cosynd are still operating. Dropkick Smart artists can take advantage of limited-time pricing. Everything you need to know is in the Dropkick release plan provided with your membership. Get the discount pricing here.

If you are not an IHM member but would like to get the reduced Cosynd rate, consider becoming one. Get started by joining IHM here, or if already with us, email or call (877) 994-6446.

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