It is essential for songwriters to safeguard their intellectual property, especially before recording their songs in a studio in Namibia. This can be by registering the musical work in the form of finished music or demos at BIPA, and notifying NASCAM of their work. Losing control of your creative work due to copyright infringement is distressing and is a prevalent issue in the music industry. I’ll provide you with some useful advice in this article on how to safeguard your music from piracy.
1. Document Your Creation Process
The first step in protecting your songs is to document your creative process from start to finish. This means keeping track of when you started writing the lyrics and composing the melody. You can do this by writing down the date on a notepad or saving a copy of your work on your computer. This documentation can serve as evidence of your ownership in case of any dispute.
- Use Watermarking Software
Watermarking software is another practical way to protect your songs from infringement. This software adds a digital watermark to your music, making it harder for others to steal and claim ownership. There are several watermarking software options available online, and you can choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
- Register With BIPA
The third step is to register your songs with BIPA. BIPA is the copyright office in Namibia according to the law that established it, and it is responsible for registering and protecting intellectual property. By registering your songs with BIPA, you have legal proof of your ownership, and you can take legal action if someone infringes on your copyright. Registration with BIPA is a straightforward process, and you can find more information on their website. What you do at NASCAM is not copyright registration but notification of works that NASCAM needs to trace for royalties.
- Consider Co-Writing Agreements
If you are collaborating with other songwriters, it is important to have a co-writing agreement in place. Such an agreement clarifies the ownership percentage of each songwriter and how the royalties will be divided. A co-writing agreement is a legal document that protects all the songwriters involved and reduces the risk of disputes and copyright infringement.
- Be Careful With Your Demos
Finally, it is essential to be careful with your demos. Demos are a rough version of your song that you can use to showcase your work to potential collaborators, producers, and publishers. This can be just you rapping while thumping your feet or with a rough drum beat in the background. It is crucial to only share your demos with people you trust and who have signed a non-disclosure agreement. This agreement prevents them from sharing your music with others without your permission.
In conclusion, protecting your songs from infringement is essential as a songwriter. By following these practical tips, you can safeguard your intellectual property and avoid losing ownership of your creative work. Remember to document your creation process, use watermarking software, register with BIPA, consider co-writing agreements, and be careful with your demos.