Do I need to copyright my material?

Technically, a song is copyrighted at the moment you write it down or record it. However, you should always register your copyright with the Copyright Office so you can PROVE that the song is yours, and when you created it.

How do I copyright my songs?

The copyright office now allows you to register online, or you can request the forms. You can contact them via phone at (202) 707-9100 if necessary.

What are the chances my song will be stolen?

Pretty darn slim. I've been in the business for thirty years, and I've never personally known anybody who really had a song stolen. I've met the occasional person who had a song that did bear resemblance to another song, but there was no connection between the two writers that would have permitted the theft.

Have you ever noticed that most of the big copyright infringement cases are against huge stars like Michael Jackson? My guess is that people who are looking for a quick settlement from a wealthy star in order to avoid the embarrassment of a lengthy court trial bring many of the high-profile suits.

That being said you should always register the copyright to your material. You don't want to be the first person to prove my theory wrong.

Should I copyright my material before submitting to TAXI?

Yes. You should copyright it before sending it to anybody. But, don't wait to for the registration confirmation to come back to you if registering via snail mail rather than online. The copyright office takes months (often 6 months or more!) to get the confirmation back to you when you mail in the forms. As long as you've sent the form(s) in, you're good to go.