Which Copyright Form Should I Use?

Questions & Letters to TAXI

Answered by Michael Laskow, CEO, TAXI, and Craig Streaman, Manager, A&R, TAXI
I am a very new member of TAXI.
    I have numerous songs and instrumentals that I wish to copyright first and then submit for TAXI's various Industry Listings.
    My questions: Which copyright form do I use to copyright a "collection" of songs, instrumentals, and/or other musical pieces, and what is the best method for listing the individual songs, instrumentals, and/or other musical pieces on that form?
    I have searched the Web and found conflicting advice. I have not been able to find an answer in TAXI's FAQs.

—Thank you, Derek Fulker

Thanks for the e-mail. There are certain stipulations for submitting your work as a collection with just one application form and one fee, and I'll bet you can easily meet them all:
    • The elements of the collection are assembled in an orderly form;
    • The combined elements bear a single title identifying the collection as a whole ("The Collective Works of Derek Fulker");
    • The copyright claimant in all the elements and in the collection as a whole is the same; and
    • All the elements are by the same author, or, if they are by different authors, at least one of the authors has contributed copyrightable authorship to each element.

    When you are ready to copyright your collection, you can use either of the two forms below from www.copyright.gov:
    Electronic Registration: http://www.copyright.gov/eco/index.html
    Paper Registration: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/notice.html
—I hope this helps! Craig Streaman

Dear Readers,
I was going through a file of comments from the 2007 road Rally to see if we could make any improvements for this year's Rally, November 6-9. I saw this letter and thought it might ring true for some of you as well.

I just had a couple comments I wanted to share about my experience this year. As a first year member, this was my first Rally and I feel I benefited tremendously from attending. Not only did I learn how to write better and position my songs for certain listings, but I also learned where the bar is set to be successful in this industry. I think the latter was the most important thing I took away.
    I left the Rally thinking this was probably a big reason people don't renew their memberships. That very well could have been me next April when the time came for me to renew. Without this understanding one is somewhat flying blind and counting on luck more than anything else. So hats off to you guys!
    Thanks for providing such a great learning opportunity for new members. I feel 10 times more prepared for the task at hand from having attended the rally this year.
    Thanks again for everything last weekend. I am already looking forward to next year.
—Jake Scarbrough

Thank you for pointing that out. I wish I could wave a magic wand and get every TAXI member to join us at the Road Rally. The lessons learned there dramatically increase one's probability for success with his or her music.
    There are enough hurdles for musicians as it is. Flying blind, as you say, is one of the most common and certainly a huge obstacle. I admit to getting frustrated that the solution to that problem (the Rally) is only utilized by 2,400 of our 11,000 members.
    I know it's not easy for every member to take a couple days off work and invest in the plane flight (if needed) and hotel cost. Considering that the Rally itself is free for every member and a guest, I wonder how many people look at what it costs them in lost opportunities.
    When you think about how many people give up out of frustration, and how close they were to getting life-altering info, skills, and connections at the Rally, you've got to wonder. I really appreciate you pointing this out to our readers. Some of them might have thrown in the towel when they were just a foot from the finish line.
—Thanks, Michael

I write mostly Country music and I already live near Nashville. Is TAXI valuable to me as somebody who wants to pitch outside of Nashville?
—John Hoenes

I'm going to let a TAXI member's letter answer your letter. It'll mean more coming from him.

Dear Michael and TAXI Friends,
    My name is Scott Gerow. I am a producer/engineer/composer and studio owner from Nashville, TN...and of course a TAXI member. I wanted to update you guys on my progress using TAXI since I know you've been harping on us to do so and since I've been meaning to anyway.
    I'd also like to make a point. I have been a member going on 8 1/2 months now. Here's what I've had...over 75 submissions, about 40 to 50 forwards, I've gotten at least six film/TV deals (multiple songs per each deal) and I'm working on a few more (a few deals were combined co-writing/co-producing with other TAXI members), and one management deal.
    Not only that, but I am a professional producer here in Nashville and by networking through TAXI (and the Road Rally of course) I actually have gotten new clients for my production business, which alone more than makes up for the money I've spent on TAXI (at least the membership fees)! And that's not even a result of a forward!
    Now, being on the receiving and sending end of the business the point I'd like to make is how do people expect to get anything from anyone (or shall I say "create working relationships with anyone") with only 10 to 15 submissions in one full year! Typical of our culture...a little bit of effort expecting a lot of results. Granted I have my own studio and connections to musicians and industry professionals, so I can be a little more prolific than most, but I know people producing killer stuff by themselves in their bedrooms.
    I was very skeptical of TAXI for a long time, but saw many of my clients taking the stuff that I was producing for them and getting work through TAXI. So I decided before joining TAXI I would create a decent size catalog (a couple of dozen songs/tracks) and then work it like crazy once I joined...mostly for film and TV placements. Oh, and by the way I also "do it myself" through other avenues/connections, but TAXI has definitely been another killer feather in my cap...especially in getting my material out to people in cities I don't live in. Anyway, I do apologize for the extended soapbox e-mail but I do appreciate your work and will stay in touch.
—Thank you, Scott W. Gerow, Red Dragon Music Productions

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