We got this question from a COMBO member, asking “Is this legit?” We are checking with our lawyers now to see if this is a viable way to “protect” your songs. Here’s the offer:
Songuard gives you copyright protection for only $3.95
When you post your song on the internet or send it out to artists, producers, publishers, and labels, millions of people have access to it. If that song is not copyrighted or protected in some way, you are at great risk that someone may take your melodic and lyrical ideas and treat them as their own. If that happens and your song is not protected, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
You automatically have a copyright the date you create a song and put it into a physical tangible form. The purpose of filing for a US Copyright is to prove and verify that date of creation. A US Copyright costs $37 for one writer and $55 for two or more writers. This year, it goes up to $55 for one writer and $75 for two or more. That’s pretty expensive for most songwriters.
Registering your song with Songuard will give you the same proof and verification of the date of creation as a US Copyright and it only costs $3.95. Too good to be true? Go to http://www.songuard.com and look under FAQ/Terms and you will understand why we can make this claim.
● You upload the melody, lyric and writer information.
● Your submission receives a date and time stamp along with an encrypted digital signature.
● You will receive an email confirming that your song was registered.
● Your submission will be permanently stored on our secure servers.
● Your song is now protected and your submission can be used to prove date of creation.
● Songuard does not review the content that is registered.
From Songuard’s FAQs/Terms page:
For more extensive and comprehensive information on copyrights go to https://www.copyright.gov/ and under copyright law review the Chapters and Appendices.
We do recommend that songwriters, at some point in time, register their songs with the US Copyright Office. The reason being, a US Copyright gives you certain statutory advantages such as damages and injunctive relief if an infringement lawsuit is filed. It is important that you file with the US Copyright Office before you instigate an infringement lawsuit if you wish to be entitled to the above described statutory advantages. That being said, if you first register your song with Songuard™, this will establish a date of creation which will give you copyright protection quickly and inexpensively. If you want the statutory advantages that come with a US Copyright, you must file with the US Copyright Office. In our opinion, regardless of when you decide to instigate a federal filing, the initial Songuard™ submission will have established and verified a date of creation.
[Editor’s note: I wrote back to the member that she could send us the $3.95 instead and we could do the same thing: Vouch that the song had been sent to us on [date] at [time]. I also told her that still didn’t solve the problem of legally registering her song for copyright and might open her up for that $1,000 fine that the copyright office charges if there is ever any challenge. | We will let you know what the lawyers have to say.]