How to register songs in Spain?
Songs or musical compositions with or without lyrics are protected by the Intellectual Property Law and although the author's rights to a song arise at the very moment the song is created, it is always recommended to register it in the corresponding Intellectual Property Registry. In this article, we will explain how to register songs and where to do it.
Is it mandatory to register my musical work?
As it happens with other types of artistic works, in Spain it is not mandatory to register a song or any type of musical work, because, as we have said in the introduction, the copyright on it arises at the moment of its creation and is protected by the Intellectual Property Law.
However, the registration of songs is recommended for its probative nature, that is, it works as optional proof that the authority of said song is ours when we need to defend our copyright against unauthorized use by third parties or possible plagiarism.
In addition, registering a musical work is "necessary" to be able to assign our rights to third parties with all the legal guarantees, for example, when a contract is signed with a record company for the production of a record, or if we want to assign the work in a timely manner. musical.
But, how to register songs in copyright? Can it be done online? How much does it cost? We will answer these and other questions in the following sections. How To Copyright A Song
Register songs or musical works in Spain
As we have already anticipated, the registration of songs or musical works is carried out in the Intellectual Property Registry, which depends on the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
For registration purposes, musical works are considered:
- Musical compositions with or without lyrics, that is, songs or hymns.
- Jingles or advertising tunes.
- Symphonies, concertos, sonatas, variations.
- Musical theater and operas.
- Musical arrangements.
Where do I register it?
While registering trademarks of any kind, such as a clothing brand, is carried out at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM), to register songs we can go to both the Central Intellectual Property Registry, or its Provincial Offices, as well as the Territorial Registries since the effects are the same and count for the entire territorial area.
Registration can be done electronically from the Central Registry page, for which you will need to have a valid digital certificate and once the process has started, choose the autonomous community where you want to submit the application. You can also do so in person by going to any of the provincial office's Territorial Registries or the Central Registry office.
In addition, it is also possible to register songs through other means, which we will see later.
What documentation must I submit?
We continue with this guide on how to register a song in Spain, indicating the essential documentation that you must present at the Registry. This documentation will be different in part if what you want to register is the authorship of a song or the recording of a disc.
In any case, the common documentation for both cases is the following:
- DNI or NIE
- Duly completed registration form
- Documents of the work (including a copy or copy)
- Document crediting the payment of fees
Whether we are going to register songs online or in person, the documentation to present is the same, the only difference is that part of it will have to be physically taken to the Registry.
Official application form
As we have pointed out, the authorship of a song or the recording of a disc can be registered. What is the difference between them?
With the registration of the authorship of the song, what is protected is the composition of a musical theme, whether it has lyrics or not, without being interpreted. In other words, it is a question of registering song lyrics or sheet music as we would register a novel.
While with the record of the recording of a record (phonographic production), what is being recorded is the recording of the performance of musical works, which includes the arrangements and contributions of the artist or artists themselves to the execution of the songs or their interpretation (in this case, it is possible to register versions).
Thus, this is the application model for the authorship of songs or musical works, valid both for registering a song online and physically in the Registry (it is a PDF that you can fill out on your computer and print). In the form you must specify:
- music genre
- Number of measures and approximate duration
- The instrumental and vocal staff of the work
- If applicable, the legal deposit number
And this is the application model for phonographic production, that is, the record. The information that you must enter in this form are:
- Title and author of the work
- Name the main artists-interpreters or performers
- Declaration of the producer that proves that it has the authorization of the artists
- Type of phonogram and recording system
- Date of recording and disclosure
- If applicable, the legal deposit number