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How do I Copyright a Piece of Music?

In Ireland, as in many other countries, your musical composition is automatically protected by copyright as soon as it is created and fixed in a tangible form that is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. This means that you don’t need to register your music with any government agency or office to have copyright protection.

However, if you want to establish a clear record of your work and its creation date, you can take some additional steps to provide evidence of your copyright. Here’s how:

  1. Document Your Work: Keep a detailed record of your music creation process. This can include dated drafts, recordings, notes, and any related materials that show the development of your music.
  2. Register with a Third Party: While it’s not a requirement for copyright protection, you can register your work with a third-party organisation or copyright registry for added documentation. IMRO is one such organisation that can provide support and documentation for songwriters and composers.
  3. Use the “©” Symbol: You can include the copyright symbol (©) followed by the year of creation and your name on your music to indicate that it is protected by copyright. For example: “© 2023 Your Name.”
  4. Consider Legal Counsel: If you have concerns about copyright enforcement, intellectual property, or potential disputes, it’s advisable to consult with solicitor specialising in copyright law for personalised guidance.

Remember that music copyright in Ireland lasts for your lifetime plus 70 years after the death of the author, after which the work enters the public domain. This means that during that period, you have the exclusive rights to your music, and others would need your permission to use, reproduce, or distribute it.

If you have specific legal concerns or if your music is a part of a larger project or collaboration, it’s always a good idea to seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor specialising in intellectual property and copyright law to ensure your rights are protected.

Further information on copyright is available at:

World Intellectual Property Organisation
Irish Copyright Licensing Agency
Law Society of Ireland



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