As a songwriter you will want to protect your songs as best you can. It is a common misconception that songwriters can register their songs with CCLI to copyright protect them. In fact, CCLI does not ‘copyright’ songs as such, nor do we provide any form of copyright ‘protection’. It is our understanding that copyright within the UK is automatic.
This means that as soon as you put your work in a tangible format (e.g. written words/music or an audio recording) the copyright belongs to you. You do not have to register your songs with any kind of authority in order for them to be protected.
However, should your work be used without your permission, you may need to prove that you are the original author of the work. Therefore, The British Patent Office currently recommends the following concerning proving originality in your work:
“Ultimately this is a matter for the courts to decide. However, it may help copyright owners to deposit copies of works with a bank or solicitor or send copies to themselves by special delivery (which gives a clear date stamp on the envelope), leaving the envelope unopened on its return; this could establish that a work existed at the time.”
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