I’m sure many of you may have heard of the “Poor Man’s Copyright,” where you physically mail yourself a copy of your music. It is believed that as long as you do not open the envelope, then the postmark date will work as the copyright date. The same myth seems to apply for social media uploads. If you upload a song to a platform such as SoundCloud or YouTube, that the time date and stamp shown will also work as a copyright date… DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
Knowing how to copyright your music is a vital part in protecting yourself as a musician. So, lets start with the basics…
Copyrights legally protect your music and gives you an official date of creation. You may have recorded a song two years ago, but if there is no official documentation to support that, you are vulnerable to having your work duplicated or stolen without retribution.
The United States Copyright Office provides forms for mailing and electronic submissions. While the submission process appears to be straightforward, it can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing. It is important to know which forms to use.
For music recordings, you can submit a Sound Recordings or Performing Artsform. There are fees associated with filing paperwork with the Copyright Office. Depending on the number of works submitted will determine that amount. You can, however, save money by submitting multiple songs under one application as long as the author is the same.
The melodies and actual lyrics of a song ARE protected under copyright law. But, song ideas or concepts, chord progressions and short titles or phrases ARE NOT.
As always, it is recommended that you hire an attorney to assist you with this process. I have a long-standing relationship with Pearson & Mitchell Attorneys and would highly recommend them for all of your legal needs. They have helped with several legal matters for my company, Power Move Management and our artists.
Baton Rouge native, Letrece Griffin, lights up every room she enters. With a flair for high fashion, bright colors, a golden smile, and a positive attitude, Griffin offers a welcoming sense of genuine openness and experience beyond her years. She is a mentor, a writer of many trades, and a marketing and branding expert who serves in a variety of roles, including a few independent ventures, passion projects, contracts, and a full-time career in marketing. She is currently the Chief of Communications & Family Engagement for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System where she leads a team that produces all district-wide marketing collateral, events, and community engagement efforts.
Griffin also previously served as the Marketing Specialist for the extremely popular Knock Knock Children’s Museum, where she was responsible for day-to-day operations, including developing and increasing awareness about programming, creative content, and managing an internship program for which she is lauded as bringing to the museum. A child at heart, she is also a part of the reason why adults have the special opportunity to attend the museum childfree and play during Grown-ups at Play – an idea she wholeheartedly supports and expertly markets to sell-out runs each time. Her innovative ideas, ability to dream big, and work hard have all been attributed to the museum’s continued success.
She also flexes her media muscle as an Executive Producer for Melanin3 Media. In this work, she has produced the documentaries “Shades of Her: A Commentary on Colorism” and “The Side Effect: The Kirt Thibodeaux Story,” as well as music videos for PJ Morton and Michael Dixon. She has secured shooting locations, cast, dancers, interviewees, makeup artists, wardrobe specialists, set production/filming schedule, and hosted relevant events to complement projects, such as a run of free screenings and discussion groups for “Shades of Her,” throughout East Baton Rouge Parish libraries. She has also worked for the past three years as the Director of Operations for the IRAA Awards – a Baton Rouge-based awards ceremony weekend set to honor independent gospel artists. She also lends her services as the social media and marketing consultant for Southern University’s Human Jukebox.
But Griffin’s work doesn’t stop there. In her spare time, she is a creative mastermind seeking to change the world one market at a time. She has certainly exceeded some pretty lofty goals and collected lots of accolades in the process. She has been featured in a variety of publications highlighting her work as an independent marketing and branding consultant and author, including , Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, and The Rouge Collection. She has been an honoree, both nationally and locally, of several noteworthy awards, including Women Doing It Big (2022, Newark, NJ), Greater Baton Rouge Business Report 40 Under 40 (2019, Baton Rouge, LA), Woman of Wonder (2019, Houston, TX), which celebrates women in the southern region who excel in their respective fields; Baton Rouge Black Professionals 40 Under 40 (2015, Baton Rouge); Top Branding Experts on Twitter (2014, EC Branding); and Manager of the Year (2013, One Accord DJ Alliance), among countless other honors.
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in which she has served as a Regional Leadership Team Member, Journalist for the Southwest Region, and volunteers through the sorority’s many community efforts that advocate for mentorship, health and wellness, and social activism. Griffin is also a charter member of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. – Metropolitan Baton Rouge Chapter, in which she served as Director of Publicity and Communications from 2016 to 2018. She has volunteered extensively in the civic organization’s community efforts, including hurricane relief, and mentoring through the BR Grow Girls initiative – which was recognized by Essence Magazine in the summer of 2019. Outside of organizational volunteer work, Griffin has given of herself to Outstanding Mature Girlz – also recognized by Essence Magazine this past summer – where she has facilitated workshops on self-esteem and youth entrepreneurship at the program’s annual conference. Griffin’s other outreach efforts include assisting communities with food insecurity through Top Box Foods, venue and participant coordination for a concert to benefit It Takes a Village, and hosting a women’s entrepreneur showcase for The Write Philosofher.
Griffin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Loyola University and a Master of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. And while she is one busy woman, she always makes time to continue working towards the things she loves, which includes sharing her knowledge and experiences to help grow a giving and learning community. She is the author of two books, “The Write Way: A 21-Day Interactive Journey to Self-Love and Awareness” (2017) and “The G Code: 15 Keys to Successful Marketing & Branding” (2019), and one workbook, “The G Code Glow-Up: A Marketing & Branding Workbook” (2020). Her writing has been awarded both internationally and locally. Griffin’s “G Code” book series was acknowledged as a 2022 Book Fest Award winner and 2020 International Book Award finalist. She was also recognized as BR Parent Magazine’s 2020 Favorite Local Author. Griffin is excited to experience continued growth, leadership training, opportunities, and invaluable experiences that she can extend to others.