Your Questions: How Should I Release My Own Music?

Terry_42 | Read time: 2 mins
copyright releasing music
Last updated 3 August, 2017


What on earth has a humble courier envelope got to do with releasing your own music? Find out in our answer to today’s reader question…

Digital DJ Tips forum member DJ Beat Lynx writes: “So I have been producing for the past year and a half, I have recently put my name out there to friends and people around school. Everyone seems to think that I should put my music on iTunes. Is it really worth it? I don’t even know where to begin with copyrights and all that stuff. Can you help?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

New producers can rarely afford to employ a rights management firm or similar, so instead there are a few easy steps you can take, colloquially know as “poor man’s copyright”.

Firstly, if you are a composer print your composition. If you just play your own music, make a recording of that music. Now, put that music on a data device that holds up a long time (a decent USB stick or high quality CD that you can burn will do). Put this in an envelope addressed to yourself and send it to yourself via a postal service, so that a timestamp is on the envelope. do not open this envelope when you get it back! (Best is if the envelope has a seal, like those FedEx envelopes.) Put this envelope in your archive.

This way you can prove to court if ever need be, that you are the originator of that work at the time of posting this envelope. All other stuff like signing up with a rights management company etc. can come later and they will usually also accept those envelopes that then get opened by a lawyer and stored in their archive.

Where to put your music

As for getting it out there: I would start on SoundCloud before iTunes. Get a few people to follow you on SoundCloud and Facebook and post on other social media with links to your SoundCloud. If this takes off then go for iTunes. There is a lengthy article how to get on iTunes on the Apple support page.

• You can see the original post and replies here.

Have you ever used “poor man’s copyright” to protect your compositions before release? Any more advice you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments…

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