Well, we finally did it. Brett Jason Wintermeyer, my songwriting partner and fellow Metaphor Maniac (link to facebook page that we haven’t actively publicized yet, but hope to soon), finally filed a copyright on 4 of our songs last week. We were trying for a 5th, but we kept getting stuck so we gave up in the hopes we’d be inspired later. 4 is a lucky number, right?
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It’s important to keep in mind that all artists own the rights to their works and have immediate copyright protection even if they don’t submit for a copyright registration. Having a copyright registration just helps the artist in case some legal issues or unfair usage claims arise. We might submit them to some songwriting sites so I thought it best to do the legal thing.
The creation of the 4 songs took much longer than we thought given we met on average one night every 2 to 3 weeks. Over 1.5 years later, we finally felt they were in good enough condition to “finalize” and file. I’m sure we’ll continue to tweak them as we practice and perform them live.
The process of filing wasn’t that difficult. You go to the US Copyright Office page and create a log in with tedious password requirements. I heard that within the last year they implemented the ability to do it all electronically so you can now upload your files. It’s $35 per song or compilation. If you wanted to register 9 songs as part of a CD compilation, you could do the entire compilation for just $35! We chose to file separately after I conferred with a music attorney in town, Christian L. Castle Attorneys. We don’t know if we’ll ever make a CD or if we will just play/sing them socially. Rob Wells, their Director of Artist Relations, walked me through the process quickly, and I was able to do most of it on my own. It’s a little tricky the first time to know what items to check, what category to select, and what info you need. It takes 90 days for the copyright office to review submissions.
There are two different things you can copyright when it comes to songs. One is the music & lyrics and the other is the sound recording. It’s important to understand the distinction to figure out when or if to file for one or both types of protection. It’s best to talk with an attorney as to what’s best for you. The chances of our songs making it big are pretty slim for many (7 billion people on the planet and millions of songwriters doing this full-time) reasons, but it’s kind of neat to potentially have an official, documented claim to a piece of work.
The songs range from pop, jazz, to rock and their titles are below.
- Save Me From Myself – my favorite (Jason created this amazing “sweet” guitar picking intro to the song that makes me smile & tear up at the same time)
- Look At Me – Jason’s favorite based on chords/melody he created many years ago that happened to fit my lyrics. We also affectionately refer to this one as our ‘elevator musack song.’
- Fatal Attraction (or Soul Mate) – a jazz piano song (think: grand piano/lounge singer) about the foolishness of love and its often mistaken identity
- Soul Escape – a rock song based on wanting to escape bad, noisy (and sometimes silent) connections with people
Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to perform these live some day. The lyrics were inspired by many things but mostly my kids and a few people & experiences that profoundly impacted me at critical junctures in my life.
| Filed under: music
| Tags: christian castle
, copyrighting songs
, metaphor mania
, metaphor maniac
, rob wells
| 4 Comments »
I haven’t blogged too much about music or songwriting recently, but I signed up to attend the Austin Songwriters Group 8th Annual Songwriting Symposium this weekend and tonight was the first night…well it’s now past midnight as I’m writing this post. My voice teacher, Gene Raymond at Octave Higher, forwarded me a notice about it only a week ago and I figured ‘what the heck, I should go.’ So far so good. They had songwriters from Texas and Nashville singing their original music tonight. It was like having a semi-private concert given by very talented song writers in a smoke-free room where everyone was really interested in listening to the singers. In other words, people were focused on them and not talking to each other, trying to pick up dates, or drinking to excess. They were all so good and all of them said that no one goes into songwriting for the money. A guy named Jim Photoglo made a funny joke about marriage, sex, money, and songwriting but it’s probably not appropriate to write here. I’m looking forward to a guy named Sonny Throckmorton and a gal named Kimmie Rhodes talk about co-writing songs tomorrow (or shall I say later this morning).
Congressman Lloyd Doggett showed up since he’s a big supporter of the Austin music scene and gave a little speech. There were many references to some great country singers like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, etc. because most of the music the singer/songwriters played this evening was country music. Whenever I hear country music, I remember a guy I worked with at Mr. Gatti’s pizza in high school who told me when I told him that I hated country music that it was because my heart hadn’t been really broken yet…and he was right. I get teary eyed when I hear good country music now.
I signed up to pitch my songs to one of three publishers who will be there on Sunday morning. We get 15 minutes with a publisher. I hope I’m brave enough to hum a few bars when it’s my turn because our songs are still in varying degrees of completion. I wish my songwriting partner could be there, but he’s too busy playing live gigs! We are hoping our schedules will allow us to finally record some of our stuff this year. I mean…come on…we have a facebook page for our two person band, so we have to accomplish something, right? Please go like our page: METAPHOR MANIA. I think we need 25 people to like it to remove the numbers from the URL so…do the right thing and wish me luck in pitching…I could use some positive affirmation right about now.
| Filed under: entrepreneurship
| Tags: austin songwriting symposium
, country music
, gene raymond
, johnny cash
, lloyd doggett
, merle haggard
, metaphor mania
, mr gattis
, octave higher
, willie nelson
| 1 Comment »
Where does it go? Time Keeps On Slipping Into the Future… (you tube). So much going on but so little time to write about it. My daughter lost her first tooth when she was almost a year older than when my son lost his and the tooth fairy came to visit. I know this because I did a blog post about it and if I hadn’t, I’m not sure I would have remembered when he lost it. Thank goodness for blogging! She was in Mexico when it happened visiting her cousins and apparently instead of a tooth fairy, the tooth mouse visits and she got pesos instead.
Check out Beat the Heat Happy Hour – July 20 and Sales & Business Development Lunch & Learn – July 13, 2011 for posts written by the Austin Technology Incubator marketing intern, Kirsten Frazee, on two recent events I coordinated for our member companies.
Check out our highly non-publicized facebook page called Metaphor Mania for info on our songwriting endeavors that are moving at the snail like pace of the silvery, slimy trail in between our busy lives.
The kids are in summer camp with varying degrees of happiness depending on the day and if there is a cool field trip involved. They are learning social survival skills, and I’m learning skills on how not to worry when I leave my daughter in a room full of unknown kids with teenage camp counselors.
Hopefully in the next few weeks, I can blog about another shift in my life…a very good one
Until then, I’ll be breathing deeply and trying not to drink too much red wine.
| Filed under: austin technology incubator
| Tags: austin technology incubator
, metaphor mania
, time keeps on slipping
, tooth fairy
, tooth mouse
| Comments Off