Copyrights are granted by law to the creator of an original work that is in a tangible form. The creator of such a work is entitled to five exclusive rights:
1. The right to Reproduce the work
2. The right to Distribute the work
3. The right to Adapt the work
4. The right to Publicly Perform the work
5. The right to Publicly Display the work
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) consists of three US judges who are responsible for setting statutory royalty rates for compulsory licenses. They periodically set the statutory mechanical royalty rate, which is 9.1 cents per track currently.
The U.S. Copyright Office is the official government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the U.S. Your work is technically copyrighted when it is fixed in a tangible form, but registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office is an additional way to protect your copyright, and is a necessity to file an infringement action.
Before registering online, view this helpful tutorial.
To register your musical work online through the U.S. Copyright Office, click here.
To register a sound recording through mail, use Form SR.
To register a song (musical composition) through mail, use Form PA.
To correct a previous registration through mail, use Form CA.