When i work on a song i usually start with the beat. I then add some lyrics and change their melodic composition until it fits with the beat. i then do improvement, for example try singing like a girl or like a boy, see if it makes a difference. It is then time for EQ and some effects. sometimes i can tell from the first stage that i have something special (it's all about the beat in hip hop).

my question is at what stage do i publish it to make sure no one steals my copyright?

do other artists publish draft song then upload a new version when they have it?

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    Please read the Copyright tag and FAQ before posting questions on copyright.
    – feetwet
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 18:08
  • thanks you feetwet! that was super useful although in very legal terms that i need to research to understand (intangible works, extemporaneous lecture, modicum of creativity ...), and looks specific to USA (i now live in UK). For other artists reading this, here is the direct link to what feetwet was referring law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/541/… Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


You don't need to "publish" your song to obtain copyright protection. Original works are protected by copyright at the instant they are fixed in a tangible medium.

This means that if you type the lyrics, write an arrangement of notes, or record yourself playing the song, the song is copyrighted.

  • thank you for answer! you mean type the lyrics into a lyrics website? and record in a studio so others see it? or if i just keep it as mp3 and word document in dropbox that is ok? Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 21:31
  • also what happens if someone else publish the same song or similar enough (see my other question about similarity of songs). they can say they didn't know because it was on my private dropbox. 1) Will we both own the copyrights for the tune, just me or just him? 2) And if someone reproduced our tune who will get the royalties - both 50% 50%? Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 21:34
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    You would have copyright protection if you just wrote it on a piece of paper. If someone else writes the exact same song without copying yours, you would each have copyright protection, but that never really happens.
    – bdb484
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 22:05
  • And if someone does reproduce, we get 50/50 each? Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 8:29
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    No. You would get royalties for your work. The other person would get royalties for their work. Of course, this assumes that the similarities don't result in an infringement action, which is the more likely scenario.
    – bdb484
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:43

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