There are many reasons why artists should copyright their works. Three key reasons why producers, songwriters and illustrators should copyright their work are: 1) proof of ownership 2) establishment exclusive rights, and 3) the right to sue people that infringes on your copyright for damages.

For those that are constantly creating new tracks, lyrics or artwork, trying to copyright individual pieces of work can become very expensive. However, if the goal is to establish author and ownership, filing a collected works copyright is a less expensive alternative.

A collected work copyright will typical have two or more unpublished or undistributed works. While there is no limit on the number of pieces that can be included in a collective work application, our production team will typical file a maximum of 30 individual pieces of work with each application. To file a copyright of collected work the following conditions must be met:

  1. The collected work must bear a single title identifying the collection as a whole, i.e., James Walkes, Collective Works 2009 or Michael Hawkins Artwork Collection #3.
  2. The submission should be organized and a detailed list of the contents should be attached to the copyright application. For instance, if you are copyrighting 20 tracks, the attachment should list all the names or track numbers. Conversely, if lyrics or artwork is being copy written, the list should contain the title of each piece.
  3. All of the works must be created by the same author. However if selections of the collective work is created by different authors, one author must have contributed to each piece of work
  4. The copyright claimant or claimants must be the same for each piece of work. The copyright claimant is either the author of the work or a person or organization that has obtained ownership of all the rights (i.e. a licensing company or publishing company).

There are several ways to file a copyright application. The most inexpensive and fastest method is the US Copyright Office’s online system which has a registration fee of $35. The new fill-in Form CO that must completed using a computer is $50, and this form must be printed then mail. Lastly. the fee for handwritten paper forms, the SR (sound recording), the TX (literary works) and the VA (visual art work) is $65.

For more information, forms and/or to file a electronic copyright application, visit the Copyright Office’s website at

Sensual of JQ Music Productions

Please note: JQ Music Productions LLC are not attorneys and have no basis to give you legal advice. The post was created an informational guidance for artists seeking to protect their work by using collective works copyrights.