How do I get back my song?

• Dec 30, 2020 - 14:12

I did a song some years back.
I had it registered with the Copyright Office in the U.S.

Those days I did not even know about Musescore.
A musician wrote it for me manually.
I cannot find any copy of that song now.

I contacted the Copyright Office and was told that I
would have to pay a (not so tiny fee per hour) to have
a search done to find the song.
Being a non American, my pocket cannot afford that.

Can anyone tell me how I can get a copy of my song?


If you havn't kept a copy yourself or lost it, I guess your only chance is to pay for getting it back.
But maybe that musician that wrote it for you still has a copy?

In reply to by Brer Fox

I remember the melody.
I have it on Musescore.
I remember most of the lyrics in the chorus.
But I am remembering lyrics for about four lines only in the first verse.
The song is about an incident that actually took place.
I can't just make up lyrics.

It doesn't make sense that the only two copies of the score are the one you no longer have and the one at the US copyright office. You never gave or sold it to anyone else?

In reply to by underquark

Just letting you guys know:
In a computer age like today, correspondence from the Copyright Office indicated that I would be required
to pay an initial non-refundable payment of $200.00 plus additional fee (it did not say if needed)
to have a "search" done for MY song..MY creativity..MY hard work.
I do not know what colour mail to call that.

In reply to by cedy

I don't have a problem with that. It encourages people to not lose all the copies of items they sent to their office. If you were making profit after getting the copy by using what you get from them, I would expect it to be far more than $200.

In reply to by cedy

Not sure why you were submitting songs to the US copyright office in the first place, but for future reference, know that was not necessary. Your work is protected by law in virtually every country, including the US, the moment you write it down. So maybe the money you save from not sending future works to the US copyright office will help pay for this mistake, costly as it may be.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You are living in small country, where at one time your best level of protection for your creative works was
" post a copy to yourself." Date stamps fade over time. So I never did that. I asked for advice.
I was told about the Copyright Office and I started to send my work there.
The cost per registration was about $30.00 per song, if I remember well. A collection of songs could have
been registered for the same fee as one song..... not bad at all.

I have relocated twice in my lifetime. There is no way one can relocate without losing things or perhaps discarding things inadvertently during the process. Those who have never moved would not know what I am talking about.
At one point I could not have afforded a computer. Now my work is in the computer, in hard copy form, as well as on flash drive.

Life goes on.

In reply to by cedy

I understand, mistakes happen. I'm just trying to save you money in the future by letting you know registration is not required at all. Also, I'm curious - how long ago was it you were advised to do this? Registering copyright hasn't been necessary in the US since 1989, but was indeed needed before that.

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