Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Should I List My BMI Name or LLC Name on Copyright Application?

Dear Rich: Basically I was wondering whether I should use the BMI approved name of our publishing company, or the actual legal name of our LLC when filing the copyright for all my sheet music. BMI initially said that I should use the BMI name EVERYWHERE to avoid confusion. But recently I was told that I should use the legal name of the LLC on copyright filings, and not the DBA. 
When completing the application, you should list the songwriters as "Authors" of the song and the copyright owners as the "Claimants." If the publishing company (your BMI name) is a DBA for the LLC, then you can list the LLC (or if you want, "[LLC name] dba [Publishing Company name]"). If the Claimant is different than the Author, you must indicate how the Claimant acquired ownership. In your case if the song was transferred by a copyright assignment or by a contract, you would choose “By written agreement." By the way, we explain how to register song copyrights in our Lynda.com course.