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Windows 7: Why can't I add a copyright tag for my own music files?

09 Feb 2018   #1
LowStrung

Windows 7 Starter 32bit
 
 
Why can't I add a copyright tag for my own music files?

I'm running Windows 7 Starter edition. In the properties dialogs for MP3 files, some of the fields can be changed or filled in, but never the copyright field, even though the MP3 files were created by me, and contain my own original music compositions. Does anyone know why?

I'd like my MP3s to show copyright info, especially because I upload some of them to my personal website. I have tried a couple of tag manager programs (can't remember their names offhand), but still could not make any copyright entries.


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09 Feb 2018   #2
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Winamp

I use Winamp to play music.

I just tried adding some info to the Copyright field in the ID3v2 tab of the "File Info" window.
It appears in the file Properties window in Windows Explorer.
Why can't I add a copyright tag for my own music files?-winamp-copyright-01.png

(Click to see larger image)
Why can't I add a copyright tag for my own music files?-winamp-copyright-02.png


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10 Feb 2018   #3
LowStrung

Windows 7 Starter 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
I use Winamp to play music.

I just tried adding some info to the Copyright field in the ID3v2 tab of the "File Info" window.
It appears in the file Properties window in Windows Explorer.
Thanks, lehnerus2000. I use SMPlayer (front end for MPlayer), which doesn't have that feature, but I still don't understand why the field can't be edited in Windows Explorer's properties dialog, while the other fields can. It would be understandable if the file had been created by someone else who held the copyright and had already entered the info in the field. At any rate, I'd rather not change my media player or add a second one.

On the other hand, the properties dialog lets me edit the copyright info of JPEGs, even those by third parties.
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10 Feb 2018   #4
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

I think that the reason for the inability to add/edit the copyright field has to do with the power of the Music industry and their stance on digital music.

A lot of sound cards used to come with a "What you hear" or Stereo Mix" option which allowed the user to easily digitally copy MP3 and other Music formats.

Following a campaign by the music industry, (and to a certain extent the Film/Video industry), a lot of, mostly first world manufacturers, removed the option from their hardware. The lack of Add/Edit for the copyright of Music (and I think Video files), is Microsoft's contribution to the File "protection" situation.

This does not apply to Image files probably due to the fact that Photographers, and Artists, act as individuals rather than through a well organised Industry body, so have less say on the matter. Digital images do have the ability to be Digitally Marked with copyright, via the Digimarc process available as a Plug-in for Photoshop and other editors, this is not suitable for Music or Video as the mark actually adds data that would "show" in the formats used.

I use MediaMonkey to handle my Audio & Video libraries and this like Winamp also allows editing of the copyright field
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10 Feb 2018   #5
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Do you actually have them "copyrighted"? I have a recording studio and have done a lot of song demos for a "retired" Nashville Songwriter. His are protected as he is a BMI registered songwriter and he says BMI takes care of it. When I burn a CD of the songs I add "ISRC" codes to further protect him.
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10 Feb 2018   #6
LowStrung

Windows 7 Starter 32bit
 
 

@Barman58: Yes, I can see MS doing that in sympathy with the music industry. In my case, I'm not actually in that industry or even a professional musician, though I've taught guitar for a living in the past. Now that I'm retired, my composing is done as a hobby; I don't earn a dime for it. Nevertheless, I try to discourage people from reposting my work as their own. The scores are also on my site as PDFs, but there's a copyright notice in the footer on each page.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by firebird
Do you actually have them "copyrighted"? I have a recording studio and have done a lot of song demos for a "retired" Nashville Songwriter. His are protected as he is a BMI registered songwriter and he says BMI takes care of it. When I burn a CD of the songs I add "ISRC" codes to further protect him.
As I mentioned above, I'm not a professional musician, which is why I haven't registered with an organization like BMI. My compositions are not for sale; I've written them for my own amusement, though I do like to share them with others via the web. Some of the scores have already wound up on other sites without my permission (along with inappropriate advertising), though at least the titles and copyright info in the footers provide some attribution. Naturally I understand the risks involved; my copyright notices are merely intended as a deterrent. As they say, door locks keep only the honest people out.
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10 Feb 2018   #7
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

If you do want to add extra tags to MP3 files Mediamonkey has a free version that allows all types of data to be embedded in the file, including Images which might make it more difficult to use your work

Why can't I add a copyright tag for my own music files?-mmtags.png


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10 Feb 2018   #8
LowStrung

Windows 7 Starter 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
If you do want to add extra tags to MP3 files Mediamonkey has a free version that allows all types of data to be embedded in the file, including Images which might make it more difficult to use your work
Thanks. I just tried MediaMonkey, installing it with the "portable" option. I was able to enter copyright info, however, the program is pretty complicated and way more than I need (built-in player, library management tools, etc.), sort of like using a pile driver to hammer in a finishing nail. Also, despite the "portable" installation, it loaded the registry down with all kinds of extra keys, so many, in fact that I had to do a system restore to get rid of them all, since MediaMonkey naturally didn't show up in Programs & Features (I had removed it manually).

Then I found a couple of other utilities for editing MP3 tags. Both were still a convoluted way to do a simple task. One of them used a tiny, barely readable UI font that could not be changed.

In the meantime, after having successfully added copyright info to one of my MP3s, I suddenly realized that one really has to look for it in the properties; it doesn't grab one's attention at all. So I finally hit on a simple alternative: Since the title field is accessible in properties, I appended a short copyright notice to the title, which shows up in the player's titlebar. Good enough! "Live and learn," as my mother was fond of saying. :)

Anyway, thanks for all the helpful responses, folks!
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10 Feb 2018   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

This website gives some very good information in a simple fashion.

How to Copyright Material (US): 13 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow)

Each country has it's own laws and regulation.

Jack
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11 Feb 2018   #10
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

The thing with copyright, (and I can only talk about here in the UK, but it should be universal), is that copyright is something that is assumed for the creator of the media, and you should not have to claim it. If I create a photographic image I automatically have the Intellectual Property rights to that work, and this is enshrined in law.

The issues arrive when you need to record this so that usage fees and like charges can be recovered, and the lawyers then get involved. The internet has always been considered outside the normal scope of law, as it was in its early days when people would use it to share work freely with others and for free. Now the net has become commercialized, but some of the people who want to earn money from the net are willing to treat the net as it used to be - free for all - but expect others to pay them for "providing" media.

Sorting this out can be difficult and once lawyers get involved, expensive

With the image side of things which is what I am most involved in you can use electronic watermarks (which is not a free service), use tags which may be removed or you can use an image watermark, (and not one at the edge that can be cropped out), or only upload a low resolution Sampler, both of which which ruins the image, for those that want an image for personal use.

All my images that are published online, I retain full rights to but allow their use for non commercial purposes, (including fundraising for Non Profit organisations), I just ask for an attribution).

I always shoot my Images in Raw format, and fully annotate them in the internal metadata - these images are kept as "Digital negatives" and are never directly published, the Geo location and time of creation is also added to the metadata by the camera and my Google timeline will also place me at that location at that time.

I'm not sure what digital tagging is possible for Music files, but maybe a copyright Image inserted into a tag in the MP3 file could dissuade many, as the player would display the image on playback, Also recording the original in a non compressed format and using this to generate the MP3 for upload could be another option, providing a dated master recording . I can remember radio stations , when playing a new released single, would insert a few Station Ident Jingles to spoil any recordings from the radio to tape. with the digital age it's simple to record bit by bit for lossless copying and then edit the file to remove unwanted content so this is not a viable option
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 Why can't I add a copyright tag for my own music files?




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