Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
I hope this message finds you well. Relative to copyright infringement, the rule of thumb is do not sing another person's song for profit (either recording or public performance) without first having a license in place to cover the music. Relative to public performance, typically the establishment should have a master license for cover music from an outfit like BMG.
As to your original works, they are your original works and simply by your writing and/or performing them, they are copyrighted at common law. Moreover, you can federally copyright your own works by filing them on-line at the US Copyright Office for a nominal fee.
If you are concerned your original work may mimic the sound or arrangement of an existing work, there is no golden rule. Listen to the counsel of others. If someone say, hey that sounds like....., then do some investigating. If it does, arrange your song differently if possible.
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Best wishes going forward!
As long as there is no intent and it is not rhythmically nearly identical, you are fine. The reason is that chords are going to be similar. Moreover, your original works often are derived from your influences. As long as it is not nearly identical and there is no intent, then you are good to go.
Please rate my answer positively and let me know if you have other questions. This area of the law is confusing for sure.
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