How to perform a Song Copyright Search?

The following below are the simple steps to find the song copyright owners or publishers. As a background, you need to perform a copyright search to get the following information:

a.) Copyright owner/songwriter of the song.
b.) Music publisher of the song

The reason why most music consumers are performing a copyright search is that they would like to ask for permission to use a certain song in their projects. Asking permission also means that you are asking license from the music publisher.

One important information that you need to know is that if the song is not represented by a major music publisher or any music publisher, the songwriter automatically acts in behalf as the music publisher and can issue licenses or grant you permissions.

Otherwise if the songwriter is signed to a music publisher, then you need to get permission from the music publisher representing the songwriter.

Searching this information can be daunting at times. And the steps illustrated in this tutorial are one of the simplest methods you can employ without hiring or spending anything in your copyright search.

The major steps in the Copyright Search

Step 1: You must know at least the song title and the performing artist. All songs you need to search should have this information. These are used as stepping stones on the way on knowing the song publisher/ copyright owner.

Step 2: Now you know the song title and performing artist. You need to do a Google search using this syntax:

“song title” + “performing artist” + “songwriter”

For example if I would like to know the song copyright owner (the songwriter/publisher) for the song “All by myself” by Celine Dion. Below is the information I would like to enter in Google search box.

Doing Google Search in Copyright Search

Doing Google Search in Copyright Search

Step 3: Now that Google provided the search results, it is time to use some common sense. See the screenshot below:

Search result

Search result

The 1st result is the Wikipedia Celine Dion page; of course it will not contain information about the song particularly the songwriter. The second result is more important and is the one you need, because looking at the description provided by Google, it provides facts about the song specifically containing songwriter information (Eric Carmen).

For more details and confirmation, open up this relevant result and check if it’s “Eric Carmen” as the assigned songwriter for this song.

Step 4: Now that you know Eric Carmen is the one that wrote the song, you can do another rounds of Google search, now focusing on the song details. For example:

“Eric Carmen” + “All by Myself”.