Hat tip to Dallas based entertainment lawyer Tamera Bennett for her blog post explaining the need for official copyright registration. (at least to one web-hosting company).
Independent label Quote Unquote Records' website was recently taken down by its web hosting provider, after the label couldn't produce copyright registration certificates for songs posted on its website in mp3 format.
Never mind the fact that the songs were the record label's OWN material.
Never mind the LAW that copyright registration is NOT required, so the label had no obligation to register.Never mind that the label licenses its material through the Creative Commons licensing mechanism.
Never mind that the songs could have been public-domain.
This hosting provider, upon seeing mp3 files on the site, demanded proof that the label had the legal right to post them, and when the label couldn't do so… summarily shut-down the website. (Note… they had NOT received any form of take-down notice.. they did this on their own initiative).
Ms. Bennett's view (and one I share) is that copyright registration would have provided the documentation needed to keep the site up and running, and so amounts to cheap insurance against this kind of do-it-yourself enforcement by ignorant hosting providers.
So.. should the label consider hiring a lawyer to sue the host? Claims for breach of contract? Conversion? Intentional Interference with Contract?