Protection against plagiarism and theft?

You or your music publisher is responsible for safeguarding against plagiarism, misrepresentation, theft or use of your music in contexts that could be considered offensive.

Registering your music with STIM does not, unfortunately, provide protection against plagiarism or theft. Our main task is to ensure our members receive royalties when their music is played.

When is the music protected?

According to Swedish copyright legislation, a musical work is automatically copyright protected from the time of its creation, whether it is in notes on manuscript paper, recorded or registered with STIM. Registration with STIM only means that you can receive royalties when it is played or recorded.

How can I prove I wrote a musical work?

One way of proving that you were in possession of the material on a certain date is to send a demo, or notes and lyrics to yourself by registered mail, keep the proof of receipt, and to leave the package unopened. This may not prove without a doubt that you wrote the music or lyrics, but the postmark date may prove significant in the event of a dispute. This should, obviously, be done before you start distributing the material.

There are also a number of online services that offer a digital data tag which can help you prove you have been in pososseion of a data file at a specific date of time. Two examples of these services are Idefendo and Timebeat.

Idefendo is a user-friendly service for file transfer, and logs all technical details. Just drag and drop your files to the browser and enter one or more recipients. A digital timeline is created which you can use to prove that you sent your file, when you sent it and that the recipient has downloaded the file. If you are affilited to STIM, access to Idefendo's premium service is free of charge, contact us for more information.

The STIM assessment committee

There can sometimes be disagreements between composers if a musical work is considered very similar to another. STIM cannot settle such disputes – the parties concerned must resolve them. Our assessment committee can, however, give an opinion, if you wish.

The committee's opinion is not a ruling decision, but simply an expert opinion for the purpose of guidance. With the support of the committee's opinion STIM may, however, withhold royalties for a work until it is clear who is entitled to receive them.

STIM's assessment committee comprises representatives of The Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers (SKAP), The Society of Swedish Composers (FST) and The Swedish Music Publishers Association (SMFF).
 
For further information about the work of the assessment committee, please contact STIM's music adviser Jonas Nordin.