Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video What is a sound recording copyright?, part of Music Law: Copyrighting a Song.
- Once you record your song,…you automatically get a song copyright.…But the act of recording also gets you a second copyright,…a sound recording copyright.…The song copyright protects the composition.…The sound recording copyright protects…the recording of the performance of the song.…So for example there's one song copyright…for "White Christmas,"…but there are hundreds of sound recording copyrights…for the many recorded versions of "White Christmas."…By the way, prior to 1972 Federal Copyright Registration…was not available for sound recordings.…
Sound recording copyrights were intended…to protect against bootlegging,…the unauthorized copying and sale of a recording,…and against illegal sampling,…the unauthorized use of a portion of a recording.…Sampling often infringes both a song copyright…and a sound recording copyright.…For example, when Puff Daddy sampled…"Every Breath You Take" to create "I'll Be Missing You,"…he had to license two copyrights because he lifted…samples of recorded music, the sound recording,…
Rich starts by defining what a song copyright and a sound recording copyright are—and how they're different. He defines who owns a song, and how to sort out contributions from multiple writers of the same song. Then he explains how to get a copyright registration using the U.S. Copyright Office's online application process. The course wraps up by discussing possible objections that copyright examiners may have, as well as what to do to maintain your copyright and correct any errors that crop up.
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- What is a song copyright?
- Who owns a song?
- Evaluating cowriters and their contributions
- Registering a song copyright
- Maintaining a copyright registration