Monday, November 16, 2015
Grouping Songs and Sound Recordings on One Application
As you know, there are two copyrights at work in music: a song copyright and a sound recording copyright. The song copyright protects the composition. The sound recording copyright protects the recording of the performance of the song. If you're interested in registering both copyrights using one application you can do so if the copyright claimants (that is, the owners) are the same. That would not be the case if the songs were owned by a publishing company and the sound recordings were owned by another entity (see this previous post).
What about DBAs? In some cases, a songwriter's publishing company is a DBA -- that is, the songwriter is simply doing business under another name. In that case the songwriter is the owner for purposes of claiming copyright. If the songwriter also owned the sound recording copyright, both could be registered on one application.
What to do? If songs and recordings are owned by separate entities, the easiest thing to do is to register the songs and sound recordings on separate applications. If your budget is tight, register the songs first, then the sound recordings.
Does it matter if the sound recordings are published or unpublished? Yes, publication matters. The rules differ when registering groups of published and unpublished works.
By the way dept. If you’re registering a sound recording copyright and song copyright in the same electronic application, you would choose "Sound Recording" from the dropdown "Type of Work" menu. As we mentioned in a previous post, we discuss copyright applications in our online course at Lynda.com.
P.S. Dept. Our newest online music law course just dropped!!!