U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress
U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Circular 56a Copyright Registration of Musical Compositions and Sound Recordings This circular explains the difference, for copyright purposes, between MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS and SOUND RECORDINGS.A Musical Composition consists of music, including any accompanying words, and is normally registered in Class PA. The author of a musical composition is generally the composer, and the lyricist, if any. A musical composition may be in the form of a notated copy (for example, sheet music) or in the form of a phonorecord (for example, cassette tape, LP, or CD). Sending a musical composition in the form of a phonorecord does not necessarily mean that there is a claim to copyright in the sound recording.A Sound Recording results from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds and is always registered in Class SR. The author of a sound recording is the performer(s) whose performance is fixed, or the record producer who processes the sounds and fixes them in the final recording, or both.Copyright in a sound recording is not the same as, or a substitute for, copyright in the underlying musical composition.REGISTRATION OF A MUSICAL COMPOSITION AND A SOUND RECORDING WITH A SINGLE APPLICATIONAlthough they are separate works, a musical composition and a sound recording may be registered together on a single application if ownership of the copyrights in both is exactly the same. To register a single claim in both works, complete Form SR. Give information about the author(s) of both the musical composition and the sound recording. NOTE: Phonorecords (tapes, cassette tapes, cartridges, disks) are not sound recordings.Phonorecords are physical objects in which various kinds of works can be fixedthe works themselves may be musical compositions, literary works, dramatic works, or sound recordings.
What is being Registered: Form
How to describe
"Nature of Authorship"
in space 2:
What should be deposited
1. Song or
PA Music and
2 complete copies
(if published in a
(if published only
on a disk or
1 complete copy
(lead sheet, etc.) or phonorecord
(disk or cassette.)
SR Music and
Note: To make a single registration, copyright ownership in the musical composition and in the sound recording must be the same* For foreign publications, 1 copy or phonorecord of either the first published edition or the best edition. REGISTRATION PROCEDURESTo register your work, send the following material in the same envelope or package toRegister of Copyrights Copyright Office Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 20559-6000:1. A properly completed application form; 2. A nonreturnable, clearly labeled deposit(s) of the work to be registered; and 3. A nonrefundable filing fee of $20 for each application.EFFECTIVE DATE OF REGISTRATIONPlease note that a copyright registration is effective on the date of receipt in the Copyright Office of all the required elements in acceptable form, regardless of the length of time it takes thereafter to process the application and mail the certificate of registration. The length of time required by the Copyright Office to process an application varies depending on the number of claims received and the personnel available.If you are filing an application for copyright registration in the Copyright Office, you will not receive an acknowledgement that your application has been received (the Office receives more than 600,000 applications annually), but you can expect:* A letter or telephone call from a copyright examiner if further information is needed; * A certificate of registration to indicate the work has been registered, or if the application cannot be accepted, a letter explaining why registration has been refused. You may not receive either of these until 120 days have passed.If you want to know when the Copyright Office receives your material, you should mail it registered or certified and request a return receipt.FOR MORE INFORMATIONFor more information, write or call the Copyright Office and request: Circular 50, Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions, which includes information on Form PA and/or Circular 56, Copyright for Sound Recordings, which includes information on Form SR. Additional questions about copyright problems involving musical compositions or sound recordings may be addressed to: Copyright Office LM-455 Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. To speak with a Copyright Information Specialist, call (202) 707-3000 between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. TTY: (202) 707-6737. Messages may be left on the TTY line 24 hours a day. Calls are returned between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.FORMS AND CIRCULARS HOTLINENOTE: You may order application forms and circulars 24 hours a day by calling the Copyright Office Forms Hotline at (202) 707-9100. TTY: (202) 707-6737. Messages may be left on the Hotline and the TTY line 24 hours a day. TTY calls are returned between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Orders will be filled as quickly as possible.Revised March 1994
Copyright Office * Library of Congress * Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND NOT COPYRIGHTED BY THIS
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