Sound recording copyright symbol
|In Unicode||U+2117 ℗ SOUND RECORDING COPYRIGHT (℗)|
|Different from||U+24C5 Ⓟ CIRCLED LATIN CAPITAL LETTER P|
U+24DF ⓟ CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER P
|See also||U+00A9 © COPYRIGHT SIGN|
U+00AE ® REGISTERED SIGN
The sound recording copyright symbol or phonogram symbol, represented by the graphic symbol, is the copyright symbol used to provide notice of copyright in a sound recording (phonogram) embodied in a phonorecord (LPs, audiotapes, cassette tapes, compact discs, etc.). It was first introduced in the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations. The United States added it to its copyright law as part of its adherence to the Geneva Phonograms Convention. Its use is currently set out in 17 U.S.C. § 402, the codification of the Copyright Act of 1976.
The letter P instands for phonogram, the legal term used in most English-speaking countries to refer to works known in U.S. copyright law as "sound recordings".
A sound recording has a separate copyright that is distinct from that of the underlying work (usually a musical work, expressible in musical notation and written lyrics), if any. The sound recording copyright notice extends to a copyright for just the sound itself and will not apply to any other rendition or version, even if performed by the same artist(s).
The symbol first appeared in the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations, a multilateral treaty relating to copyright, in 1961. Article 11 of the Rome Convention provided:
If, as a condition of protecting the rights of producers of phonograms, or of performers, or both, in relation to phonograms, a Contracting State, under its domestic law, requires compliance with formalities, these shall be considered as fulfilled if all the copies in commerce of the published phonogram or their containers bear a notice consisting of the symbol ℗, accompanied by the year date of the first publication, placed in such a manner as to give reasonable notice of claim of protection...
When the Geneva Phonograms Convention, another multilateral copyright treaty, was signed in 1971, it included a similar provision in its Article 5:
If, as a condition of protecting the producers of phonograms, a Contracting State, under its domestic law, requires compliance with formalities, these shall be considered as fulfilled if all the authorized duplicates of the phonogram distributed to the public or their containers bear a notice consisting of the symbol ℗, accompanied by the year date of the first publication, placed in such manner as to give reasonable notice of claim of protection...
The symbol was introduced into United States copyright law in 1971, when the US extended limited copyright protection to sound recordings. The United States anticipated signing onto the Geneva Phonograms Convention, which it had helped draft. On October 15, 1971, Congress enacted the Sound Recording Act of 1971, also known as the Sound Recording Amendment of 1971, which amended the 1909 Copyright Act by adding protection for sound recordings and prescribed a copyright notice for sound recordings. The Sound Recording Act added a copyright notice provision specific to sound recordings, which incorporated the symbol prescribed in the Geneva Convention, to the end of section 19 of the 1909 Copyright Act:
In the case of reproductions of works specified in subsection (n) of section 5 of this title ["Sound recordings"] , the notice shall consist of the symbol ℗, (the letter P in a circle), the year of first publication of the sound recording, and the name of the owner of copy right in the sound recording, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner...
The designation of the symbol continues in §of the current Copyright Act of 1976. That section provides for the a non-mandatory copyright notice on sound recordings:
The symbol has a code point in Unicode at U+2117 ℗ SOUND RECORDING COPYRIGHT, with the supplementary Unicode character property names, "published" and "phonorecord sign".