Sound recording copyright symbol
In UnicodeU+2117 SOUND RECORDING COPYRIGHT (℗)
Different from
Different fromU+24C5 CIRCLED LATIN CAPITAL LETTER P
U+24DF CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER P
Related
See alsoU+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.).[1] 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 in stands for phonogram,[2][3] the legal term used in most English-speaking countries to refer to works known in U.S. copyright law as "sound recordings".[4]

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).[5]

International treaties

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:[6]

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:[7]

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...

United States law

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.[8] On October 15, 1971, Congress enacted the Sound Recording Act of 1971,[9][10] also known as the Sound Recording Amendment of 1971,[11] 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:[12]

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 § 402(b) of the current Copyright Act of 1976. That section provides for the a non-mandatory copyright notice on sound recordings:[13]

If a notice appears on the phonorecords, it shall consist of the following three elements:
(1) the symbol ℗ (the letter P in a circle); and
(2) the year of first publication of the sound recording; and
(3) the name of the owner of copyright in the sound recording, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner; if the producer of the sound recording is named on the phonorecord labels or containers, and if no other name appears in conjunction with the notice, the producer’s name shall be considered a part of the notice.

Encoding

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".[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Circular 3: Copyright Notice" (PDF). United States Copyright Office. September 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  2. ^ Fishman, Stephen (2012). Public Domain: How to Find & Use Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art & More. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press. p. 358. ISBN 9781413317213.
  3. ^ Lee, Robert E. (1995). A Copyright Guide for Authors. Stamford, CT: Kent Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780962710674.
  4. ^ Statement of Marybeth Peters, United States Register of Copyrights, before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary (July 31, 2007).
  5. ^ "Circular 56A: Copyright Registration of Musical Compositions and Sound Recordings" (PDF). United States Copyright Office. July 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  6. ^ International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, Oct. 26, 1961, art. 11, 496 U.N.T.S 43.
  7. ^ Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms, Oct. 29, 1971, art. 5, 25 U.S.T. 309, 496 U.N.T.S 43.
  8. ^ Statement of William N. Letson, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce, June 10, 1971, reproduced in H.R. Rep. No. 92-487, Sept. 22, 1971.
  9. ^ Leaffer, Marshall A. (2005). Understanding Copyright Law (4th ed.). Newark, NJ: LexisNexis. p. 140. ISBN 0820562335.
  10. ^ Pub.L. 92–140, 85 Stat. 391, enacted October 15, 1971
  11. ^ H.R. Rep. No. 92-487, Sept. 22, 1971.
  12. ^ Pub.L. 92–140: Sound Recording Act of 1971
  13. ^ 17 U.S.C. § 402(b)
  14. ^ Unicode, Inc. (2012). "Letterlike Symbols; Range: 2100-214F" (PDF). In Allen, Julie D.; et al. (eds.). The Unicode Standard, Version 6.1. ISBN 9781936213023. Retrieved July 20, 2012.