Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings

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Most Common Intellectual Property Law Issues:

What Rights Do You Have in a Sound Recording?

The Copyright Act of 1976, 17 USCA § 114(b), has expressly stated what rights a person has to a copyrighted sound recording. Sound recordings can include music, audio effects, or verbal narrations. Rights to copyrighted sound recordings include:

What Rights Do You Not Have in a Sound Recording?

The Copyright Act of 1976 also states what right a person does not have regarding a sound recording. Activities that do not infringe on a copyrighted sound recording include:

What Do You Have to Prove for Copyright Infringement of a Sound Recording?

Copyright infringement occurs if someone encroaches on your rights as the holder of a copyright or exclusive license to a right in a copyright. In order to successfully sue another person for copyright infringement against your copyrighted sound recording, you must prove:

  1. You are the owner of a valid copyright or exclusive license to a right in a copyright for a sound recording. This can be achieved by a certificate of registration, or if you are not the author of the sound recording, though a chain of title that shows how you acquired a copyright or exclusive license to a right in a copyright.
  2. Someone else used the copyrighted sound recording without your authorization.

What Remedies Are Available?

If a lawsuit for the violation of a copyright for a sound recording is successful, then the remedy can include:

Do I Need an Attorney to Protect My Copyright Interests in a Sound Recording?

If your copyrighted sound recording has been used without your authorization, or you are being sued for copyright infringement for a sound recording, it is highly recommended that you contact an intellectual property rights attorney. They will be able to explain the issues and help defend your rights.

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Last Modified: 01-06-2015 12:26 PM PST

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