Musical Compositions & Sound Recordings

There are two separate musical works that are subject to copyright protection:


1. Musical Compositions

The musical composition includes the music and lyrics, if any. Copyright in a musical composition is
not the same as, or a substitute for, copyright in the sound recording of that composition.


2. Sound Recordings

Copyright of the sound recording protects the particular sounds that have been recorded including
the arrangement and production.

When you record a new version of a song you’ve written, you would have a new copyright of the sound recording, but not in the original composition (because it’s the same song).

For copyright purposes, the “author” of a sound recording is the performer(s) whose performance is recorded, or the record producer who processes the sounds, or both.

Copyright of a sound recording may also include a copyright claim for the musical composition and lyrics.


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