Citation Edit

U.S. Copyright Office, Federal Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings (Dec. 2011) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This Report considers the desirability of and means for bringing sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, under federal jurisdiction, with consideration given to the effect of federal coverage on the preservation of such sound recordings, the effect on public access to those recordings, and the economic impact of federal coverage on rights holders. It also examines the means for accomplishing such coverage. Under current law, sound recordings fixed on or after February 15, 1972 are protected under federal copyright law, but recordings fixed before that date are protected by a patchwork of state statutory and common law.

The Report recommends that federal copyright protection should apply to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972. It proposes special provisions to address issues such as copyright ownership, term of protection, termination of transfers and copyright registration.

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