Sound recordings

A sound recording is defined simply as a form of recording of sounds from which sounds may be reproduced. The definition covers all possible forms and formats for example: audio cassettes; compacts discs; vinyl records etc.

The author of a sound recording is defined as the 'person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of the sound recording are made'. This person is known as the Producer.

How long copyright lasts for

Copyright in sound recordings last either 50 years after the year in which the sound recording was made or, if it was released to the public, 50 years from the end of the year in which the sound recording was released

It is crucial that the copyright of a sound recording is not mistaken for the copyright of the actual material of which the recording is of. For example the recording of a song will have various rights including the lyrics, the music, the arrangement and the recording. The lyrics and the music would actually be owned by the person who wrote the lyrics and the person who wrote the music respectively and as literary works would normally last 70 years after the author dies. However the copyright of the sound recording would only last 50 years. Furthermore authors of the recording do not own moral rights for the recording.

Fair Dealing

Fair Dealing for private study or research does not extend to sound recordings. The only ways in which sound recordings can be copied is for the purposes of criticism or review. In these cases the source of the recording must be acknowledged.

Educational Copying

Copying for educational purposes is only permitted in the two specific cases, the purpose of examinations and copying by the tutor for the purposes of instruction in the making of films or film soundtracks.