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How to: Copyright Symbol

Mark Beard - Friday, December 03, 2010

How to use the Copyright Symbol in music

The symbols © and (P)

The © symbol that you may find on most CDs is not required by the Australian Copyright Act for copyright protection to be applied. It simply serves as a warning to others that the work is copyright-protected.

The symbol ( P) is required by the Rome Convention to indicate the owner of the copyright in the sound recording. (the ‘p’ stands for ‘phonograph’, an old word for a sound recording). So what is the most acceptable way in which to use these symbols?

ARIA, the Australian Record Industry Association, suggests the following standards; however, on close inspection of CD covers you will see that a variety of applications are used. The use of these symbols on many records is purely the result of guesswork.
 
As a guide, ARIA suggests that the owners of the copyright in the music and lyrics be identified with the symbol © .

© = THE OWNER OF THE MUSIC AND LYRICS
 
This will usually be the songwriter(s) who wrote the music and lyrics or the current owner of the copyright (such as a music publisher) if the original owner(s) have assigned or licensed the works to the new owner or controller of the copyright.
 
ARIA suggests the (P) appears with the name of the owner of the sound recording followed by the year that the sound recording was first published.

(P) = THE OWNER OF THE SOUND RECORDING [YEAR OF FIRST PUBLICATION/RELEASE]

The owner of the copyright in the sound recording will generally be the person who paid for the sound recording.


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