Music Copyright Symbols

Take a look at any CD and you’ll notice several different types of copyright information on the CD itself and also on the CD cover’s back jacket cover.

 

The copyright notice might look something like this:

© ℗ 2014 COPYRIGHT OWNERS NAME. All rights reserved.

 

For music, because there are two separate works that are subject to copyright protection, two different copyright symbols are used:

 

1. The © Copyright Symbol

The © symbol indicates a copyright claim in the musical composition including the lyrics and music.

This puts the world on notice of a claim of ownership and prevents anyone from copying the work and claiming they are an “innocent infringer”; that they didn’t know the work was protected. (The date should be the date of publication or creation.)

For example:

© 2014 COPYRIGHT OWNER’S NAME. All Rights Reserved.

 

2. The Sound Recording Copyright ℗ Symbol

The ℗ is the copyright symbol used to provide notice of copyright in the sound recording itself, including the arrangement and production. (The “P” is for “phonorecord”).

This is the copyright in the recording itself as opposed to the underlying music or lyrical composition. This symbol indicates a copyright claim in the sound recording – i.e. the recorded version of that particular song.

For example:

℗ 2014 COPYRIGHT OWNER’S NAME. All Rights Reserved.

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