© questions? … © answers!


Precision of Language

Our language must be very clear when talking about “playing music”. We must
distinguish between the use of a composition & the use of a sound recording.
Songwriters & publishers earn money from compositions. Their copyright claim is filed on Form PA, and a standard c in a circle © copyright symbol is used. This is called the PUBLISHING side of the music business.
Record labels & recording artists earn money from sound recordings. Their claim is filed in Washington on Form SR and is indicated by a P in a circle symbol (P). This is the LABEL side of the industry.
The next time you look at a CD, you’ll find a list of songs, their titles, composers & publishing companies. Then on the back cover, you’ll see the (P) symbol next to the name of a record label.
Sony Records may own the copyright to the sound recording, but the publishers own the compositions. - - MJD