Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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2122.5 (B) Derivative Sound Recordings


2122.5 (B) Derivative Sound Recordings


Renewal registration for a derivative sound recording that was first published before 1978 must be based on the changes or additional recorded sounds contained in the new version. If the renewal claim is based on an original registration record for the derivative sound recording, it cannot extend beyond the scope of the original registration record. If the derivative sound recording was not registered for the original term, the renewal claim cannot extend to any portion of the original sound recording that was fixed before February 15, 1972 or previously published or registered.


To be registrable for the renewal term, a derivative sound recording must contain additional recorded material, or be different enough in substance from the original sound recording to be a “new work.” Changes that are purely mechanical, such as “rechanneling” or “declicking,” do not result in a “new work.” Generally, for a renewal claim to be based solely on the manipulation of sounds, the original sound recording should have been fixed in multiple tracks. In such cases, the U.S. Copyright Office will require a written statement describing how the sounds were manipulated and will refuse renewal registration unless it deems this authorship to be sufficient.


26 Congress subsequently removed the January 1, 1975 deadline from the statute. See Pub. L. No. 93- 573, § 101, 88 Stat. 1873, 1873 (1974).



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