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

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Chapter 300
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803.5 (B) Creative Expression

803.5 (B) Creative Expression

To be registrable, a sound recording must contain a sufficient amount of creative, perceptible sound recording authorship fixed as a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds.

Elements that determine the sufficiency and creativity of a sound recording include the simultaneous or sequential number of sounds, the length of the recording, and the creativity perceptibly expressed in creating, fixing, and manipulating the sounds.

Short sound recordings may lack a sufficient amount of authorship to be copyrightable (just as words and short textual phrases are not copyrightable). See 37 C.F.R. § 202.1 (A); see also Chapter 300, Section 313.4 (C).

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