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808.10 (F) (3) Separately Owned Sounds Contained in a Motion Picture Soundtrack

808.10 (F) (3) Separately Owned Sounds Contained in a Motion Picture Soundtrack


In some cases, a recording of a song may be incorporated into the soundtrack of a motion picture. Often times the recording of the song is a previously published work and the copyright in the motion picture and the copyright in the recording are separately owned. If so, the motion picture and the sound recording should be registered with separate applications. When completing the application for the motion picture, the applicant should exclude the previously published sound recording from the claim by

stating “sound recording” in the Material Excluded field or the Preexisting Work space,

even though the recording is an integral party of the motion picture soundtrack.


By contrast, if the recording of the song was first published in the motion picture, the recording is considered an integral part of the motion picture. As such, the applicant should submit one application covering both the motion picture and the recording of the song, rather than a separate application for the motion picture and the sound recording.

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