Everything You Need to Know About Registering Sound Recordings for Copyrights

Everything You Need to Know about Registering Sound Recordings for Copyrights

The process of obtaining legal protection for a particular sound recording of a musical work or another sound content is known as copyright registration in sound recording. Copyright protection gives special rights to the sound owner, including the right to distribute, reproduce, and the performance of work.

For registering a recorded sound for copyright protection, the creator or owner of the art must file an application with the suitable copyright office – Govt. of India.

The application generally includes information about the work, such as the performer or author, etc. The submission of a copy of own recording or in some cases recording presentation, such as a sheet music or a score.

Once the application is approved and reviewed by the officer of copyright office, the creator or owner will get the registration certificate, which provides legal proof of the ownership of their work and their sole rights to it.

Registration of copyright is an important step for owner or creator of recorded sound, as it serves as legal protection against violation, and can also provide the monetization and licensing of the work.

Copyright in a sound recording

Exclusive right to procedure, publicly perform, distribute, and public display of recorded vocal or music or the other sounds fixed in a physical medium are the rights provided by copyright in a sound recording. This can be considered as the copyright owner has the privilege to use and control the distribution of the recorded sound and to receive the monetary compensation if any other unauthorized person make use of the recording.

In inclusion of the complete rights given above, the copyright owner of the recorded sound may also have the additional right to create imitative works based on the recorded sound, such as cover versions or remixes, and the additional right to licensing the recorded sound for use in other media, such as advertisement or films.

It is necessary to copy that copyright in a recorded sound is different from the copyright in the underlying lyrics or musical composition. While the copyright possessor of a sound recording these rights differently.

The process of copyright registration in sound recording

The process of registration of copyright for sound recordings can be different considering the different countries where the registration is being looked for. In India, registration of copyright for sound recordings is managed by the Copyright Act, 1957, and is regulated by the Indian copyright office.  However here are the necessary steps involved in the procedure of copyright registration in sound recording in India:

Filling application form: The foremost step is filling of application form for registration of copyright in sound recordings. One can download the form the copyright office website or receive in person from their office.

Attach the required documents:  With your application form you also need to attach the following documents:

  • 2 copies of work
  • To file the application you need the proof of ownership or authorization
  • If the producer is separate from the applicant you need NOC from the producer
  • If the performer is different from the applicant you need NOC from the performer.

Pay the registration fee: Rs. 5000 is the registration fees for copyright registration of sound recording. You can pay the fees in person at the copyright office or pay the fees online.

Submit the application: One can transfer the application form along with compulsory documents and fee by post or in person to the copyright office. You have to send the application form by registered post with acknowledgement due if you are submitting it by post.

Copyright registration is not compulsory in India, but it is suggested as it gives legal protection and proof of possession in case if any disputes.

Documents Required Getting a Copyright for Sound Recording

The following documents are generally required to get a copyright for a sound recording in India:

  1. Application form: In India to obtain a copyright for sound recordings the foremost document required is application form. The form must be filled out with exact information and can be obtained from the Copyright Office website.
  2. Copy of the sound recording: The submission of a copy of the sound recording for which one is seeking copyright is compulsory. The recording should of high quality and must be submitted in digital format.
  3. No Objection Certificate (NOC): If the sound recording is made with collaboration with other parties such as musicians, artists, or producers then an NOC is required. The NOC mentions that all the persons who participated have given their consent for the copyright of sound recording.
  4. Proof of ownership: Proof of ownership must be provided if the sound recording is created by a company or an individual. This could be in the form of agreement or contract stamped by all persons involved.
  5. Power of Attorney (POA): If someone other than owner of the sound recording files the application for the copyright then a POA submission is compulsory. The POA provides the authority to act on behalf of owner to the person filing the application.
  6. Fee payment: The payment of the copyright registration fee is the last document required. The fee differs on the basis of the mode of application and type of work being registered.

It is necessary to copy that these documents may differ considering the special requirement of the Copyright Office in India.Top of Form

Who owns copyright in a sound recording?

In most of the cases, the person or entity who created the recording is owner of the copyright in a sound recording, typically the artist who created the music or record label. However, the specialties of copyright ownership can differ considering various elements such as any work-for-hire agreements, terms of any contracts between the parties, and the laws of the relevant jurisdiction. Additionally, there may be several copyright owners involved if the sound recording includes other copyrighted material or samples from third parties. It is always better to take guidance from legal professional to gat accurate advice according to your situation.

Who will issue copyright registration certificate?

Copyright registration is carried out through the government’s copyright agency in the majority of nations, including India. In India the copyright registration certificate is provided by copyright office – Government of India. The Copyright Act of 1957 established the Copyright Office, which is part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Copyright Act allows for the registration of a wide range of works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and cinematographic works, as well as sound recordings and broadcasts.

The Copyright Office is headquartered in New Delhi, with regional offices in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. To obtain copyright registration in India, submit an application to the Copyright Office along with the required documents and fees. A copyright registration certificate is issued to the applicant once the application has been processed and approved. This certificate serves as proof of ownership and provides the owner of the copyrighted work with legal protection.

Hence if someone wants to register copyright certificate then the person must follow the guidelines provided by the copyright office – Govt. of India.

How long does copyright last for audio recording?

The length of copyright can differ for an audio recording according to the country it was published and created.

In India, the time period of copyright for a sound recording depends on several elements, such as the nature of the work and the date of publication. The Copyright Act, 1957, which has undergone numerous amendments, controls copyright in India.

According to the recent provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957, the durations starts from the year in which recording was published till 70 years. The copyright for a sound recording lasts for 70 years from the year it was first recorded if it is not released.

The important step for artists and creators is the process of copyright registration for sound recordings to protect their art and make sure that they are in the rightful possession of the content. Registering the sound recording copyright gives the owner special rights to distribute, reproduce, perform, and display their work, and provide legal actions in case someone copy their work. The copyright registration process includes submission of application form in addition to the fee, to the Indian copyright office. The application enquires about the owner, the underlying musical composition and the sound recordings. Once registered, it gives the owner the right to use copyright symbol, which warns the others that the work is protected.


It could be said that copyright registration is not necessary to prove that a sound recording belongs to a particular person, it does offer legal advantages and is advised for anyone who wants to safeguard their intellectual property. It is necessary to research laws in the particular area in which the recording will be performed or distributed because copyright law varies from country to country.

In conclusion, for protection of sound recordings and making sure that the owner is compensated and recognized for their art copyright registration is a crucial step.

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