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US copyright law has become the focus of attention in recent years because of the difference in the protection it gives to older recordings. This note explains why.


  • For much of history, performers and producers have not been entitled to a separate federal copyright for sound recordings in the US; therefore, they have not received any royalties for recorded songs played on the radio.

Features and Benefits

  • Discusses the history of US federal copyright law.
  • Explains the SRA and DPRA.

Key questions answered

  • Why is there a difference in royalty requirements for pre- and post-1972 sound recordings?
  • What is the likely solution to the US-specific situation regarding legacy artist recordings?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Raising the issue of public performance rights in the US
  • A brief history of public performance rights
  • The federal protection umbrella


  • Author

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