Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 201—GENERAL PROVISIONS
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures
(a) General. This section prescribes the rules under which rights owners, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 1401(f)(5)(A), may file schedules listing their pre-1972 sound recordings with the Copyright Office to be eligible for statutory damages and/or attorneys' fees for violations of 17 U.S.C. 1401(a). This section also prescribes the rules for recordation of documents pertaining to the transfer of ownership of pre-1972 sound recordings.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) Unless otherwise specified, the terms used have the meanings set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1401.
(2) A pre-1972 sound recording is a sound recording fixed before February 15, 1972.
(3) For pre-1972 sound recordings of classical music, including opera:
(i) The title of the pre-1972 sound recording means, to the extent applicable and known by the rights owner, any and all title(s) of the sound recording and underlying musical composition known to the rights owner, and the composer and opus or catalogue number(s) of the underlying musical composition; and
(ii) The featured artist(s) of the pre-1972 sound recording means, to the extent applicable and known by the rights owner, the featured soloist(s), featured ensemble(s), featured conductor, and any other featured performer(s).
(c) Form and submission. A rights owner seeking to comply with 17 U.S.C. 1401(f)(5)(A) (or her authorized agent) must submit a schedule listing the owner's pre-1972 sound recordings, or amend such a schedule, using an appropriate form provided by the Copyright Office on its website and following the instructions for completion and submission provided on the Office's website or the form itself. The Office may reject any submission that fails to comply with these requirements.
(d) Amendment or supplementation. A rights owner (or her authorized agent) may amend or supplement information regarding a pre-1972 sound recording included in a schedule filed under paragraph (c) of this section by or on behalf of the same rights owner. Information may be corrected if it was incorrect at the time the pre-1972 schedule was submitted to the Office, or supplemented to include information that was omitted at the time the schedule was submitted to the Office. For each recording included in a schedule filed under this paragraph, where the information specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section does not change from the previously-filed schedule, the date the previously-filed schedule was indexed into the Office's public records remains operative for purposes of 17 U.S.C. 1401(f)(5)(A)(i)(II).
(e) Removal of record. A rights owner (or her authorized agent) may remove information regarding a pre-1972 sound recording from the Office's database of schedules if the sound recording was included in a schedule filed under paragraph (c) of this section by or on behalf of the same rights owner, using an appropriate form provided by the Copyright Office on its website and following the instructions for completion and submission provided on the Office's website or the form itself. Removal may be made if there was a substantive defect in the pre-1972 schedule regarding the specific sound recording at the time the schedule was submitted to the Office, or, upon a showing of good cause, at the discretion of the Copyright Office. Once a pre-1972 sound recording has been removed from the Office's database of schedules of pre-1972 sound recordings, the sound recording is no longer considered indexed into the Office's records.
(f) Content. A schedule of pre-1972 sound recordings filed under paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section shall contain the following:
(1) For each sound recording listed, the right's owner name, sound recording title, and featured artist(s);
(2) If known and practicable, for each sound recording listed, the International Standard Recording Code (“ISRC”);
(3) A certification that the individual submitting the schedule of pre-1972 sound recordings has appropriate authority to submit the schedule and that all information submitted to the Office is true, accurate, and complete to the best of the individual's knowledge, information, and belief, and is made in good faith; and
(4) For each sound recording listed, the rights owner may opt to include additional information as permitted and in the format specified by the Office's form or instructions, such as the alternate title, alternate artist name(s), album, version, label, or publication date.
(g) Transfer of rights ownership. If ownership of a pre-1972 sound recording changes after its inclusion in a schedule filed with the Office under this section, the Office will consider the schedule to be effective as to any successor in interest. A successor in interest may, but is not required, to file a new schedule under this section.
(h) Legal sufficiency of schedules. The Copyright Office does not review schedules submitted under paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section for legal sufficiency, interpret their content, or screen them for errors or discrepancies. The Office's review is limited to whether the procedural requirements established by the Office (including payment of the proper filing fee) have been met. Rights owners are therefore cautioned to review and scrutinize schedules to assure their legal sufficiency before submitting them to the Office.
(i) Filing date. The date of filing of a schedule of pre-1972 sound recordings is the date when a proper submission, including the prescribed fee, is received in the Copyright Office. The filing date may not necessarily be the same date that the schedule, for purposes of 17 U.S.C. 1401(f)(5)(A)(i)(II), is indexed into the Office's public records.
(j) Fee. The filing fee to submit a schedule of pre-1972 sound recordings pursuant to this section is prescribed in §201.3(c).
(k) Third-party notification. A person may request timely notification of filings made under this section by following the instructions provided by the Copyright Office on its website.
(l) Recordation of transfers. The conditions prescribed in §201.4 of this chapter for recordation of transfers of copyright ownership are applicable to the recordation of documents relating to the transfer of ownership of pre-1972 sound recordings under 17 U.S.C. chapter 14.
[83 FR 52153, Oct. 16, 2018, as amended at 84 FR 10684, Mar. 22, 2019]