4.0. Scope and definitions

4.0.1. Copyright can be defined as the legal right to control the use of the intellectual property in a work and in the authorised forms in which the work exists. The copyright owner has the right to control, or at least to receive appropriate payment for, the reproduction of his works. copyright endures for a limited time which varies between territories. This is not the case with traditional ownership (see 4.0.5) which may not necessarily be limited by a statutory period. copyright may also include moral rights, for instance of authors, composers and performers, to be named and to prevent their works being distributed with another name or to have their work changed in any unauthorised manner. Moral rights presently apply in the legislation of some countries.

4.0.2. Sound and audiovisual recordings usually involve a multiplicity of rights. In the case of published recordings they may include:

  1. performances of published pieces of music which involve specific mechanical rights (mechanical rights are "generally understood as being the author's right to reproduce literary, dramatic or musical works in the form of recordings (phonograms or audiovisual fixations), produced mechanically in the widest sense of the word including electro-acoustic and electronic procedures. The mechanical rights in musical works with or without accompanying words are usually administered by authors' societies or other appropriate organizations. Some copyright laws provide for compulsory licenses to be granted to producers of phonograms of musical works and any words pertaining thereof." WIPO Glossary, p. 157);
  2. the exclusive moral rights of authors in the words and of composers in the titles that have been recorded;
  3. the performances themselves, which involve performer rights;
  4. a recording right which is owned by the record company which released the recordings.Beyond these rights in the recorded item s there are other rights attached to the artwork, accompanying documentation (e.g. sleeve notes) and design which are associated with the packaging of the recording.

4.0.3. broadcast recordings may involve similar rights to published recordings but with the addition of the broadcasting company as a rights owner in the programme as broadcast.

4.0.4. Unpublished recordings, including private recordings made for private purposes which might be donated to an audiovisual archive or library, will normally be covered by official recording or deposit agreements made between the recordist and the person or persons being recorded or between the collecting institution and the donor. Such agreements will typically include statements relating to access, ranging from unrestricted access to prohibition on any form of access whatsoever. Reference to such agreements must therefore be made, not in this area, but in the Notes area (see 7.B.29).

4.0.5. Traditional material (traditional ownership)A related issue which is not always subject to legislation concerns materials from traditional societies. This involves an ethical dimension to the rights (i.e. which may be broader than the legal definition of 'moral rights' mentioned in 4.0.1). This is particularly the case with recordings of certain traditional societies. Ownership of the content of such sound or audiovisual recordings may remain the intellectual property of the person(s) who have been recorded or who have authorised the performance. In such cases archives must strive to document this information sensitively, accurately and responsibly.

4.0.6. Copyright therefore obtains at many levels for sound recordings and in different ways depending on the type of recording. For published videos, for instance, it is the copyright date rather than the date of the p notice which applies. Furthermore, each statement may represent different provisions depending on the territory in which the rights are administered. It will therefore be impossible, with present means available, to express these different layers with any clarity in the approach to descriptive cataloguing adopted by these cataloguing rules unless it is decided to adopt a multilevel or analytic approach (see Chapter 9). If not, it is recommended that archives and cataloguing agencies limit the information stated in Area 4 to one specific copyright layer: for published and broadcast recordings this will be the owner of the recording (as associated with the stated p notice) or broadcast rights; for unpublished recordings this will consist of the name of the recordist together with a statement of any access restrictions imposed by the person or persons recorded. In addition, since enforcement of copyright applies to a period of time after the rights holder's death, it is strongly recommended that dates of birth and death are included when indexing with the names of contributors such as interviewees, performers, authors and composers.

4.0.7. Alternatively, copyright and p notice information relating to a published recording or group of recordings may be adequately documented instead as part of Area 3 (see 3.F.1.5-3.F.1.7).