Created by Mark H. Jaffe

Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

The United States Copyright Act only protects sound recordings fixed on or after February 15, 1972. Courts have held that rights holders of recording prior to that date may seek protection under state law, even most other state law is preempted by federal copyright law. Additionally, under US copyright law, AM/FM radio stations pay performance rights only for compositions (i.e. to songwriters and publishers) and not for sound recordings (i.e. not to recording artists and record labels). However, performance rights for sound recordings apply to digital performances like satellite radio and streaming. For informational purposes only. Not legal advice. I am not representing parties in this action. For more information about my practice, see: and for more legal knowledge, see my twitter @MarkJKings