Circle P
July 16, 2004 6:47 AM   Subscribe

Circle C=copyright
Circle R=registered trademark
Circle P=?

Never come across Circle P before. What kind of rights does that designate? Found on a CD of nature sounds.
posted by piskycritter to Law & Government (12 answers total)
I'd assume patented or patent pending, though it doesn't exactly make sense for a CD of nature sounds.
posted by fvw at 6:49 AM on July 16, 2004

It took multiple google attempts, but I finally turned up an answer at this catholic university site:
Q My CD of Cecilia Bartoli singing 18th century Italian songs contains two symbols on the case, one is a "P" with a circle around it, and one is the standard "c" with a circle enclosing the letter. What is the difference between these two symbols, and what do they mean? Also, does this mean these 18th century songs are not in the public domain?

A The "P" refers to phonorecord and stands for the copyright ownership of the sound recording embodied in the phonorecord. A sound recording results from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds. The author of a sound recording is the performer whose performance is fixed (in this case Cecilia Bartoli) or the record producer. This is in contrast to the musical composition, which is authored by the composer and the lyricist, if any. Thus, there may be more than one copyright involved. The "c" in this example stands for the printed material that accompanies the recording, such as the liner notes, etc. Note that on the actual CD only the "P" appears. You would look at the date accompanying the "P" to determine when the recording was published, and from that date you may make a calculation as to when the work will enter the public domain. The 18th century songs are presently in the public domain, but Cecilia Bartoli’s rendition of these songs, i.e., the sound recording, is not in the public domain.

posted by malphigian at 6:52 AM on July 16, 2004

It took multiple google attempts

Thanks. My google-fu was not so strong.
posted by piskycritter at 7:01 AM on July 16, 2004

Malphigian, that website is almost correct.

the (P) refers to SoundRecording Registration. Your copy of the Beatles "Abbey Road" is (p) registered by EMI, the producer/record label, they own the Master Rights to the work.

However, the lyrics and melodies on the disc, the actual intellectual property copyright [ or (c) Copyright ] are owned by the music publisher, Sony.

EMI had to ask Sony's permission to produce their (p) of Sony's (c)

(that's the simple explanation. Not to nerd out, but EMI can just apply for a Compulsory Mechanical license as per the terms of section 115 of the Copyright Act, so long as the basic melody and lyrics are not changed, otherwise they have to note to Sony that their artist is creating a derivative work, and must seek permission to do so )

(c) copyright law has been around for ages, (p) copyright since just 1971.
posted by remlapm at 7:34 AM on July 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

However, the lyrics and melodies on the disc, the actual intellectual property copyright [ or (c) Copyright ] are owned by the music publisher, Sony.

The sound recording is also "intellectual property copyright." In the US, federal copyright law has protected sound recordings since 1972, not 1971. I wont even get into the mess that was state common law copyright as it could apply to older works.
posted by anathema at 7:51 AM on July 16, 2004

Why doesn't every CD have a (p)?
posted by smackfu at 10:31 AM on July 16, 2004

It's not 100% necessary to file a SR registration with the US copyright office, as the moment you create it is automatically protected by law. But by actually registering it, you are putting your claim on record. Also those that have might not show it on the Jewel case or liner notes. .

It takes 1 form and $30, so it's kind of a no-brainer. More Info
posted by remlapm at 11:14 AM on July 16, 2004

[more copyright dorkiness] Peter Hirtle has just republished his helpful copyright term chart.
posted by anathema at 12:11 PM on July 16, 2004

How about Circle K? (Excellent!)
posted by waxpancake at 5:08 PM on July 16, 2004

Heh. That would mean "Kosher." But not as kosher as the Circle-U!
posted by anathema at 8:27 PM on July 16, 2004

Another way of looking at circle-P is "publishing," which has the specific meanings adduced in previous answers.
posted by joeclark at 4:39 PM on July 17, 2004

BTW, in Unicode the symbol is ℗ (?).
posted by joeclark at 4:43 PM on July 17, 2004

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