Copyright and restrictions

Copyright legislation varies from country to country, but it always exists on more than one level for sound recordings. The range of rights which may apply includes recording rights, mechanical rights, performing rights and moral rights. Rules for documenting these are to be found at 3.F.1.5-3.F.1.7 and in Area 4.

With the increase in electronic commerce as a direct consequence of digital storage and distribution of sound recordings there are, at the time of writing, several international and regional initiatives underway which seek to standardise the various copyright elements outlined above in the form of machine-readable codes and numbers (e.g. ISWC, ISAN). It is too early to make provision for these developments in this first edition of The IASA Cataloguing Rules but such developments are being followed closely by IASA and Area 4 of these rules may therefore be substantially altered in the future.

In addition, special rights or restrictions may apply in the case of recordings from traditional societies, relating to ownership of the content by the society. These recordings are not always subject to or protected by national copyright legislation. Often these recordings are unpublished. It is a matter of professional ethics for archives and cataloguing agencies to acknowledge, document and observe such rights or restrictions.

Similarly, access to other unpublished recordings, e.g. oral histories, may also be restricted at the request of the person(s) recorded, and again it is the responsibility of the archive to acknowledge, document and observe any restrictions of this type.