Are you looking to create a unique ringtone for your mobile phone? If so, you may be wondering if your ringtone can be copyrighted. The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of ringtone you create. The length of the part is completely irrelevant when it comes to copyright protection. If the ringtone contains material other than excerpts from the master sound recording, it may be considered a derivative work and not be subject to a mandatory license.
This means that the record labels and mobile phone services seeking to boost the avid ringtone market can benefit from copyright protection. Most music publishing companies previously argued that ringtones were not included in the mandatory license and could therefore charge a higher fee than the legal mechanical royalty rate or deny permission altogether. However, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) requested additional royalties from Verizon, arguing that the reproduction of ringtones constitutes the public interpretation of the music. Before this decision, the rule for guaranteeing call rights consisted of negotiating a license with the record company for the use of the master recording and then negotiating with the music publisher a license to use the composition. Now, with copyright protection in place, it is easier for those looking to create unique ringtones to do so without fear of their work being stolen. If you are looking to create a unique ringtone for your mobile phone, you can rest assured knowing that copyright protection is available. As long as your ringtone contains material other than excerpts from the master sound recording, it can be considered a derivative work and be subject to copyright protection.