According to Public Knowledge, U.S. copyright law requires that, in order to be eligible for copyright protection, a creative work must be fixed in a tangible format. While a performer may not have copyright to a performance, a sound recording of that same performance may be copyrighted.
The creativity in the process of creating a sound recording involves not only the performance of the singer, but also the input of the instrumentalists, musical director and engineers. Because so many people collaborate in the creation of a sound recording, the issue of ownership may be difficult to resolve.
For more information, see the "Copyright Tutorial for Musicians."
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