SoundCloud Terminology: What is a PLine? A CLine?

by Garrett Gomez in SoundCloud June 12, 2017

Sometimes the legal terms in music can be confusing. And often, it can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you understand them. While the PLine and CLine have the same structure, they have different legal meaning.

The purpose of a ℗ notice is to signify that rights exist in a sound recording and to identify the owner of those rights. For instance, ℗ notices are displayed on all copies of a sound recording – whether physical or digital. In the physical version of a song, the ℗ notice usually appear on the cover art of the CD, while on digital copies the ℗ notice will appear in the metadata associated with the file.

℗ notices are important to understand because they help identify and compensate those that are entitled to be paid. Likewise, they simplify the legal requirement for pursuing those who commit copyright infringement.

On the flip side, the © notice, or copyright, is used to signify copyright in a range of works other than sound recordings. Usually © notices are associated with merchandise, artwork, and other printed material. However, © notices can also be used in relation to the underlying musical composition and lyrics of a song.

Understanding ℗ notices and © notices is essential to the music industry because it’s important to know how to cash in on all of the music, royalties, and rights that you are legally owed and how they can best serve you as an artist.