How to add ranges of years for copyrights or publishers?

When I saw that we are allowed to add ranges for the duration of copyrights or for publishers I thought the only practical approach would be to add the earliest known date and the latest known date, so that other editors can stretch this range according to later or earlier releases.
So I added the definite year to the release and an open range to the recordings / works:

Means for me: date on the release until unknown ending.

But when I look at the overview it looks like this:

“from 1989 to present”

This is not what i expexted.
So I suppose the range is meant to be a definite range. We have to know the start and the end of the rights relation to be able to use the range. Is this correct?
The problem I see is, that in this case we only can add the years of the release for every different year we find.
It might look like this:

Virgin Music (1981) [first release in MB]
Virgin Music (1984)
Virgin Music (1988)
Virgin Music (2012) [latest release in MB]

instead of:
Virgin Music (?-1981-2012-?)

Or are we allowed to use the range as I was hoping?

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Fill in the second line

But if you want to have four dates, then you need to add four entries. 1981-1981, 1984-1984, 1988-1988, 2012-2012



I wrote:

So I think I’ve done it somehow :wink:

I wanted to know if we have to add these long lists when we don’t know the definive range (which is not an easy task).
So I guess your answer implies we can’t use the range for dates we know so far. We have to find out the real start and the real end of the relationship for using this range.


The (p) and (c) is usually just written as a single date of when it was granted.

For example, if you have a (p) which is 1988, 1989 then you still should add two separate entries.

Dark Side of the Moon has been released many times, and the (p) keeps changing. There is never an “End” date, always just a new company claiming copyright from that new date.

The Date Range is there for other things in the database which actually do have a range of times. We are just making use of a database feature and saying “no, just the one date to show”.

Date ranges appear for other reasons. That snip above came from a page with this on it:


I see, thx. No ranges for company relationships. And it looked so tempting, sniff…


Yes, this is what you are supposed to do.


I am not Copyright expert. Different lengths in different countries. 50 years I think in UK. Different in other areas. This would be a right old mess if you had to fill in ranges.

So you just get a single (p) 1988 date as you see on the album cover. I think that means: “We claim our copyright from this date”. This is some of the reasons for the reissues of albums, so they can restart those dates under the new company names.

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You’re right of course. I was also thinking more about publishers, but there would be similar problems.

I decided that documenting a song’s copyright or publishing history was a very bad idea, sometimes resulting in a mess nobody could understand. Check out “Lovesick Blues” on wikipedia, I wrote the sections on pub and 1949 lawsuit. I translated what I could into our db, but left out 1950-present. After original writers and publishers die or go away, who cares? If you input too much, nobody learns anything. The original pub is good, then I move on.